stern but loving father caring for his flock were good days and there seems to be
a plaintive longing for a return to that time. But why did law enforcement
become more formal, distant, and institutionalized? The last two chapters tell
the story. The corruption, the speed traps, the excesses of police interrogation,
although told from a Texas point of view, represent the problems in law enforce-
ment throughout America.
The sheriffs who were dominant in their counties (Ben Sweeten, J. S.
Scarborough II, and J. S. Carpis) were colorful larger-than-life people in their
counties and would have been anywhere. Most represented both the best and
worst in law enforcement by modern standards. Movie stars such as Rod Steiger
and Gary Cooper, among others who play sheriffs, have to get their characters
from somewhere. Look no further.
Do many police in many rural (and urban) jurisdictions still exercise what is
called "discretion" in their work to this day as the "high sheriffs" of Sitton's book
did? Of course. Do many areas of rural America (whether it be Texas or some
other locale) still operate much the same way they did with regard to the variety
of activities of both a police and non-police nature? Yes. But for the most part,
urban and suburban America lacks the personal touch of the "high sheriff"
Sitton writes about.
The book is well researched and written with a storyteller's touch. It is a book
worth reading and owning.
Temecula, California DICK DIAMOND
Images of America; Railroads of Western Texas: San Antonio to El Paso. By Douglas Lee
Braudaway. (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2000. Pp. 128.
Acknowledgments, introduction. ISBN 0-7385-0766-0. $18.95, paper.)
Del Rio author Douglas Braudaway has provided a readable, compact, well-
organized, and enjoyable contribution to transportation scholarship in Railroads
of Western Texas: San Antonio to El Paso. The author uses the picture-and-caption
format rather than providing a traditional narrative text, and in this instance the
format works quite effectively because the topic lends itself to this fast-paced,
Braudaway is particularly interested in the communities that developed along
the right-of-way and in the larger cities of San Antonio and El Paso themselves. He
organizes the book into chapters that basically discuss the stations and stops along
the way, beginning with a chapter on San Antonio and El Paso during the nine-
teenth century. Other chapters discuss the line from San Antonio to Eagle
Pass/Del Rio, from Del Rio to Alpine, and from Marfa to El Paso. He draws rather
heavily upon photographs from the University of Texas Institute of Texan
Cultures, photographs from his own collection, the Southern Pacific Archives, and
the photography collections of city and county historical societies along the line.
Readers may find of particular interest the account provided here of the
importance of the Sunset Route across southwest and western Texas in the two
world wars, as well as Braudaway's engaging pictures and anecdotes about inci-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed April 19, 2014.