The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969

Book Reviews

The book is by no means a thorough study of our water troubles,
nor was it intended to be. Its purpose is to alert readers to a widespread
and steadily worsening condition and to outline possible remedies. In
that respect, it is most effective.
Austin, Texas NANCY O. WALLACE
The Rising Tide: Southern California in the Twenties and Thirties.
By Richard F. Pourade. San Diego (Union-Tribune Publishing
Company), 1967. Pp. xii+267. Introduction, illustrations, bib-
liography, index. $9.50.
The subtitle, "Southern California in the Twenties and Thirties,"
is misleading even if one considers the dust-jacket claim that "the
story unfolds from the experience of one city and one region." What
the reader will find here is merely the sixth volume of a promotional
series on the history of San Diego, "commissioned" by James S. Copley
and written by Richard F. Pourade, former editor of the San Diego
Union, a Copley newspaper. Attractively bound and "lavishly illus-
trated" though the book is, it offers little of scholarly interest. Despite
an impressively comprehensive bibliography, the text presents the
barest facts in a journalistic manner based primarily upon newspaper
sources and the memoirs of prominent San Diego citizens.
Mr. Pourade introduces The Rising Tide as "primarily . . . a story
of water," and there are indeed-sprinkled among thumbnail biogra-
phies of "important" people, real estate promotional schemes, and
Chamber of Commerce propaganda-frequent mentions of aquatic
problems ranging from private water systems to the legislative battles
over the All-American Canal and the Colorado River. Unfortunately
most of the more valuable material is handled summarily and incon-
clusively, rather like news items than historical matter, and the gen-
eral absence of connective statements or bridging ideas of any sort
between these items produces a narrative which is at best inchoate but
in general simply lacks continuity. The journalistic "who, when, where
and what" treatment of the material avoids all critical evaluation and
the reader is left with paragraphic news stories without benefit of
intervening headlines.
The best handling of material in the book occurs in the fifth chap-
ter, "The Long Chase," which, with a certain continuity and a nice
assimilation and exposition of facts, deals with the tuna fishing indus-

123

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed September 2, 2014.