The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 154

Southwestern Historcal Quarterly

The large number of images reproduced in the book, mostly photo-
graphs of the Capitol, might comprise the volume's most important
contribution. On the other hand, printing the illustrations alongside
the text on uncoated paper resulted in muddy reproductions of all the
photographs, particularly of those in color. In addition, like the text,
many of the captions contain errors of fact or interpretation that fur-
ther detract from the book, and at least two photographs in the volume
appear backwards (facing p. 151). Finally, the authors failed to credit
most of the photographs individually to sources that preserved the
original images, including several major archives that require such
Errors litter the book, but several particularly stand out. One of these
occurs in the caption for a photograph made in February 1888 showing
the Goddess of Liberty in front of the Capitol, with a large crowd of
people gathered on either side of the statue (p. 81). The book mis-
takenly identifies "City Marshall Ben Thompson to the immediate right
of the statue," but Thompson died nearly four years earlier in a well-
known gunfight in San Antonio. The misidentified figure actually
shows Albert Friedley, one of the two men who reputedly supervised
the casting of the statue.
Another error occurs in the caption for a recent photograph of the
rotunda (on the fourth page of the second color section), which says "a
tragic accident occurred on February 20, 1922, when Edwin Wheeler
.... fell to his death." The accident took place on December 13, 1922,
an easily verifiable date. The volume also refers to the State Preserva-
tion Board created in 1983 to restore the Capitol, as the "Capitol Pre-
servation Board" (p. 127).
Professional historians have the tremendous responsibility of pre-
senting reliable, well-researched accounts, even though the general
public rarely read their efforts. The authors of history written for
popular consumption need to recognize their even greater obligation
to find and relate the truth, because their productions touch far more
people and exert a much greater influence than history written pri-
marily for other historians.
Gerald L. K. Smzth: Minzster oJ Hate. By Glen Jeansonne. (New Haven,
Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988. Pp. xii+283. Acknowledg-
ments, prologue, illustrations, tables, epilogue, notes, essay on
sources, index. $25.)
Gerald L. K. Smith (1898-1976) has been described in numerous
unflattering terms: "notorious bigot," "vicious anti-Semite," "one of the


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. ( accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.