The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Book Reviews

a copy of Robert L. Wagner's chronicle of the division's activities and ex-
ploits in Italy from September, 1943, to July, 1944. No other American
division in the war faced greater challenges of strong enemy resistance and
difficult-if not impossible-terrain. None fought more bitterly than the
36th at Salerno, San Pietro, and the Rapido; or performed more brilliantly
than the 36th at Velletri.
In a labor of love spanning nearly ten years, Wagner has carefully studied
the records of the division and its organic units. He has extensively inter-
viewed participants in the battles and has turned up interesting comments
in letters sent home. He has consulted appropriate secondary sources. And
he has used with good effect and to advantage the wartime diary and the
postwar comments of Major General Fred L. Walker, the outstanding lead-
er who commanded the division during the period.
The result is an account of every divisional action, including the combat
of small units and individuals. Veterans of the campaign will have no
trouble identifying the places, events, and people of that time; and they
will find themselves generally in agreement with the author's point of view,
which is frankly pro-division.
Wagner gives relatively little analysis of why things went right or wrong.
He is rather disinterested in the big picture: that is the strategic or larger
operational framework within which the division functioned, the pressures
on higher Allied and German commanders, and the like. But he provides
plenty for those who wish to glory in the battlefield achievements and to
understand the local combat conditions of one of the great divisions of
World War II, involved in some of the toughest fighting of that conflict.
Naval War College MARTIN BLUMENSON
Tom White: The Life of a Lawman. By Verdon R. Adams. (El Paso: Tex-
as Western Press, 1972. Pp. ix+ 53. Photographs, index. $8.)
Texas Ranger Sketches. By Robert W. Stephens. (Dallas: Robert W. Ste-
phens, 1972. Pp. I55. Illustrations. $8.50.)
Thomas Bruce White (1881-1971), a native of the Oak Hill area,
learned about public service from his father, Robert Emmet White, who
successively served as sheriff of Travis County, mayor of Austin, county
judge, and county road commissioner. According to White, he "was raised
practically in the jail." After two years of college at Southwestern Univer-
sity and a period of wandering in Oklahoma and California, Tom White
forsook the big city of Los Angeles and returned to Texas, where he soon

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/. Accessed September 23, 2014.