The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 333
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a need for such a book. Textbooks, of which a number of good
ones are available, do not appeal to the general reader; and those
which have been written for the general reader are too often so
sensational as to disgust the discriminating reader. Some may
object to the highly readable style in which The Texas Story is
written; but this reviewer has never held to the belief that his-
tory must be told in dull language in order to be scholarly.
The history of Texas is covered from 1519 to 1948 in twenty-
four chapters, to each of which is attached a list of selected read-
ings. The story of the Spanish explorations, the Spanish and
French rivalry, the Spanish mission system, Anglo-American col-
onization, the Texas Revolution, the Republic of Texas, Early
Statehood, Civil War and Reconstruction follow the familiar
pattern with nothing new added to what has already been told
many times. The difference is in the manner of the telling. In
the period following Reconstruction, that is from 1873 to 1948,
the author has done a commendable piece of work. Where most
historians have been content to slur over the recent history of
Texas, the author has dug in, found the facts, and organized
them. The last seven chapters of the book present a well-balanced
account of all of the principal phases of the Texas scene, eco-
nomic, social, political, educational, and literary. Controversial
matters are handled in a manner that is fair to both sides.
In this section of the book the chapter on "The Cattle King-
dom" is especially interesting. It may surprise some readers to
learn that the ranching industry was not started by the Anglo-
Americans but by the Spaniards several hundred years ago, and
that the cowboy's uniform and much of his lingo came from south
of the border. Some "cowboy historians" would have us believe
that the cowboys of West Texas were a romantic type of Herren-
volk to whom are to be ascribed all things that are unique in
Texas history. The Texas Story makes it clear that the cowboy
was just an ordinary human being who could be very unlovely,
especially when he ran into sheepmen and nesters.
The legacy of Reconstruction was a condition of near bank-
ruptcy. For more than thirty years after the Reconstruction era,
economy was the watchword. Public expenditures had to be cut,
but, even so, it is hard to characterize as anything but stupid the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/409/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.