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

Book Reviews

Ross, Leander H. McNelly, and John B. Jones-made unique contri-
butions to the Ranger tradition and to the history of Texas. It would
be surprising if a book about Texans, one "made in Texas by Texans,"
would be overly critical. Yet, the authors of the various essays gener-
ally recognize that their characters did not always stand ten feet tall.
However much the bronze statue of the Texas Ranger in the Dallas
Airport might symbolize "the high noon syndrome" that critics some-
time associate with the Lone Star State, one has to recognize that the
frontier border was not a particularly safe place to live. Whether there
is justification today for the heavy-handed justice frequently associated
with the Rangers is questionable, but to impose standards of the 1970's
upon society of the 1870's is not necessarily valid either. The Rangers
have often been charged with shooting first and asking questions later.
On the other hand, Richardson points out in his introduction: "There
are cases where the Rangers showed admirable restraint and, at their
own peril, have been generous with criminals."
It would be difficult to single out any one of the biographical sketches
as superior to the others. This reviewer especially enjoyed the chapter
on Leander H. McNelly, primarily because I knew absolutely nothing
about him. Moreover, few southwestern writers have Joe B. Frantz's
natural talents for "turning a pharse"-when he puts his mind to it.
University of Toledo W. EUGENE HOLLON
Along the Early Trails of the Southwest. By Wayne Gard et al. Illus-
trated by Melvin C. Warren. (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1969. Pp.
175. $14.50.)
This is a gift book containing six essays, an introduction, eight at-
tractive color prints and a "sketch book" with a score or so of drawings
by the artist Melvin C. Warren. The essays vary in length from 9 to 29
pages. In the order of their appearance they deal with the Butterfield
Overland Mail Trail, the Old San Antonio Road, The Chisholm Trail,
the Santa Fe Trail, the Dodge City Trail, and the Goodnight-Loving
Trail. No documentation or bibliography accompanies the work.
Obviously such a book is not meant for professional historians nor
even for serious history buffs, but rather as a marketable commodity
at gift book counters. Nevertheless one has a right to expect accurate,
well-organized material, balanced in terms of the scope of the book,

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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 September 23, 2014.