NORMAN D. BROWN, Editor
Basic Texas Books: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works for a Research
Library. By John H. Jenkins. (Austin: Jenkins Publishing Company,
1983. Pp. xi+648. Preface, illustrations, appendices, index. $65.)
Back in 1965 I wrote that with Cracker Barrel Chronicles John H.
Jenkins had joined the ranks of Texas bibliographers C. W. Raines,
E. W. Winkler, Thomas W. Streeter, and H. Bailey Carroll. Jenkins's
Basic Texas Books will keep his position secure.
The new bibliography represents fourteen years of work and covers
a publishing span of 440 years, from Cabeza de Vaca's Relaci6n of 1542
to David Weber's Mexican Frontier, 182 1-1846 of 1982. Of the more
than one hundred thousand books published on Texas, Jenkins has se-
lected 224 he feels are "fundamental ... works every Texas library
should include." Not included among the works reviewed are fiction;
works that relate to Texas after 1940; works whose scope is larger than
Texas; religious, county, local, and school histories; fine press books;
and periodicals. Thus, such classics as John Graves's Goodbye to a River
and Walter Prescott Webb's The Great Plains fall outside the limits of
Basic Texas Books.
Jenkins provides a substantial critical essay on each entry, along with
full bibliographical details on every printing and issue, a detailed de-
scription of the contents of the book, background information on how
and why the book was written, interesting anecdotes about the author
and printer, and incisive quotations about the book from other schol-
ars. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each title and points
out inaccuracies if they exist, lists related books of significance, and
provides citations to other bibliographies. In the course of his reviews,
Jenkins also examines about a thousand significant books of value "to a
basic Texas research library." An appendix lists 219 bibliographies on
Texas. In addition, the book contains 66 full-page illustrations of Texas
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 April 18, 2015.