The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975

Book Reviews

and South America, the fundamentally anarchic community constantly
forced its leaders to subdue new or recurring crises. Sometimes they failed,
as they did with the problems of fires and arsonists, with preventing silt
flow from filling the harbor, and with planning and controlling urban-
suburban expansion. Sometimes the means they used in coping with and
defeating their problems vied with the problems themselves in unaccept-
ability, as with the periodic imposition of law and order by vigilantes.
Professor Lotchin relied primarily on the diaries and correspondence in
California's archival collections, heavily supplemented by local newspapers,
as source material in dissecting and evaluating San Francisco. He discussed
three major thematic areas: politics and government; business, labor, and
the local economy; and the social and cultural institutions of a transient
and ethnically varied populace. Because of the thematic approach, the read-
er must chronologically integrate events in the major categories. The two
maps provided were too small to use in locating the districts and places
described; and the consolidation of all notes at the end of the text hindered
reference to the many explanatory notes provided by the author.
Our cities generally deserve a better history than the fable and myth
with which they have often been encumbered, and this book is a positive
step in that direction. It also leaves the reader with the conviction that no
twentieth-century planner attempting to avoid the turmoil, strife, and fric-
tion of countervailing urban forces will ever produce so vital a metropolis.
Austin, Texas ARTHUR J. MAYER
Wiley Post, His Winnie Mae, and the World's First Pressure Suit. By Stan-
ley R. Mohler and Bobby H. Johnson. Number 8, Smithsonian Annals
of Flight. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1971. Pp. vii+
127. Illustrations, notes, appendix. $2.25.)
Nothing became Wiley Post's life like his leaving of it, for in the popular
mind the Oklahoma airman will be associated forever with the death of
Will Rogers. That fatal crash enroute to Point Barrow, Alaska, in 1935,
capped a meteoric career of round-the-world stunt flying which made him,
briefly in the early 193os, a national celebrity. His success in the high-stakes
game of air racing, which became a national mania in the decade after
Lindbergh's flight, earned Post presidential audiences and ticker-tape pa-
rades, but his fame withered rapidly, possibly because people blamed him
for Roger's death.
This admiring and intricately researched treatment of Post's career ex-
hibits most of the usual drawbacks of aviation literature, particularly the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed July 1, 2015.