The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981

Book Reviews

ethnographic attractions of the Tarahumara to the average motorist"
(p. 128).
The Documentary Relations project offers with this volume yet an-
other example of the wealth of material touching many disciplines still
to be mined from Spanish and Mexican archives. It suggests an ap-
proach for cultural studies of other native peoples in other areas, such
as the Coahuiltecans of Texas and Coahuila.
While the total effect of this book is pleasing, this reviewer at times
longed for more background than is presented in the brief chapter in-
troductions. Notes at chapter end, while trimming production costs,
pose the greatest reader inconvenience. Notes might be grouped to
avoid the here-and-there fragmentation of thought resulting from
paragraphs with multiple reference numbers. The book's high plane
otherwise should have ruled out that old signpost of language sloppi-
ness, the split infinitive.
Austin, Texas ROBERT S. WEDDLE
Interstate: Express Highway Politics, 1941-1956. By Mark H. Rose.
(Lawrence: The Regents Press of Kansas, 1979. Pp. xii+ 169. Pref.
ace, bibliography, index. $14.)
The efficiency and serenity of America's super highways contrast
sharply with the frustrating political process that, after fifty years of
deadlock, finally created the modern interstate system. Mark Rose's
study of that process reflects the complex business-government relations
that Robert H. Wiebe, Ellis W. Hawley, and Otis L. Graham have
identified in twentieth-century America. Even though Rose acknowl-
edges those historians in his useful bibliography, he fails to connect
his work explicitly to theirs. As a result, this well-researched, ground-
breaking study of highway politics remains separated from the larger
picture of social and economic reforms in America.
Roadbuilding in America emerged in an erratic fashion, encum-
bered by economic, political, and bureaucratic interest-group conflicts.
Truckers, farmers, local politicians, and transportation engineers pro-
moted their own limited programs and, because they held the balance
of power in the political arena, stifled those "planners" who wished to
combine a super highway system with the economic and social needs
of the entire nation. Thus, from 1900 to 1941, the issues of highway
benefits and financing blocked the planned approach to roadbuilding.
Truckers and engineers argued for efficiency-they were concerned


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 28, 2016.

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