The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 139

Book Reviews

El Paso is "minority"-Mexican American. "While most city officials and busi-
ness interests insist that relations between Anglos and Mexican-Americans are
good, many Mexican-Americans disagree" (p. 306), Timmons writes. They still
remember that in 1957 when Raymond Telles was elected first Mexican Ameri-
can mayor of El Paso, a leader in the city's business community asked: "How
can we hold our heads up in the State of Texas when we have a Mexican
mayor?" (p. 253).
Timmons skillfully weaves this contemporary history with the history of El
Paso's founding, beginning with the arrival of the Rodriguez-Chamuscado ex-
pedition of Spanish explorers in August 1581. In 1598, Governor Don Juan de
Onate led an expedition of 400 men, of whom 13o brought their families, to
the area and formally took possession for Philip II of Spain. The ceremony
brought European civilization to the Pass of the North nearly a decade before
England began colonizing Virginia. Texas schoolchildren are taught 1607, date
of the founding of Jamestown; none of them, unless they live in El Paso, know
anything about Onate in 1598.
When El Paso celebrated its first four centuries in 1981, the New York Tzmes
covered the celebration. "Thus the secret of El Paso's rich and fascinating his-
tory of four hundred years was revealed to the nation and to the world"
(p. 268), Timmons comments.
This history is enhanced by Jose Cisneros illustrations, historic photographs,
an impressive bibliography, and an easily read writing style. Timmons sought
to present a comprehensive view of both of El Paso's cultural traditions, culmi-
nating in the blend of the two in recent years. He has succeeded, and in this
book made El Paso so unique Texas never could give it up.
Wilderness Preservation and the Sagebrush Rebellions. By William L. Graf. (Lanham,
Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1990o. Pp. xviii+329. Pref-
ace, introduction, maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $38.50.)
What is perhaps the oldest theme in western development-the conflict be-
tween those who strive to preserve the unique and pristine environment of the
West and those who labor to develop the region-has been the subject of nu-
merous books. But in Wilderness Preservation and the Sagebrush Rebellions, the au-
thor provides us with a new and refreshing perspective on the subject.
Graf's sources are interdisciplinary. As a geographer he draws on physical
and historical geography, blended well with material from politics and public
policy, the natural sciences, various biographies, and history. The approach
of the book is, in fact, historical. The protagonists are preservationists, given
their political clout by federal legislation, and "sagebrush rebels," those who
would transfer federal lands to state control or sell them to the private sec-
tor. Graf traces the conflict between these two groups from its beginnings in
the 188os to the present. This is done through consideration of four aspects of
this preservationist-developer conflict: the fight over irrigation; the conflict


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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