Dear Portal friends: Do you enjoy having history at your fingertips? We’ve appreciated your support over the years, and need your help to keep history alive. Here’s the deal: we’ve received a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Now it’s time to keep our word and raise matching funds for the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment. If even half the people who use the Portal this month give $5, we’d meet our $1.5 million goal immediately! All donations are tax-deductible and support Texas history: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

crisis between whites and African Americans. There can be little doubt that
Kornweibel's knowledge of intelligence services during World War I is immense;
he provides an intimate look at how the federal government used its power
against African Americans.
Yet Kornweibel's management of his extensive material seems problematic at
times, too detailed for the purpose of the text, or too limited to give the reader
an adequate understanding of the context and implications of events described.
For example, the lengthy chapter dealing with the sexual and personal difficul-
ties of Dutch expatriate Herman Moens does not seem to relate to a book about
persecution of African Americans during World War I. On the other hand, while
Kornweibel seeks to demonstrate a federal campaign of intimidation, he fails to
adequately discuss examples of African Americans who were fairly apathetic
about participating in World War I and simply wanted to be left alone. That the
federal government was willing to leave unmolested many of the subjects they in-
vestigated is one of the more interesting parts of the book.
Though Kornweibel offers many examples of federal treatment of southern
African Americans, he does not provide the reader with an understanding of the
larger significance of these events in southern society, particularly in rural areas.
As a result the book often reads as though the only relevant impact of the feder-
al government's actions is that which is upon a largely urban and northern com-
munity. There is no discussion of how these actions impacted the large number
of African Americans living in the plantation areas of the lower South. For exam-
ple, Kornweibel describes the arrests of African Americans who attempted to
evade conscription; he notes that the greatest number of arrests took place in
Birmingham, Alabama. Then Kornweibel concludes by observing that intelli-
gence officials put "little energy into investigations in rural cotton-belt counties
where the black population was heavily concentrated" (p. o06). Obviously, the
reason that federal officials ignored rural cases was that planters needed agricul-
tural labor, and United States attorneys were uninterested in tangling with pow-
erful rural white elites. This is a distinction Kornweibel ignores.
Such treatment partly reflects the fact that in many ways Kornweibel's sources
narrow the focus of his work. Essentially, Investigate Everything reports what intel-
ligence agents observed and how they acted upon the information they received.
These reports are often conveyed in a highly repetitive process that makes for
difficult reading. Yet none of these criticisms lessen the importance of what Korn-
weibel has accomplished. They simply suggest that the process was more compli-
cated and further studies that build upon Kornweibel's work are warranted.
Anderson College Lewie Reece
High and Dry: The Texas-New Mexzco Struggle for the Pecos River. By G. Emlen Hall.
(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002. Pp. 303. Illustrations,
map. ISBN 0-8263-2429-0. $39.99, cloth.)
High and Dry is an interesting book whose title could read, "High and Dry or



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 5, 2016.

Beta Preview