The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

a wonderful sampling of music from the early days of the Doughboys to their re-
cent more gospel-oriented recordings.
Both of these books are very solid, well written, and entertaining. Taken to-
gether, they provide valuable new insight into the history of western swing and
one of the bands that has been absolutely central to the development of this
unique form of southwestern music.
Southwest Texas State University Gary Hartman
Print the Legend: Photography and the American West. By Martha A. Sandweiss. (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Pp. ix+402. Acknowledgments, pho-
tographs, notes, index. ISBN 0-300-09522-8. $39.95, hardcover).
Martha Sandweiss's Print the Legend provides an important cultural history of
American photography. In a multilayered description, Sandweiss examines how
photography and the American West simultaneously came of age. Her analysis
chronicles the history of the West, of photography as a medium, and of how pho-
tographs created and supported the story of the American frontier. Sandweiss
constructs a convincing argument that photography served to manufacture the
myth and to reinforce attitudes that form the basis of American identity.
In six well-constructed chapters, Sandweiss probes the relationship between
photography and history and identifies the dominant forces that created the his-
tory and the images. Her study of photographs from the Mexican American
War, the Civil War, landscapes, panoramas, and portraits, establishes that pho-
tographers focused on subjects that reinforced prevailing tastes and prejudices.
Sandweiss's cultural analysis of photography examines the paradox that pho-
tographs are both documents of eyewitness veracity and records of history. Tech-
nical limitations of early photography created enigmatic images of stilled time.
While other historians construct context for those frozen images and use the im-
ages as evidence to support theories and interpretations of history, Sandweiss de-
codes both the images and the historic context of the images. Through
comparative examples of photographs, handbills, broadsides, and engravings,
the case is made that memory and history are combined within the viewfinder.
The chapter concerning photography and the American Indian examines fa-
mous Daguerreotype portraits with new insight into the images of a time-bound
moment within a set of historic contingencies. Sandweiss explores the evolution
of the perception and acceptance of photographic images. Portraits that were in-
tended as mementos become, through time and interpretation, public com-
modities, historic documents, and visual metaphors. For example, Sandweiss
examines the contextual transition of a photograph by Thomas Easterly of
Keokuk or the Watchful Fox from an individual's portrait to a memento symbolizing
a declining race. Sandweiss argues that photographs that stand for national
memories reinforced public perception and reassured public doubts that both
American Indians and their portraits were relics of the past.
Print the Legend is insightful and groundbreaking. It is a major addition to the
study of American culture and the history of image making.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

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Francine Carraro

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed July 24, 2014.