The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 122
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tion. Drawing largely from personal interviews and correspondence,
media stories, agency investigations, meetings, and reports, as well as
legal materials, authors of both books impressively document similar
patterns of institutional turmoil. Official corruption, brutalities, decep-
tions, resistance to reforms, promotion of inmate violence, and over-
crowded living quarters pervaded prison life in both states.
While neither book purports to offer an inclusive historical analysis,
Martin and Ekland-Olson, in a single chapter, rely upon only a few
sources to render a somewhat sketchy survey of the life of the Texas
system. The authors, however, adequately establish the existence of a
troubled past for their state prisons, though Martin and Ekland-Olson
particularly neglect to link Texas to the larger American prison experi-
ence. Historians, most notably David Rothman, have observed re-
peated limitations and co-optations of prison reform in the United
States, which make Texas and New Mexico less exceptional than these
authors may believe.
Martin and Ekland-Olson nevertheless capably place Texas prison
litigation in the context of national prisoners' rights cases of the past
twenty years. They conclude that Federal Judge Wayne Justice, in the
Ruzz case filed in 1972 and decided in 1980, correctly followed deci-
sions promulgated by the United States Supreme Court when he deter-
mined that certain Texas practices violated the national constitution.
Unlike a New Mexico judge who heard a suit prior to the Santa Fe car-
nage, Justice displayed unusual interest in resolving the Texas case,
ordering the United States Department of Justice to assist the plaintiffs.
In a new epilogue, Morris conveys doubts that New Mexico had adopted
sufficient measures to alleviate conditions that led to the 1980 tragedy.
These books, within their narrow scopes, present useful chapters in
American prison history. They should most effectively function as con-
stituent matter for more elaborate studies that explore complexities as-
sociated with public attitudes toward criminals and penal institutions.
University of Texas at Austin PAUL. M. LUCKO
Travels to Hallowed Ground: A Historian's journey to the Amercan Civil War.
By Emory M. Thomas. (Columbia: University of South Carolina
Press, 1987. Pp. ix+155. Acknowledgments, maps, photographs,
illustrations, index. $19.95, cloth; $9.95, paper.)
This delightful collection of stories and reminiscences about Emory
Thomas's many treks to Civil War battle sites and memorial grounds is,
just as the author said he hoped it would be, "thought-provoking and
entertaining" (p. 11). It is a wonderful little book that would make a
fine gift for any Civil War enthusiast and will provide several hours'
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page .
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/148/ocr/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.