The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 83
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point us. Bannon depicts Bolton as a man of extraordinary vigor and
enthusiasm, whose regular working day into his seventies kept him at
his office from 8 o'clock in the morning to midnight, with a one hour
break for lunch at the faculty club and two hours with his family in the
early evening. Bolton's capacity for hard work does not seem to have
diminished with age. Indeed, most of his scholarly output and training
of graduate students occurred between 1911, when he arrived at Berke-
ley at age 41, and his first retirement in 1940 at age 7o. He finished his
volume on Escalante in his eightieth year.
Bolton had other habits which younger scholars may or may not want
to emulate. He avoided reviewing books on the grounds that he was too
busy writing books. He professed to disdain scholarly conferences as a
waste of time. Work absorbed him to such an extent that others had to
attend to the mundane details of daily life. "Dad's domesticity was
limited to dressing himself," his son Herbert, Jr., recalled (p. 94). His
wife Gertrude not only paid her husband's bill at the faculty club each
month, but also according to tradition, sent along with the payment a
pile of napkins that Bolton had absent-mindedly walked off with.
Boltonians several generations removed (as is the case with this re-
viewer) will appreciate Bannon's detailed accounts of the making of
some of Bolton's books, of his growth as a stylist, and of his quarrels
with publishers (which show Bolton in an unfavorable light). Readers
of this journal may be especially interested in Bolton's Texas connec-
tions. He began his career at Austin in 1901, teaching medieval history,
and concluded that "Texans were interested primarily in two areas of
history, that of Texas and that of the Holy Land, all else was more or
less inconsequential" (p. 32). Bannon provides a behind-the-scenes ac-
count of how the University of Texas lost Bolton to Stanford in 1909
and why the Austin campus failed to lure him back either as depart-
ment chairman in 191o or as president in 1925.
Bannon's long-awaited biography of Bolton rounds out a decade in
which book-length studies appeared on each member of the acknowl-
edged "trinity" of masters of Western History: in 1973 Ray Billington
gave us a biography of Frederick Jackson Turner; Necah Stewart Furh-
man followed with Walter Prescott Webb in 1976; and now Bannon has
done Bolton. These biographies do more than take the measure of each
man; they also provide a measure for later historians to judge themselves
Southern Methodist University
DAVID J. WEBER
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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/m1/103/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.