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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

(management of finances, purchase of car, responsibility for house repairs,
purchase of furniture, choice of friends, and disciplining of children) are not
linked to the life-cycle rituals and may not be the most significant ones for ana-
lyzing change in urban famihes in the 199os. Thus, while the book presents
insightful idealized types of emerging personal and social identity among the
women interviewed, it does not deal with the complex implications of these
changes for other family members or for family relationships.
The dilemmas of how to incorporate historical processes into the study of
family life using a symbolic interactionism approach and how to deal with eth-
nicity, which the author grapples with, are salient issues for those interested in
minority families. No less important are the "broader structural arrangements"
(p. 142) that affect family life. Some would argue that these issues play a more
dominant role in tradition and change than the religious life-cycle rituals.
The book is a product of extensive fieldwork with Mexican American fami-
lies. In my opinion, the methodological note in the appendix deserves a full
chapter at the beginning of the study. Effective techniques for participant ob-
servation in a family context and the incorporation of participant observation
data with interview data are much needed in the field of family studies. More-
over, information at the beginning of the book about the families (a definition
of professional and working class families, information about the jobs the men
and women hold, the impact of work on family life, and so on) would enable
the reader to relate the generalized role-making patterns and decision-making
processes to real families.
Southwest Texas State University HARRIET'r ROMO
Race and Hzstory: Selected Essays, 1938-1988. By John Hope Franklin. (Baton
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990. Pp. 450. Preface, notes,
bibliography, index. $29.95.)
Covering fifty years of scholarship in Afro-American, American, and south-
ern histories, John Hope Franklin's essays are not only impressive but clearly
illustrate the ways in which his works have been pathbreaking. The articles on
free blacks (and his book, The Free Negro zn North Carolina) appeared decades
before the studies of Leon Litwack, Ira Berlin, and a host of other scholars on
the fragile existence of "quasi-free" people. Franklin's insights into the "mili-
tant South" would be fully developed in his own book and in the works of
Bertram Wyatt-Brown and others. His arguments regarding Reconstruction,
and especially of the historical inaccuracies in the "standard view" that he first
put forcefully in his 1948 essay, have been relied on by other scholars for de-
cades when investigating this crucial period in American history. One of Frank-
lin's most influential essays is "The Moral Legacy of the Founding Fathers,"
which was written on the eve of the bicentennial celebration of the Fourth of
July, a time when Americans were re-creating myths about the men of 1776.
Franklin, in contrast to the nation's leaders and many scholars as well, calmly
and clearly pointed out the shortcomings of Washington, Jefferson, and "their
revolution." The founding fathers not only failed to extend the freedoms they
so highly valued to all Americans, Franklin explained, but they elaborated an


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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