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

Book Reviews

aspects of the Hispanic horse culture. To depict their costumes and
gear authentically, Cisneros has drawn from a multitude of little-known
historical sources and contemporary portraits, representing a lifetime
of dedicated research.
Following the format set in his 1971 preview, Riders of the Border, each
illustration is accompanied by a brief description, through which we
catch a glimpse of the artist's wealth of knowledge concerning his sub-
ject. In addition, some of the one hundred ink drawings are enhanced
by tasteful pastel washes, giving them the feel of works by Claudio
Linati, Carl Nebel, Lino Sainchez y Tapia, and other artists of the nine-
teenth-century Mexican costumbrista school to which Cisneros is heir.
But he is also heir to the artistic tradition of Howard Pyle, Norman
Rockwell, Jo Mora, and Tom Lea, to name a few. Like his cross-cultural
horsemen, Cisneros's style reflects the best of both legacies and we all
are richer for it.
Hard pressed to find some fault with this book, this reviewer can
only ask for more from its creator. Personally, I thought that the vari-
ous Indian cultures that inhabited-and dominated-the Spanish
Borderlands deserved more space. It would have been nice to see
Philip Nolan or Zebulon M. Pike come galloping across the untamed
plains. Likewise, a Cajun stockman from eighteenth-century Louisiana
would have been a welcome addition, as it is difficult to imagine how
these neglected products of the French-Spanish cattle-raising amal-
gamation looked. Although Cisneros identifies many of his sources, a
bibliography-or better, a guide to the works used for his composi-
tions-would have helped document their historical accuracy. This
need is particularly critical in areas where the evidence is "soft," such as
with the evolution of the stock saddle and its distinctive horn, the sub-
ject of unending debate. Riders across the Centuries, in the final analysis,
is a book of pictures, but to me a picture is still worth a thousand
words-especially coming from an artist as gifted and meticulous as
Jose Cisneros.
Unlikely Warriors: General Benjamin H. Grierson and His Family. By
William H. Leckie and Shirley A. Leckie. (Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1984. Pp. xv+368. Preface, photographs, maps,
notes, bibliography, index. $19.95.)
In their introduction to Unlikely Warriors, the Leckies say that Ben-
jamin H. Grierson, outstanding cavalry leader of the Civil War and vet-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 26, 2016.

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