The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 341
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all quality should make it popular among urban historians and politi-
cal scientists generally.
All ten chapters adhere to a common theme: San Antonio's develop-
ment has been shaped significantly by the various interpretations its
leaders have had of community, progress, and power. The editors con-
tend that during each period of the city's growth "various groups, but
most especially local social and economic elites, have used political
power to implement their version of San Antonio's future" (p. vii).
The book concentrates on the third stage of development (1952-1975)
and on the period of flux that succeeded it.
Chapter One reviews politics during the 1836-1970 period, includ-
ing the political machine of Bryan Callaghan II, the 1914-1951 com-
mission system, elite efforts leading to adoption of the council-manager
plan, and the 1954 creation of the business-backed Good Government
League. Chapter Two traces the city's economic development from
1955 to 1980. Richard J. Harris completes Part One by comparing
Mexican-American and Anglo occupational patterns. Major differences
in their abilities to attain higher-status jobs cannot be explained sta-
tistically by such factors as education. "In the absence of other evi-
dence," Harris concludes, "discrimination and exploitation appear to
be most relevant for interpreting the occupational inequality ob-
served" (p. 71).
Part Two is entitled "Contemporary Political Forces." The chapter
by Robert Brischetto, Charles L. Cotrell, and R. Michael Stevens de-
scribes historical restrictions on voting in Texas and analyzes 1971-
1981 electoral trends in San Antonio. This research is solid and is a
must for courses in Texas or urban politics.
The third part focuses on policy issues, including the severe fi-
nancial disparities among San Antonio's school districts. The chapter
on the community organization Communities Organized for Public
Service (COPS) is perhaps the book's best. Not only does Joseph D.
Sekul describe the emergence and activities of this citizen activist or-
ganization, but he attempts to explain its success.
John A. Booth closes with a thoughtful essay on San Antonio's po-
litical future. Prediction is difficult, he notes, because there is now
"more democracy in San Antonio than during the half century pre-
ceding 1975" (p. 209).
Two things would improve the book: eliminating the overlap
among chapters, a problem that characterizes Part Two, and expand-
ing the treatment of three topics--decision making by the city council
under the district system, campaign spending, and the provision of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/389/: accessed June 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.