The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 305
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
pearance of cheapness, the binding is attractive and practical,
and the typography is excellent. The University of Texas Press
has done a good job. The content of the book, however, admits
to no such succinct and positive an evaluation.
In its individual parts the book does not make any new con-
tributions to history-if history be taken as the record of the
past. No previously unknown documents are brought forward
for consideration; no startlingly new interpretations of historical
evidence are suggested. Certainly, each section of the volume
furnishes the reader the opportunity to observe that two or
more competent scholars may examine the same historical evi-
dence and from it arrive at absolutely opposed conclusions; but
the editorial technique of confronting authority with authority,
while it is highly desirable, is not new, being contemporary
with, if it does not antedate, literacy in man. It cannot be
used to argue uniqueness.
The failure of a book to present new material or new ideas
or to propose a virgin thesis, however, need not condemn it.
In the opinion of the reviewer the editors of The New World
Looks at its History have produced a significant work which
merits considerable praise. In section four of the book, one de-
voted to "The Great Frontier Concept," there is a paper en-
titled "The Moving Metropolis," by Sir Keith Hancock of the
Australian National University. In the first paragraph of his
paper he refers to Walter Prescott Webb's The Great Frontier:
An Interpretation of World History since Columbus in these
words: "I love the splendour of this title. Splendour, span, au-
dacity-these qualities are out of favor nowadays amongst the
scribes and pharisees of our profession." He goes on to say in
effect that fear of criticism often leads historians to turn to
specialized studies whose narrow scope permit of easy defense.
He then says that he is not interested in possible small scale
attacks on Webb's book but will consider "The 'sweeping sig-
nificance' of The Great Frontier."
With slightly less fervor one might apply Hancock's statements
to The New World Looks at its History. The sweeping effect
of the book should be examined and not much time spent in
belaboring component statements of opinion and points of edi-
torial choice. It will be of great value both to teaching and to
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/347/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.