Southwestern Historical Quarterly
appendices list champion cowboys and broncbusters in all possible categories
and provide the names of those enshrined in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame
(both human and horse) and the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame. Besides the joy of
winning, Woerner also chronicles the hard work, the real danger, and the mind-
numbing travel that accompanies the sport.
The book's strength is in its documenting of professional rodeo activities, and
while the author paints a picture of the earliest years of broncbusting, several
things are missing. The Hispanic charreria tradition, cited by most as the origin
of the American rodeo, is not to be found, and the legendary Pickett brothers,
who organized a "Broncho Busters and Rough Riders Association" in the 189os
and whose parents had been slaves, are not mentioned. A discussion of the
Negro Cowboys Rodeo Association, formed in 1947, and a listing of those
inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame would have added balance.
Similarly, the presence of Native American cowboys and broncbusters goes
uncommented upon, though Jackson Sundown (Nez Perce) and Tom Three
Persons (Blood), among others, were early champion bronc riders. A final short-
coming, at least for this reviewer, is a lack of detailed documentation. While the
author provides a list of resource materials, I would have liked greater detail.
Rodeo-related magazines and newspapers such as Hoofs and Horns, Wild Bunch,
and ProRodeo Sports News are shown as the source for much of the information in
the book without letting the reader know which specific issue to consult for
Belly Full of Bedsprings is a fun read as well as a useful reference, and the era-by-
era hall of fame for riders and horses provides a solid anchor for the work.
Woerner does an admirable job defining the sport of broncbusting and profiling
the champions and colorful characters of this living link to the romantic Wild
West era of our nation's history. Knowledgeable fans of the rodeo and novices
alike will find this a useful addition to their libraries.
Austin BRUCE ASHCROFT
Builders: Herman and George R. Brown. By Joseph A. Pratt and Christopher J.
Castaneda. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999. Pp.
xxi+326. Illustrations, tables, preface, notes, index. ISBN 0-89096-840-3.
Scholars have long ignored the lives of businessmen whose careers marked
the transition of Texas in the twentieth century from a rural backwater to a mod-
ern, commercial powerhouse. This book, in presenting the lives of Herman and
George R. Brown, makes a significant contribution in filling this gap. The legacy
of the Brown brothers transcends Texas however, as their construction compa-
ny, Brown & Root, eventually had projects that dotted the nation and the globe.
The link between the Browns and Texas politicians, especially Lyndon B.
Johnson, is well known. Pratt's and Castaneda's intention however, is to give the
Brown brothers their due by emphasizing their impressive careers as builders
and civic leaders.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed July 26, 2014.