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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

cretly recorded Johnson telephone conversations has been opened to
scholars. She would have learned why her subject demands careful
scrutiny of the Johnson Library's audiovisual archives, something Tur-
ner inexplicably ignores. The result is a book whose documentation will
of necessity be used by others to draw conclusions Turner has been un-
able to see.
Louisiana State University DAVID CULBERT
At Home on the Range: Essays on the History of Western Social and Domestic
Life. Edited by John R. Wunder. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood
Press, 1985. Pp. xiii+2 13. Acknowledgments, introduction, tables,
notes, bibliographical essay, index. $29.95-)
Working the Range: Essays on the History of Western Land Management and
the Environment. Edited by John R. Wunder, (Westport, Conn.:
Greenwood Press, 1985. Pp. xv+241. Acknowledgments, intro-
duction, tables, notes, bibliographical essay, index. $29.95.)
The establishment of farms and ranches on the Great Plains re-
quired both men and women to respond in innovative ways to a new
and sometimes hostile environment. Cultural adaptability, combined
with technological advancements, was ultimately responsible for the
agricultural settlement of the Plains, an area Major Stephen Long
thought suitable only for wild game or as a barrier to further westward
expansion.
The essays by various agricultural historians in At Home on the Range
are devoted to examples of how social and domestic institutions evolved
on the Great Plains, especially the Southern Plains of western Okla-
homa and Texas, because of cultural and technological adaptation.
Split equally among the farming and ranching frontiers of the area, the
studies focus primarily on the period from the mid-1870s to shortly
after World War I.
Among the nine essays included, several are worthy of special note.
Two explore how women coped with wind, loneliness, and shortages of
fuel, among other conditions, to build homes for their families on the
Staked Plains, homes that eventually reflected mainstream rural Amer-
ica. Three others demonstrate how generally individualistic farmers
and ranchers have at times been forced to develop organizations with
collective economic and political goals to insure their own survival.
These studies range from the Panhandle Stock Association of the 188os
and the early years of the Texas Farm Bureau to the organized efforts
of farmers and their Congressmen during World War II to prevent the
draft of farm labor. And finally, one surveys the rhetorical arguments
employed by proponents of draft horses vs. tractors as the major source

324

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 September 19, 2014.