The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 150
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
facture. Texas producers made enormous strides during both world wars and
then took full advantage of the Sunbelt boomlet of the second half of the twen-
tieth century to firmly establish their position in the industry.
All of this was accomplished, DeMoss argues, by tenacious young entrepre-
neurs who used innovative management techniques to secure a significant
share of the national market. Texas manufacturers were particularly adept at
anticipating fashion trends, identifying specific consumer constituencies, and
developing creative new designs. Meanwhile, they combined superior service
and aggressive merchandising techniques to cultivate new markets and expand
sales. The author concedes, however, that all of this would have been irrelevant
without a ready supply of "cheap" labor.
It is in the area of labor and industrial relations that the analysis has its most
serious shortcomings. The study too often reads like a chamber of commerce
brochure. The entrepreneurs who built the Texas industry consistently are re-
ferred to as "courageous," "innovative," "skillful," "aggressive," "creative,"
"hard working," and the like. Moreover, despite their adamant refusal to rec-
ognize Independent organizations of workers, the relationship of these em-
ployers with their employees is characterized as involving a close personal rap-
port and camaraderie grounded on mutual respect rather than paternalism.
The reader's credibility is stretched even further when the author concludes
that management provided "more than adequate working conditions, benefits,
and pay .. ." (p. 182, emphasis added). Meanwhile, these same companies used
every known device to frustrate the spirit and intent of federal labor legisla-
tion. They continually chased "cheap labor" from Dallas-Fort Worth to smaller
Texas towns and cities, the border areas, Mexico, and eventually, even the
This book is a volume in the Garland Series in Entrepreneurship edited by
Stuart Bruchey. It appears to be a photocopy of DeMoss's 1981 dissertation
with few if any revisions made prior to publication. Unfortunately, the book is
Georgia State Universzty GARY M. FINK
Motherhood zn the Old South: Pregnancy, Chzldbirth, and Infant Rearing. By Sally G.
McMillen. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 199o. Pp. xi+
257. Acknowledgments, introduction, conclusion, appendices, glossary,
sources, index. $24.95.)
Sally G. McMillen's fascinating study of Old South motherhood brings to-
gether medical and family history to open some new windows on antebellum
social history. Looking exclusively at rural upper-class white families in the
slaveholding south, McMillen uses personal diaries and letters, census data,
and medical literature to understand the physical and emotional issues that
surrounded pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care in the period up to 186o.
McMillen's book challenges a number of myths about southern white planta-
tion women, namely the long-standing belief that they foisted the responsibility
for infant care on the shoulders of slaves and servants. Instead she finds that
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/176/ocr/: accessed August 29, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.