The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 147

Book Revzews


good text and a pleasing format, can provide hours of pleasure in the apprecia-
tion of quiet beauty." W. Thomas Taylor's second volume in the Library of Texas
Series will persuade those who might still doubt Marcus's confident assertion.
First published in 1845, Thomas Jefferson Green's account of the ill-fated Mi-
er Expedition has been eagerly sought by collectors and academics. The late
John H. Jenkins listed it in his Basic Texas Books as the "most important account
of the tragic Texan expedition against Mier and the drawing of the black beans."
Nowadays, however, even the 1935 and 1973 reprints are hard to find and ex-
pensive to acquire. Taylor deserves much credit for recognizing the need for a
scholarly, well-annotated edition of this Texas classic.
It is hard to imagine a better editor than Sam W. Haynes; his introduction and
annotations render this the best edition of Green's work. His book Soldzers of Mis-
fortune: The Somervell and Mier Expeditions is, notwithstanding the needlessly criti-
cal review that appeared in the Quarterly, the best secondary account of the Mier
Expedition. The introduction offers a balanced overview of Green's career and
fixes the narrative firmly within the context of the rough-and-tumble realm of
partisan politics. Haynes's annotations are informative; his style is lucid, his re-
search meticulous, and his conclusions compelling.
While the prices of exquisite books are routinely astronomical, Taylor's edi-
tion is a remarkable exception. The craftsmanship evident on every page shouts
"fine press," yet the book costs less than many university press volumes that re-
flect far less artistry. Taylor and Haynes have combined their respective skills to
produce a work historians will value for its content and bibliophiles will treasure
for its beauty.
The Victoria College STEPHEN L. HARDIN
Life on the King Ranch. By Frank Goodwyn. Foreword by Bruce Cheeseman. Pho-
tographs by Toni Frissell. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press,
1993. Pp. xvi+293. ISBN 0-89096-564-1. $24.50, cloth; $12.95, paper.)
The Aggie joke has fallen on hard times. With the growing academic reputa-
tion of the institution, and athletic teams that regularly thump opponents all
over the region, the folks in College Station are doing most of the laughing
these days. If Texas A&M University Press publishes many more books like this
one, however, it may singlehandedly revive the genre. The joke would begin,
"How many Aggies does it take to proofread accurately sixteen pages of type?"
Looking at the prefatory matter added by the press to this reprint, the response
would have to be, "Nobody knows." Bruce Cheeseman's foreword for the new
edition, despite being only five pages long, is filled with errors, ranging from
page make-up (two needless widows), to simple typos ("Civial War"), to copyedit-
ing problems (inconsistent italicization of Spanish words), to a sentence that has
been completely mangled: "The twentieth century has seen King Ranch evolve
from a Mexican hacienda to a more traditional South Texas cattle operation, and
in today's modern agribusiness corporation." Yes, that's where the sentence


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.