The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Book Reviews

United States and Mexico in the mid-1960s. Each of these events, ac-
cording to Metz, influenced the development of El Paso, and therefore
each proved beneficial to the city.
These essays, which first appeared from 1983 to 1985 in El Paso
Magazine, are meant for the general reader rather than for the spe-
cialist. Nevertheless, they are based on both primary and secondary
sources, which are located primarily in El Paso. In addition, several
maps and photographs are included to illustrate the essays. I recom-
mend reading this book for a quick historical overview of this fascinat-
ing city.
General Land Office, Austin MICHAEL Q. HooKS
Austin: An Illustrated History. By David C. Humphrey. (Northridge,
Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1985- Pp. 376. Introduction, illustra-
tions, photographs, acknowledgments, index. $22.95.)
A book that can spark a community's interest in its own past is in-
deed a major challenge. Austin: An Illustrated History, by David C. Hum-
phrey, combines an appealing popular format fit for any coffee table
with a carefully written text that is enhanced by the thoughtful use of
illustrations.
Although several pictorial books about Austin have been published in
the last ten years, David Humphrey has undertaken the first truly com-
prehensive history of the Capital City. It is thorough, well organized,
and well written. Humphrey has masterfully integrated the biography,
economics, and politics that is needed for a good local history.
Many of the events that he relates come as no surprise to the native
resident, for certain episodes have been told hundreds of times in other
books, magazines, and newspaper columns. The Archives War, the
building of the Capitol, the coming of the University of Texas, and the
tornado of 1922 are familiar stories and Humphrey has included them.
He also writes, in an honest and forthright way, about the people and
organizations that have played a role in shaping Austin's history and
about the troubles in our city's past. He addresses the fact that eco-
nomic achievement has been the goal since the middle of the nine-
teenth century, and that progress just never measured up to what was
envisioned by the City Fathers until quite recently, when rapid growth
has presented the greatest problems that Austin has ever dealt with.
The book deals frankly with the questions of slavery and the Con-
federacy, with the impatience of minorities when the city was dealing

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed October 22, 2014.