The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 82
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
journal the same solid scholarship that readers have come to expect of
Houston Baptist University MARILYN MCADAMS SIBLEY
Herbert Eugene Bolton, the Historian and the M1an: 1870-1953. By
,John Francis Bannon. (Albuquerque: University of Arizona Press,
1978. Pp. xix+ 296. Foreword, preface, illustrations, chronology,
bibliography, appendices, index. $15.)
Recognized in his lifetime as a giant in his field, Herbert Eugene
Bolton dramatically altered Americans' perceptions of their nation's
past. He raised our historical vision beyond the Eastern seaboard to
include the achievements of Hispanic pioneers in the region that he
termed the Spanish Borderlands, from the Pacific slope to the Gulf coast.
Bolton reinterpreted American history through extraordinary schol-
arship. He located previously unknown documents in Mexican archives
and made their whereabouts known to other scholars through his Guide
to . . . Principal Archives of Mexico (1913). He edited and translated
some of those documents for publication-as in his Texas in the Middle
Eighteenth Century (1915), which remains in print yet today. He wrote
superb biography based on archival sources, such as his volumes on
Kino and Coronado. He synthesized themes, as in his famous essay on
"The Mission as a Frontier Institution . . ." (1917), and in his overview
of the field, The Spanish Borderlands (1921). Bolton's contemporaries
lauded his work for high quality. In retrospect it is clear that he pro-
duced a remarkable quantity of work as well: over twenty books and
over two hundred articles (depending on how one counts).
Bolton also publicized the story of Spain in North America through
extraordinary teaching. Undergraduates by the hundreds flocked to his
oversized classes at Berkeley and graduate students multiplied under his
supportive and enthusiastic guidance. Between 1914 and 1944 Bolton
trained 104 Ph.D.s and over 3oo M.A.s. Many went on to do research
and teach in the field. During those same years at Berkeley, Bolton di-
rected the Bancroft Library, headed the history department, and suc-
cessfully begged funds from the private sector to aid his graduate stu-
dents and to underwrite his own publications.
Since Bolton's achievements are well known, his biographer had a
special obligation to go beyond telling what Bolton did to explaining
the how and why. In this, .John Francis Bannon, one of Bolton's last
Ph.D.s (1939), and one of his most illustrious students, does not disap-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980, periodical, 1979/1980; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/m1/102/ocr/: accessed February 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.