The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Book Reviews

Constitution that can be understood adequately in the light of the con-
gressional debates over it. The fallacy and foolishness of Raoul Berger's
approach in Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the
Fourteenth Amendment is exposed; Berger's results and conclusions
are demolished; and the overriding issue of the period-freedom and
liberty--is explained.
The University of Texas at Austin PAUL FINKELMAN
Origins of the Mexican War: A Documentary Source Book. By Ward
McAfee and J. Cordell Robinson. (Salisbury, N.C.: Documentary
Publications, 1982. Vol. I, pp. xix+ 177; Vol. II, pp. v+ 175. Pref-
ace, introduction, maps, notes, acknowledgments, bibliography.
$39.95.)
These two handsomely produced volumes contain i lo documents re-
lating to the origins of the Mexican War. The documents are presented
within a framework of eight topical chapters, each prefaced by a suc-
cinct and informative explanatory essay. A general introduction reflects
the high quality of these brief essays, and the selected bibliography pro-
vides a fairly comprehensive guide to secondary works on the war. Thus
in matters of organization, style, and bibliographical accoutrements
the editors have produced a splendid piece of work.
But o10 documents do not justify the lavish treatment they receive
in these two overly large, beautifully bound (and therefore very expen-
sive) volumes. One volume could easily contain their combined total of
352 pages. Nor are the documents by any means rare. For example,
chapter four, "The Slidell Mission," contains seven documents. In the
first place, that episode cannot be treated adequately by a mere seven
documents, and in the second place, the seven come from such readily
available sources as House Executive Documents (2), the Journal of the
Senate (1), John Bassett Moore's Works of James Buchanan (2), the Pa-
cific Historical Review (1), and the California Historical Society Quar-
terly (1). The sparse number of documents and their ready availability
renders these volumes virtually useless to the specialist, and one would
expect an undergraduate term paper to be based upon more resource-
ful documentation than may be found in these "documentary source
books." It is a pity that this elegant and ambitious publication will be
of such limited value to its users.

New Mexico State University

225

GENE BRACK

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed September 20, 2014.