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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

chandising or banking before entering mining. Their educational level
was high: nearly one-half had attended college, and many had studied
mineralogy, geology, or engineering. They knew how to run a business
and had considerable mining know-how. However, by the late nine-
teenth century the days of self-sufficiency and individualism were over
in mining. The "bonanza kings" needed capital and technology to be
successful in large-scale mining. This some secured by promotion, by
forming partnerships, and by attracting outside investors; yet most of
the entrepreneurs worked with technicians to develop their enterprises.
Some did cheat their investors or technical consultants and others went
to court; but Peterson concludes that most acted like industrial states-
The Bonanza Kings makes an important contribution to the under-
standing of the mining frontier. Two of the chapters have appeared in
slightly different forms as articles in journals; nevertheless, as chapters
they are important to the book. The author selected his sources care-
fully and used the evidence judiciously. The result is a fine study on
mining as big business on the frontier.
Fort Hays State University JAMES L. FORSYTHE
The National Archives: America's Ministry of Documents, 1934-1968.
By Donald R. McCoy. (Chapel Hill: The University of North
Carolina Press, 1978. Pp. ix+437. Photographs, bibliography, in-
dex. $19.)
The National Archives: America's Ministry of Documents, 1934-
1968, by Donald R. McCoy, is a well-researched and professionally
written monograph on a subject which should be of interest to all his-
torians. It is safe to say that it will never become a best seller, but it is
clear that this was never the intention of the author in the first place.
The book, nonetheless, fulfills a need and, therefore, is a valuable con-
tribution to the world of knowledge. It is the sort of book that someone
had to write but also the sort of book which few of us would care to
undertake. For that reason alone the profession should be grateful to
Professor McCoy.
I do not wish to give the impression that this book is dull. I must
admit that I originally approached it with that expectation, and dull-
ness would not have diminished my recognition of its merit. I was sur-
prised to find, however, that the story of the National Archives is


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 26, 2016.

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