The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 511

Book Reviews


MaryJane Johnson, the Amarillo homemaker-turned-soprano, singing "Musetta"
in Puccini's La Bohime at the San Francisco opera.
"Texas Governors" and a gubernatorial trivial quiz are special Almanac features
found only in the CD-ROM edition. The historical sketches and photographs of
the governors will be useful to students preparing reports, but the trivia exam
may prove disconcerting to some fellow Texans. According to editor Ramos, a
University of Texas graduate, a person making a decent score on the quiz is hon-
ored with the sobriquet "Texas Longhorn." Just imagine the consternation of a
Texas Aggie, longing to pass the test but not wanting the attendant honor.
The Shape of Texas: Maps as Metaphors. By Richard V. Francaviglia. (College Sta-
tion: Texas A&M University Press, 1995. Pp. 118. Acknowledgments, intro-
duction, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-89096-664-8. $29.50, cloth.)
This interesting book explores the ubiquitous image of the shape of Texas.
Richard V. Francaviglia, professor of history at the University of Texas at Arling-
ton and an expert on the history of cartography, has given us a book that is rich
in visual imagery and full of clear explanations.
The starting point for this small volume is the fact that images of the outline
of the state of Texas are everywhere, especially in Texas but also elsewhere in the
United States and the world. The author documents those visual images with
more than 00oo examples in color and black and white. The images are rich and
varied, and Francaviglia has collected and photographed a wide variety of them.
Some of these "shapes" of Texas are beautiful and well presented, while others
are not. The reproductions reflect the quality of the original images: some are
really attractive, while others are awkward and not as clear as they might be.
The story the author presents is concise and interesting. The shape of Texas is
extremely well known, especially to Texans. Even school children can reproduce
it without a model. Francaviglia documents the widespread use of the image in
public and private advertising, and he tells us its history. Many people read the
current shape of Texas as a reflection of its historical shape, particularly that of
the period of the Republic of Texas. That is not the case, because the current
map only came into being around 1850. Another assumption many have is that
the frequent reproduction of the shape of Texas has gone on for a very long
time. In fact, only in the 1930os did the image begin to be widespread. In addi-
tion to developing these important concepts, the author also informs his readers
about the visual and design reasons why the Texas map works so well. This book
works just as well in informing its readers about the colorful shape of Texas.
University of Texas at Austin MYRON P. GUTMANN
Imaginary Kingdom: Texas as Seen by the Rivera and Rubi Military Expeditions, 1727 and
1767. Edited and with an introduction by Jack Jackson. Annotations by William C.
Foster. (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996. Pp. xviii+272. Foreword, in-
troduction, illustrations, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-87611-145-2. $29.95, cloth.)


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. ( accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.