The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Martin briefly mentions the potential effect on water program de-
velopment of provincial opposition to federal aid and control. But his
failure to explain political conservatism in central West Texas beyond
a short appendix suggests the limitations of a purely economic ap-
proach to urban growth and problems. He also seems rather brief on
the role of townsite companies in the establishment of Midland, Odes-
sa, and Lamesa. This volume should, nevertheless, be valuable to per-
sons interested in urbanization and economic growth in general and
the impact of those factors on central West Texas.
Texas Tech University ALWYN BARR
Postwar Readjustment in El Paso 1945-1950. By Patricia Reschen-
thaler. (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1968. Southwestern Studies,
Monograph No. 21. Pp. 43. Illustrations, bibliography. $2.oo.)
Water Out of the Desert. By Christopher M. Wallace. (El Paso: Texas
Western Press, g969. Southwestern Studies, Monograph No. 22.
Pp. 45. Illustrations, bibliography, tables. $2.oo.)
El Paso has long been noted as a city with a varied and tumultuous
history. Save for native El Pasoans, probably few are aware of the
tremendous evolutionary changes which overtook the city at mid-
twentieth century. The decade preceding 1950 saw a series of factors
bring about an accelerated and unexpected growth in its population
and economy. World War II brought an enormous broadening to El
Paso's industrial base and this shifted the emphasis away from the
dominant prewar industries of cattle, cotton, and copper. Also, the
federal government's decision to make Fort Bliss the nation's leading
guided-missile training center added significantly to the city's assets.
By 195o El Paso had become not only the major metropolitan center
of West Texas but had moved toward a position among the fifty largest
cities of the United States.
Like other American cities facing postwar readjustment and grow-
ing pains, El Paso was confronted by special problems due to its geo-
graphic location, its limited water resources, the international bound-
ary, and the ethnic make-up of its population. Mrs. Reschenthaler's
study assesses these various social and economic forces and effectively
concludes that the years 1945-1950 were among the most significant in
the long history of El Paso.
One of the problems, that of increasing demands for water in the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/. Accessed May 28, 2015.