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

Book Reviews

fense of the Mexican cause, a salvo in the propaganda war, which the
Mexican elites had lost as badly as the war on the battlefield.
Filisola was a capable career soldier who in turn faithfully served the
Spanish Crown, Agustin de Iturbide, the liberal republican regime of
the 182os, and Antonio L6pez de Santa Anna without question (and
probably without understanding), surviving them all while rising to
high rank and responsibility. He was not a prime actor but a splendid
subordinate, an honorable man among pretorians, an honest officer
among military bandits. His ideas, owed more to intellectuals like Man-
uel de Mier y Terin and Jose Maria Tornel than original thought,
reflect the views of the Mexican elite, both liberal and conservative,
toward the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Essentially, this viewpoint held that
the barbarians of the North, from the inception of their republic, had
determined to despoil the Hispanic world of its possessions on the con-
tinent, and that in the face of their Viking-like rapacity and energy, al-
ways concealed by treacherous hypocrisy, no law of God or man could
prevail.
This translation, which does a decent job with the characteristically
polemical, prolix, repetitious prose, is valuable primarily for putting the
Mexican perspective before the English-speaking reader-because ba-
sically this remains the perspective of Mexican historians, including
some Hispanics in the United States.
It is also, unhappily, an enduring record of profound cultural clash,
revealed most tellingly in Filisola's commentary on various letters of
Stephen F. Austin to Mexican officialdom. Austin made many, in Ameri-
can eyes, reasonable advices and requests, ranging from deploring the
duty-free import of whiskey to stating that Texas could not be ruled by
the military and urging religious toleration. To Filisola the "rude and
presumptuous" Austin was arrogant, hypocritical, and treasonous, im-
pugning the honor of the nation, and "the reflections he permits him-
self concerning the army, its strength, the revolution of General Santa
Anna, religious tolerance, etc., etc., are not worth worrying about"
(pp. 96, oi1).
San Antonio T. R. FEHRENBACH
Magnificent Voyagers: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. Edited
by HermanJ. Viola and Carolyn Margolis. (Washington, D.C.:
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985. Pp. 303. Foreword, illustra-
tions, appendices, references, acknowledgments, index. $35.00,
cloth; $17.50, paper.)
This handsomely illustrated volume deals with the spectacular U.S.
Exploring Expedition, led by Lt. Charles Wilkes, that boosted the

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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 July 29, 2014.