The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 536
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
established departments devoted to it. Meanwhile, however, gen-
uine doubts about the significance of theses and dissertations con-
tinue among "general readers." Indeed, this doubt often extends
to those who write dissertations and theses, many of which, as
one editor of these volumes suggests, lie unread in academic
If anybody, including the weary Ph.D. candidate in Texas
history, needs encouragement about the total effect of graduate-
school research programs, these volumes will encourage him. In
sum, the dissertations and theses listed here represent a notable
library on the past of this state. Led by the two distinguished
scholars to whom the volumes are dedicated, Eugene C. Barker
and Charles W. Ramsdell, half a century of serious students have
begun to build the record of Texas. For those who go on with the
endless job, these two volumes will provide real help.
The kind of aid provided by the check lists is multiple. In the
first place, the analysis of each study is remarkably full. A detailed
report of contents-including illustrations, maps, and tables-is
given for each title. Library call-numbers facilitate location of
the volumes. Most useful of all, a thorough index concludes each
check list. This double contribution of the Historical Association
will certainly advance the purpose of that group, the fortunes of
a new generation of Texas historians, and wider understanding
of the state among all readers of Texas history.
Content analyses and indexes reveal some interesting develop-
ments, and lack of developments, in the study of Texas history.
There is, of course, a steady attention to great events (especially
armed conflict), political activity, and public figures. In the eco-
nomic and social aspects of this history, ranching and ranch-life,
transportation, and community institutions and organization
dominate the field. It is too early, perhaps, to expect much his-
torical research on oil and other industries of Texas, or on the
more complex problems of communication, finance, and social
tension. The variety and scope of the research recorded in these
books are a firm denial of the oversimplified interpretation of
nineteenth-century Texas. Yet one is tempted to ask these regional
historians if it is mere academic policy that shuts off research at
the turn of the century or shortly afterward. Certainly no duty
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/568/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.