The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972 Page: 252
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
who attracted strong loyalties to himself and his ideal of scholarly ex-
cellence and academic honesty. He was to those who knew and revered
him "the Chief." Again, he was to generations of students what the
University of Texas was trying to be, what he was trying to make it,
and what they, in thoughtful and grateful moments, wanted their
alma mater to stand for: integrity, superiority, national prestige in
the academic arena.
Eugene Barker's life, from that September day in 1895 when as a
lad of twenty (born on November io, 1874) he came to Austin from
Riverside, Texas, was identified with the University of Texas-sixty-
one of his eighty-one plus years (he died on October 22, 1956). Les-
ter G. Bugbee inspired his interest in history; George P. Garrison
helped to nurture this bent; Herbert E. Bolton, a young colleague,
encouraged him. The death of Bugbee first and then of Garrison left
open to him the field in which he distinguished himself, the story of
Texas, its role in the Southwest, and more importantly in the life of
the nation. His Life of Stephen F. Austin (1925) remains one of the
classics in American biography. He often used his Texas as a field in
which to test Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier insights. In later
years he and his graduate students found Beard's economic interpreta-
tion of the Constitution less than universally valid.
Pool evaluates Barker's historical contributions in these three areas;
he also runs back through Barker's major book reviews for other in-
sights. He has combed the abundant Barker Papers carefully. Without
question there are gaps in the documentation, for example he might
have filled one or another from the equally rich Bolton Papers at
the Bancroft Library; but one who holds off until the last piece of
evidence is in rarely lives long enough to write his book. The profes-
sion and Texans should be grateful that Pool wrote with ample mater-
ials and did not try to be all-inclusive and completely exhaustive.
Texans, and others, will welcome the frank discussion of two of the
University's worst periods of tribulation, the Ferguson fracas and the
upsetting Rainey controversy, in both of which Barker was deeply
involved. And there are fine insights into the personalities and ac-
complishments of Barker's associates in the so-called "Old Depart-
ment"-Bugbee, Garrison, Bolton, Frederic A. Duncalf, Charles W.
Ramsdell, Milton R. Gutsch, T. W. Riker, Charles W. Hackett, R. L.
Biesele, Walter P. Webb. Pool has produced a worthwhile study and
put his subject into deserved perspective, local and national.
Saint Louis University
JOHN FRANCIS BANNON
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972, periodical, 1972; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/m1/264/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.