486 Southwestern Historical Quarterly January
He also misidentifies important historical figures such as Joaquin [not "Jose"]
Arredondo (p. 137), the adventurer John [not '"James"] Hamilton Robinson (p.
132), and French General Humbert, whose first name is referred to as both
'"Jean" [correct] and "Antonio" (p. 136, 140). One can overlook some mistakes,
but Steward's writing on Texas and Mexico is confused. The author does not
offer sufficient proof that Smith T's "ultimate goal was an American transconti-
nental empire" (p. 130).
Steward concludes by tracing the evolution of Missouri myths, legends, and
folklore concerning John Smith T. He writes in a lively fashion, enticing readers
to enter the world of a little-remembered man. Frontier Swashbuckler is a meaning-
ful contribution to Missouri history, though it falls short in assessing John Smith
T's activities in the Spanish borderlands.
University of Texas at Arlzngton DAVID E. NARRETT
Stand-Off zn Texas: "Just Call Me a Spokesman forDPS. "By Mike Cox. (Austin: Eakin
Press, 1998. Pp. x+294. Preface, epilogue, appendices, bibliography, index.
ISBN 1-57168-246-5. $16.95, paper.)
When Santa Anna's forces overwhelmed the Alamo on March 6, 1836, the
first newspaper account did not appear until ten days later. Today, we often see
tragedy and disaster unfold as they happen, thanks to technology and modern
communication. Author Mike Cox, who maintains a sense of history while serv-
ing as the spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, has produced
an insider's view of several events destined for the annals of crime and social
change. Cox selected the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, the shootings at
Luby's in Killeen, and the Republic of Texas stand-off in Fort Davis.
Cox indicates no intent to provide the definitive work on these Texas
tragedies. They are too contemporary for final closure. His work is historical,
autobiographical, and instructional as he provides fresh perspectives. Events are
interwoven with anecdotes and admitted shortcomings as he reviews his own
performance. For example, offhand remarks he made to a reporter covering the
Branch Davidian siege (p. 64) ended up on page one of USA Today. Cox also
includes a "Silver Bullets" checklist of ethics guidelines (pp. 227-36), which are
practical and informative for anyone in business or government. He makes
ample use of primary and secondary sources alongside his own observations.
The author's most comprehensive discussion involves the Republic of Texas
separatist movement of the 1990s. For historical perspective, Cox provides a
description of Texas during the years of the Republic. Immediately after San
Jacinto, the overwhelming majority of Texans sought annexation to the United
States. Cox notes that if governments are judged by their accomplishments, then
the nearly bankrupt government of the Republic was a "singular failure" (p. 81).
Ironically, the modern "Republic of Texas" leader Richard McLaren and his sup-
porters formed their own interpretation in an effort to enrich themselves. Their
issuance of worthless checks and their systematic attempts to ensnare land owners
and officials with bogus liens and lawsuits led to the May 1997 standoff near Fort
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/. Accessed June 19, 2013.