The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 174
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
superior talents as the appropriately-named Jean Louis Vignes,
William Wolfskill, Charles Kohler, and Colonel Haraszthy pro-
duces a tale of surges and recessions throughout California's
nineteenth century wine history.
Beyond California, the American consumer, already predis-
posed to European wines over domestic, would drink a good
California wine and then an inferior brand, unthinkingly lump
both beverages together as simply "California wine," and at the
best decide that West Coast flavors were too erratic for his palate
and his cellar. The tortuous job of persuading ultramontane
Americans to distinguish between California brands, of discour-
aging the activities of careless wineries, of overcoming the snob
appeal of anything European over anything home-produced, of
establishing and maintaining production standards, and of found-
ing finally a state board of viticultural commissioners is traced
in detail by the author. Nor, it should be added, does Carosso
ever become so engrossed in the industry's ebb and flow that he
neglects to fit into the wine picture the effects of such diverse,
and yet vital, elements as the growth of the co-operative move-
ment, fluctuations in business conditions, the tariff, and the
almost devastating inroads of the dread, aphidlike phylloxera,
which can strike the same terror into the soul of a West Coast
vineyardist that the boll weevil brings to the Californian's cot-
ton-chopping Southern counterpart.
Although "definitive" is a word to shy away from in reviews,
all in all, Carosso has written a history of the California wine
industry that to 1895, at least, does not need any further book-
length probing. His seventeen-page bibliography, besides being
a rich vein for agricultural historians to work, indicates the thor-
oughness of his research and the sound bases for his conclusions.
In addition, he has added measurably to the continually unfold-
ing picture of the development of American industry and has
advanced the day when a proper history of United States business
enterprise can be written. It is such contributions as his, well
done, at both the company-wide and industry-wide levels, that
will one day help us to assess objectively the r6le of our business
culture, an assessment that can be straightforward, stripped of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/194/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.