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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

monographs, and seldom read journals and diaries. It is not too much to
say that his mastery of all the materials compiled in his exhaustive bibli-
ography made him the dean of Navajo scholars.
This book is a must for students of the West and the American Indian.
Hopefully it will be read by many more. It is comprehensive, exhaustive,
fascinating, and a major contribution to its field. Only three items mar its
perfection: the absence of maps, quite unforgivable in a book which de-
votes so much emphasis to geography and topography; footnote references
to printed materials which follow the anthropologists' style manual rather
than the historians' and thus occasion frequent reference to the bibliogra-
phy; and an inexplicable omission of several articles by Frank D. Reeve
who pioneered the archival study of Navajo history.
North Texas State University LAWRENCE C. KELLY
The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican War. By
David M. Pletcher. (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, i973-
Pp. xiii+656. Notes, bibliography, index. $20.)
For more than a half-century the works of Justin H. Smith on Texas
annexation and the Mexican War have stood as paragons of historical re-
search. Though flawed by anti-Mexican bias, Smith's work was based upon
American, Mexican, and European sources. Subsequent writers frequently
quarrelled with Smith's conclusions but none emulated his cosmopolitan
technique. Thus we have a fair number of studies of expansion, the Mex-
ican War, and related topics, but among them one finds little breadth of
international vision where research methods (not attitudes, usually) are
Now, thanks to the awesome endeavors of David M. Pletcher, we have
a general account of the entire, complex story of American expansion in the
eighteen forties, set in international context. The more than six hundred
pages of superbly organized, lucidly written text are copiously documented
with what appears to be every reasonably conceivable source available in
the libraries and archives of the United States, Mexico, England, France,
and Spain. The first of the four parts into which the book is divided de-
scribes "The Growing Tensions, 1815-1842," treating relations between
these nations as they were affected by Texas and Oregon. Part two con-
cerns the international tension provoked by Texas annexation, 1843-1845,
and part three traces President Polk's adventuresome diplomacy, leading to
war with Mexico while the still unsettled Oregon question threatened a
simultaneous and more dangerous clash with England. The final part deals


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 25, 2016.

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