The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 348
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the elan and style of Joe B. Frantz's Texas: A Bicentennial History,
it is still very readable and of good general interest.
Donald W. Whisenhunt and the twenty historians who joined him
in producing the sesquicentennial history of Texas have traced the
state's history chronologically, with additional chapters on the develop-
ment of the economy and cultural traits. Part I, "The Texas Experi-
ence: Prehistory to Space Travel," consists of eight chapters averaging
seventeen pages each. Each chapter contains a summary and an ex-
planation of the meaning of the period it covers. Margaret Swett Hen-
son does a fine job of making the Hispanic period, 1519 to 1836, clear
and interesting, organizing it into a meaningful flow of events that
helps the reader understand the changes in government up to the
Texas Revolution. Paul H. Carlson's chapter on the Texas frontier
repeats material from earlier chapters but it is particularly strong in
describing the development of the cattle and sheep industry and the
hardships of early farmers. Whisenhunt includes a great deal of the
political story from the Great Depression to 1980 in his chapter, "Con-
temporary Texas." In the short space allotted, he provides a very
interesting story for those of us who participated in the politics of this
Part II, "The Texas Economy and People and Culture," consists of
twelve chapters averaging a little over fourteen pages each. This sec-
tion includes brief histories of agriculture, railroads, highway develop-
ment, oil, apparel manufacturing, conservation and environmental
efforts, women, blacks, Tejanos, violence, religion, and education.
Several will be read only by those persons who have particular inter-
ests in the topics. Others are so filled with dates and statistics that they
will be of little general interest, and some are rather dull. Dorothy D.
DeMoss's story of the development of the apparel industry impressed
this reviewer as most interesting. John W. Storey's treatment of the
growth of religion is quite enjoyable, although he appears to include
too much on the Baptists. James M. Smallwood's chapter on education
is solid, and John D. Huddleston does a fine job of involving the
reader in the politics and struggles in building the state's highways.
The sesquicentennial book does include a section of suggested
readings, books selected for the general reader by each author. Read-
ers would have benefited if more maps had been included in this work,
especially in the chapters on railroads and highways. The overlapping
of chapters could be expected in a work of this kind; I think this aspect
enhances, rather than detracts from, the understanding of history.
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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/m1/396/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.