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

Book Reviews

Hillis covers the major themes in Bosque County's history since Anglo-
Americans began to settle in serious numbers there in the early 185os. By the
time of the county's organization in 1854, there was even a thin European pres-
ence as a handful of Norwegians had been lured by its natural beauty and com-
mercial promise. The author contends that Bosque County thus paralleled the
nineteenth-century United States in the significance of immigration to its devel-
opment. The cattle industry naturally flourished in that part of Texas with the
Chisholm Trail running right through the middle of the county. That provided
the first exposure of a Bosque County youth named John Lomax to cowboy songs
and other forms of cowboy culture. Lomax went on to record for the Library of
Congress all forms of American roots music, thereby making a huge contribution
to the emergence of popular musical forms like rock 'n' roll. Hillis argues that
Bosque County has been very much in the American cultural mainstream with its
devotion to the values of democracy, capitalism, and religion (especially in its
evangelical Protestant form). Perhaps that helps explain the current location of
the western White House in nearby Crawford, a site that offers President Bush the
comfort of the same sort of conservative, small-town values.
Hillis is certainly right in concluding that "the twentieth century was not kind
to Bosque County" (p. 136). Agricultural distress, drought, floods, the damming
of the Brazos, and the flight of youths to city jobs have all taken a toll on towns
like Kopperl, Clifton, and Walnut Springs. As Fromholz sings, the trains don't
stop in such places anymore. What Hillis and Jordan have left us in this volume
is a superb portrait of this diminishing world of small town and rural Texas. It
compares favorably to classics like Goodbye to a River and Hold Autumn in Your
Hand as a depiction of such.
Kingwood College STEPHEN K. DAVIS
Southwest Passage: The Inszde Story of Southwest Azrlines' Formative Years. By Lamar
Muse. (Austin: Eakin Press, 2003. Pp. xi+245. Acknowledgments, illustra-
tions, tables, charts, epilogue, index. ISBN 1-57168-739-4. $21.95, paper.)
Lamar Muse served as co-founder, president, chief executive officer, and
chairman of the executive committee of Southwest Airlines from 1970 to 1978
and is thus able to provide an "inside" perspective on the founding and early
years of the legendary Texas-based airline in a way that the average business his-
torian could not. Muse's account is at once personalized, highly readable, and,
especially in the area of financial reporting, often surprisingly detailed. While
not a scholarly historical account, it is nonetheless valuable to those scholars
interested in modern transportation history in general and Southwest Airlines in
particular. Given some of the recent turmoil in the airline industry as a whole,
and the ability of this carrier to prevail even in adverse economic times, the
book may also be especially well-timed to appeal to a wider, more generalized
readership as well.
The book is in some ways as much a personal history of Muse's involvement in
business and the airline industry as it is the story of Southwest Airlines. Nowhere

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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 November 27, 2014.