The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 419
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Book Reviews and Notices
of the west presents a theme of epic character and one not likely
ever to be repeated in the history of mankind. . To the stu-
dent of to-day it means the acquisition of Texas, New Mexico, and
California, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and
Alaska, with parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. To the
next generation it may mean far more; for we are a nation in pro.
cess of becoming, and what we shall be no man can predict."
An examination of the contents of the Winning of the Far West
shows that by "national action and international relations" Pro-
fessor McElroy means the Mexican War and the diplomatic activi-
ties of the national government. "To the student of to-day," he
says, and here the author evidently regards his own as the view-
point of the present generation, this is the story, but the viewpoint
,here expressed is not the viewpoint of Roosevelt, nor would it be
subscribed to by any of the scholars, who, for a generation, have
been building up, little by little, the history of the west. The in-
fluence of the trapper and the pioneer, their struggles with the
Indian and the policy of the national government toward the red
man, the reaching out of the settlers for new lands, their great
migrations, the development of ranches, mines, and cities, the evo-
lution of the national land system, the building of the trans-
continental railroads, the development of local, territorial and state
institutions, these are a few of the vital factors which have wholly
escaped treatment by Professor McElroy or have received but scant
notice. The author's conception also makes it unnecessary for him
to examine the twenty-year period from 1809, where Roosevelt
dropped the story, to 1829 where The Winning of the Far West
begins, the period incidentally of the great migration into Missouri,
Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, without which the winning of
the far west might never have been achieved.
Within his field of diplomacy and war, the author has not done
an entirely bad piece of work. The discussion of the Oregon ques-
tion is reasonably well done and the account of the military opera-
tions in the Mexican War, although at times rather' highly colored,
is an entertaining presentation, in nowise to be compared in treat-
ment, however, with the work of Rives. In regard to the dealings
of the ITnited States and Mexico, the history of Texas and the
English policy toward it and California, the author appears to
have made no use of most of the literature of his subject. The
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/425/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.