The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 131

Book Reviews

beth Johns has an essay on "Settlement and Development"; Nancy K. Anderson
writes winsomely about "The Kiss of Enterprise" or "Western Landscape as
Symbol and Resource"; and then there is Nemerov doing in "The Old Amer-
ica," which, in penetrating his code, means any Anglo or a generation older
than his. A much older Howard R. Lamar of Yale seems uncomfortable in his
association with this project. After all, he is the only trained and seasoned histo-
rian in what purports to be an exercise in scholarly "contextual" interpretation.
Joni Louise Kinsey provides a service in compiling the artists' biographies. All
of these fine scholars provide a service in being the occasion for a magnificent
display of magnificent western art in the nation's capital where it belongs,
rather than the worn-out paintings at the National Gallery and the curiosities at
the Hirshorn. Some spoilsports have seen these scholars as doing western art a
dzsservzce by America-bashing, Anglo-Saxon-hating, and interpretations that
tag all western art as a tool of a white conspiracy to destroy the continent. Like
Oliver Stone's recent film, JFK, everybody is guilty. May Charley Russell, friend
of the Blackfeet, who termed the Indian "God's chosen people" but never for-
got his other friends, rest in peace.
University of Texas at Austin WILLIAM H. GOETZMANN
Tejano Orzgins in Ezghteenth-Century San Antonio. Edited by Gerald E. Poyo
and Gilberto M. Hinojosa. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991.
Pp. xxii+ 198. Acknowledgments, introduction, maps, illustrations, conclu-
sion, notes, bibliography, index. $19.95.)
Historians with interest in colonial Texas will be pleased to see that the study
of the Borderlands is not floundering, but instead heading in a direction re-
flected by the themes and topics considered in Tejano Orzgins in Ezghteenth-
Century San Antonzo. In the nine articles that comprise the book (most of which
the authors originally presented at a conference held at San Antonio's Institute
of Texan Cultures), the writers scrutinize the economic, social, political, and
cultural life in Bexar in an effort to ascertain how frontier folks determined the
course of eighteenth-century Texas history. Cognizant that the experiences of
the pobladores varied, the contributors nonetheless seek to detect any common-
ality or singular sense of Tejano identity. Close to their task is revising the view
that the Spanish contribution to Texas waned with the arrival of Anglos in
1821; thus, they provide careful descriptions of traditions that took shape dur-
ing the colonial era and persisted following the usurpation of Mexican rule
in 1836.
The several essays maintain that the Bexar community derived its identity
from interplay among a variety of actors, among them soldier-settlers, mission-
aries, Canary Islanders, immigrants (from East Texas and New Spain proper),
and native Indian groups who, despite their sociocultural and political differ-
ences, faced similar hardships and endured. Their common struggle in the
frontier gave rise to a sense of community and cultural uniqueness. Such an
identity, the editors declare, continued into the American period as Tejanos
used old cultural forms as mechanisms for survival in a hostile world.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. ( accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.