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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986

Book Reviews

Borne surveys the dude ranching industry from its infancy in the
188os to the present. He also discusses the various types of ranches and
assesses dude ranching's current situation and future. An appendix lists
356 dude ranches that were in operation in 1934.
Texas Tech University DAVID J. MURRAH
Chinese in the Post-Civil War South: A People without a History. By Lucy M.
Cohen. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.
Pp. xviii+ 2 11. Preface, acknowledgments, map, illustrations, ap-
pendices, note on sources, bibliography, index. $25.)
After the Civil War, southern growers and entrepreneurs faced an
unprecedented crisis-a population of emancipated blacks who had
become, in the words of a Louisiana planter, "so saucy and unreliable,
that they are intolerable" (p. 1 19). One much publicized remedy was to
import Chinese workers, who, it was advertised, would be more tractable
and whose arrival might bring the blacks back into line.
Accordingly, the first group of Chinese were brought to Louisiana
from Cuba in 1867. Others followed in 1870 and afterward, either
hired and shipped directly from China or, more commonly, obtained
indirectly through San Francisco. Almost always the Chinese came as
contract laborers, typically for three-year terms, and they came as
members of large labor gangs. Most were employed by railroad com-
panies and by cotton and sugar growers.
None of these experiments in labor substitution worked, however.
Within a year most of the imported Chinese, in disregard of their con-
tracts and against the wishes of their employers, had walked off their
jobs. A few became cotton sharecroppers or resettled in urban centers
like New Orleans. The rest left the South for good. And so, almost as
suddenly as they had come, the Chinese "disappeared from history"
(p. xii).
This study by Lucy M. Cohen, an anthropologist who is herself the
granddaughter of a Chinese immigrant to El Salvador, is a fascinating
but flawed work. The title seems to promise a survey of the Chinese
throughout the South during Reconstruction. Instead, the book focuses
rather narrowly on Louisiana, and then only down to 1871, well short
of the end of Reconstruction. Moreover, the organization is at times
disjointed; the analysis, inadequate. There is, for example, no discus-
sion of why the courts did not support the planters when they brought
suit against the Chinese for leaving before their contracted term of ser-
vice was up.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/. Accessed September 30, 2014.