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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ranchers, and mining developers, Steffen concludes that a "mercan-
tilist-capitalist mentality" (p. 64) dominated all. The fur-trading fron-
tier was always international and mercantilistic; western ranching was
bound closely to a larger commercial, capitalistic world; and the uni-
versal nature of mining made our mineral frontier the least insular
of all.
Much of what Steffen says has been said before, but not as com-
pellingly and certainly not all in one short book with a large bibliog-
raphy and many expository endnotes. The Hispanic Southwest, Mor-
mon Deseret, and Mitis Assiniboin are all North American frontiers
inviting the application of Steffen's model. His advice is well-given,
that we search for causes of frontier continuity, remembering that the
New World has always been tied substantially to the Old, and our
West to our East.
University of Texas, Austin JOHN E. SUNDER
Posada's Mexico. Edited by Ron Tyler. (Washington, D.C.: Library of
Congress, 1980. Pp. 316. Foreword, preface, illustrations, appen-
dices, bibliography, index. $16.)
World images of civilizations rest on an accretion of historical
knowledge: themes, events, personages, achievements, and failures that
summarize and characterize the course of human involvement in a geo-
temporal entity. As most scholars recognize, this phenomenon is es-
pecially evident in Mexico, whose culture evolved through accumula-
tive aboriginal, colonial, and independent phases, constantly absorbing
and rejecting its past. A major progenitor of the distinctive symbolism
of the Mexican ethos was the graphic artist Jose Guadalupe Posada
(1852-1913). Deservedly, he has become a cult figure who transcends
his historicity. There are, in fact, more studies on him currently avail-
able than on any of the famous Mexican School artists who followed
him. Why? Posada's Mexico convincingly answers this question.
Appearing in conjunction with an exhibition of the Swann Collec-
tion of Posada's work organized by the Amon Carter Museum and the
Library of Congress, the book reproduces a broad selection of Posada's
etchings and engravings from a variety of depositories. Essays by ex-
pert Mexicanists Ron C. Tyler, Jean Charlot, Jas Reuter, Joyce Wad-
dell Bailey, and Jacques Lafaye describe the essence of Posada's art and
its times. There is a Mexican cultural tradition extending from Netza-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/. Accessed January 30, 2015.