The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972 Page: 526

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Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ter, in which Smith relates everything and everyone concerning his
boyhood experiences, there is much of interest further on.
Fortunately this is one book that does not end like it began. The
last half of the work deals with the author's experiences in Canada
and in Europe. Only a handful of the firsthand accounts describing
the Peace River country of British Columbia and Alberta prior to
World War I have been put in print. The author's detailed recol-
lections of homesteading in the north and surviving bullets, bore-
dom, poison gas, and bayonets on the battlefields of Europe are
touched with the drama, excitement, and frustrations of an earlier
age and provide the book with some claim to uniqueness.
Jarvis Christian College BUD WELLMON
Maverick Tales: True Stories of Early Texas. By J. D. Rittenhouse.
(New York: Winchester Press, 1971. Pp. 223. Bibliography, in-
dex. $8.95.)
Writing an organized detailed history of Texas, with all its human-
interest sidelights, would be like trying to unscramble eggs. Fortu-
nately, in Maverick Tales, Rittenhouse has not tried to do this. His
purpose seems to be more to entertain than to instruct but he
succeeds in doing both.
His twelve chapters are about twelve different parts (more than
mere incidents or episodes) of Texas history from the beginning to
about 1900oo. These do not include the major events such as the
Alamo and San Jacinto, but instead concentrate upon less well-
known items such as the Gutibrrez-Magee Expedition and the El
Paso Salt War. Each "story" averages about nineteen pages which
are packed with detailed analysis of human character, cause and ef-
fect, motivation, and historic event. The reader knows the where,
when, who, how, and why of an event with a minimum of reading.
And he gets the feeling that the total Texas heritage is the aggregate
summation of so many diverse cross currents and fascinating minu-
tiae that no one could ever encompass it all at one telling.
These twelve chapters hang together by a thin thread of chrono-
logical continuity and interrelationship. If the book had to pass
as an acceptable thesis or dissertation, most university professors
would probably insist upon changes in style, organization, and out-


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972, periodical, 1972; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 25, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.