The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 256
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Las Casas had every gift and advantage that a modern historian
covets-personal acquaintance with all the more important char-
acters involved from the Columbus family on down, unequaled
access to all manuscripts and published works that would interest
him, a passionate desire to write true history, long life and
enviable energy, education and a gift for writing, as well as the
freshest, most dramatic subject ever to entice a historian. Yet his
work comes out spotty, boring, badly organized, and tedious to
Why? Because everything is there. Las Casas seems to have been
more like a magpie jealously hoarding every scrap of information
in his phenomenal memory and recording it for posterity than a
historian judiciously selecting those facts and details to combine
in a well-organized brief history. There were such historians
among Las Casas' contemporaries-Francisco L6pez de G6mara
and Antonio Galvo, to name just two-but it is still to Las
Casas that historians, novelists, and biographers must turn for
the hundred and one details that make a period come alive-
details of that early morning of our history that without him
would have been lost forever.
One must agree with Dr. Hanke in his conclusion that "The
History of the Indies is, in truth, a passionate and indispensable
record of the first coming of the white man to America, an
adventure which will not be repeated unless some day men em-
bark upon an interplanetary exploration. But the time has not
yet arrived for a definite judgment on the true value of The
History of the Indies."
The format of this book is unusual and attractive, another
example of the interesting things being done by the University
of Florida Press.
IONE STUESSY WRIGHT
University of Miami
The Teaching of History in the United States. By William H.
Cartwright and Arthur C. Bining. Mexico, D. F. (Instituto
Panamericano de Geografia e Historia, Comisi6n de His-
toria), 1950. Pp. 191. Bibliography and Index. $2o.oo (Mo-
La Ensersanza de la Historia en Mexico. By Rafael Ramirez, Ida
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/306/?rotate=270: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.