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

Book Reviews

finding an equitable solution to the problems facing both upper and lower
basin states. Indeed, Tyler suggests that Carpenter should be viewed as a
model for modern legislators and others responsible for addressing the water
needs of the arid West. Carpenter was upright, diligent and dogged in his
advocacy while maintaining respect for the concerns of his colleagues and
sometime challengers. Despite his minor failings, especially during his later
years when Parkinson's sapped his energy and ultimately resulted in his being
confined to his home, Carpenter as presented by Tyler represents a high stan-
dard indeed.
Scholars of western water law will appreciate the meticulousness of Tyler's
account of the complex negotiations into which Carpenter had to enter in
order to win ratification of the compact and the care with which Tyler presents
the strengths and weaknesses of his subject. Readers who are unfamiliar with
the intricacies of western law and politics may wish to read Szlver Fox in con-
junction with Norris Hundley Jr.'s Water and the West: The Colorado Rzver
Compact and the Politics of Water in the American West (University of California
Press, 1975). The earlier work's broad examination of federal, international,
and lower-basin politics complements nicely the sharper focus and upper basin
emphasis of the newer.
Silver Fox of the Rockies should find a home on the shelves of serious scholars of
the arid West alongside works by Hundley, Donald Worster, and DonaldJ. Pisani
(who wrote the foreword to this book).
Northfield, Mznn. RACHEL D. SHAW
Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues. By Roger Wood. (Austin: University of Texas
Press, 2003. Pp. x+346. Acknowledgments, photographs, map, list, discogra-
phy, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-292-79159-3. $34-95, cloth.)
Houston is a city known for its wide-open entrepreneurial spirit where the
urban cowboy, the NASA engineer, and the wheeler-dealer oil executive ride the
freeways together. Thanks to Roger Wood and his new book, Down in Houston:
Bayou City Blues, perhaps a vibrant musical and cultural legacy will be added to
the Houston stereotypes-the Bayou City blues scene. Down in Houston is an oral
history, a socio-cultural study, a beautifully photographed pictorial, and a musi-
cologist's primary source bonanza. It explores the century of musical tradition
that characterized the communal soul of the Third and Fifth Ward districts of
urban Houston.
Roger Wood's work is a self-professed twenty-year personal journey to
research, understand, and celebrate the roots of Houston's blues culture and
the black communities that nurtured it. Wood came of age in a rock 'n' roll
world, but his realization that the blues "formed the primal headwaters of a cul-
tural river that I had been swimming in for years " (p. 5) was the genesis of Down
in Houston. Beginning in 1995 photographer James Fraher joined Wood and
together they conducted dozens of interviews filled with vivid, passionate, and
always enlightening observations and reminiscences. Fraher contributed more



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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