The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 606
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The book is jammed full of reliable historical data. Footnote
documentation is extensive, and the bibliography is excellent. It
may fairly be said that this is one of the most thoroughly re-
searched works ever published on Texas history. Some of "the
different topics ... set forth" would doubtless have been lost to
our heritage forever had the indefatigable efforts of Richard-
son not saved them from oblivion. And many of these incidents
are worth the telling and worth the reading. Taken separately and
individually, that is, out of context, they make interesting, and
occasionally absorbing, vignettes of the past. Here Richard-
son's skill as a writer is often apparent, sometimes in artful
sentences, sometimes for a paragraph or more, and sometimes
throughout an entire chapter-as in the really splendid one en-
titled "A Goodly Land-with Moods."
Interpretive analyses are not missing from the book entirely,
although there is no broad synthesis such as a historian of
Richardson's depth might have made. Perhaps his philosophy
toward the past can be illustrated best by his own words of kindly
judgment on the rough and tumble frontier settlers (p. 72):
"How good and how bad were these people? The reply must be
not white nor black, but grey."
His handling of the moral and ethical problem of the relations
between the white men and the Indians is intriguing. He does
not dodge the issue, as many lesser men have done; but he so
deftly changes his position, siding first with the whites, then with
the Indians, that one realizes that this issue, too, is "not white
nor black, but grey."
Another merit of the book is the apt inclusion of that element
so much a part of the Texas heritage-raw humor. In phrases
here, perspectives there, and anecdotes elsewhere, Richardson
contrasts the pathos and tragedy of the frontier with its fun and
liveliness. These touches not only add interest, they reveal an
important truth-that the pioneers of this land he loves were
basically a happy breed who enjoyed the life they chose for
Finally, no appraisal of this book could be complete without
a mention of the superior typography and format so typical of
all Arthur Clark publications. The illustrations are as hand-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/684/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.