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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Book Reviews

example, that the coastal Karankawas, who for various reasons had less bar-
gaining power in their struggle for survival, were stereotyped as cannibals
deserving of extermination, while the Tonkawas, who initially were more eco-
nomically useful to Anglo-American settlers, were not, even though historical
documentation suggests that the Tonakawas were more routinely practition-
ers of ritualistic cannibalism than were the Karankawas. The book concludes
with suggestions as to how geopolitical location, larger economic processes,
culturally constructed attitudes and the opportunities and constraints in the
lives of individual human actors all affected the trajectories of conquest in
each case. Theoretical perspectives and methodological issues are discussed
in two appendices.
Himmel's work significantly helps to fill what has too generally been a gap in
Texas history, a near-void created by a lack of focus on the Native American
experience during the early-to-middle nineteenth century. For the most part,
anthropologists have been largely concerned with reconstructing aboriginal
native societies during prehistory and the colonial era. On the other hand, most
regional histories tend to view native societies as marginal to the experiences of
the various Euro-Americans peoples who settled the region. The experiences of
specific native societies during the period treated by Himmel have seen little
explicit investigation, perhaps in part because the outcomes for most native soci-
eties-extermination and/or extirpation-were so complete that they left very
few survivors as a living representatives (and reminders) of earlier cultural pat-
terns, and probably also because the regional confrontations between major
Euro-American powers have always been natural magnets for scholarly attention
and popular interest. In explicating a short but critical period during which the
last vestiges of traditional native societies in Texas were supplanted by the mod-
ern world system, this book will be of interest for historical sociocultural studies
in Texas and will help to create a better-informed perspective on the Native
American peoples who once lived here.
Coastal Archaeological Research, Inc. ROBERT A. RICKLIS
The Frontier Army in the Settlement of the West. By Michael L. Tate. (Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1999. Pp. xx+454. List of illustrations, pref-
ace, acknowledgments, conclusion, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN o-
806103173-X. $34.95, cloth.)
In his 1980 essay, "The Multi-Purpose Army on the Frontier: A Call for
Further Research," Michael L. Tate called upon his fellow scholars to produce
a broad overview of the United States Army's role in the development of Texas
and the American West. For two decades, his request for a full-scale assessment
went unheeded. Tate finally determined to tackle the problem himself. His
richly detailed The Frontier Army in the Settlement of the West forcefully documents
the army's importance in the lives of nineteenth-century westerners. Military
explorers, scientists, ethnologists, meteorologists, artists, and writers were
often "at the forefront" (p. 27) of non-Indian discoveries and did much to



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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