The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 495

Book Revzews


Most historians will close Ozl and Honor sated but not quite satisfied.
Fact piled upon fact does not necessarily add up to a convincing analy-
sis of the significance of this important conflict. As is almost inevitably
the case with a book about current events, Oil and Honor does not quite
succeed in placing its subject in historical perspective. One finishes the
book with a desire to know more about the implications of the Texaco-
Pennzoil controversy for the evolution of the oil industry and, indeed,
for the economic well-being of the nation and the Houston area. Per-
haps after the passage of time, historians will be in a position to exam-
ine this controversy with a clearer sense of its long-term importance.
When that time comes, they will do well to begin their research by read-
ing Petzinger's book, which is as balanced and readable an account of
an emotion-charged current event as one can reasonably expect to find.
Friendswood JOE PRATT
Texas Fahrten (Travels in Texas). By Hermann Seele. Translation, intro-
duction, and notes by Theodore Gish. (Austin: Nortex Press, 1985.
Pp. xxii+ i 12. Acknowledgments, introduction, foreword, illustra-
tions, notes. $12.)
This slender volume contains the lyrics, written around 1889 by
Hermann Seele, and the musical score by C.Wilke (?) of a "musical
drama" that is believed to be unique in Texas. The work lay hidden in
the archives of the New Braunfels (Texas) Sophienburg Museum until
discovered by Theodore Gish in 1980. On March 22, 1986, a live per-
formance was given at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
Today, Hermann Seele's fame rests primarily on his outstanding con-
tribution to Texas education. New Braunfels remembers him as its first
schoolteacher, public servant, Civil War mayor, and the individual who
in 1879 won the Veramendi court battle and secured for its citizens
their property rights. His contemporaries, however, will have valued
most his great charm and active part in the Germania Singing Society
and other social and public activities of the German-Texan community.
Seele knew English, and from the time of his arrival in Galveston in
1843, he was able to talk with English-speaking Texans. He soon be-
came an intermediary between them and his fellow immigrants from
Germany. Every facet of life in Texas seems to have aroused his enthu-
siasm, and in his writing he strove to interpret and convey this to those
of the German community who did not yet know English. This is espe-
cially evident in Texas Fahrten (Travels in Texas).
The plot, consisting of the adventures of three German immigrants
and their sponsor, begins with the foursome's arrival in Galveston.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.