The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 530

Southwestern Historical Quarterly


The book is not a history of Texans in the military forces of the nation, but is
an excellent collection of narratives about Texans of valor to stimulate the inter-
est of young Texans about the spirit and courage of their forebears.
Following Old Fencelines: Tales from Rural Texas. By Lee Winniford. (College
Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998. Pp. xviii+262. Illustrations, fore-
word, acknowledgments, epilogue, notes, bibliography. ISBN
o-89096-802-0. $29.95, cloth.)
This is a fine book for several reasons. First, Winniford's study of folklore in
East Texas (Hopkins County) is far more than the usual unstructured agglom-
meration of local legends. Second, she shows us how we are all tied together in
the web of the folk tradition. Finally, she has combined both a scholarly
approach and a popular approach.
One realizes immediately that this book is more than a mere collection of
tales. Its professional, scholarly introduction explains the parameters of
Winniford's study and her methodology. The first two chapters of Following Old
Fencelines are a model for both scholars and amateur folklorists.
The rest of Winniford's study consists of a number of tales that she collected,
both through interviews of family members, and through reconstructing her
own memories. Each tale is carefully analyzed within the context of scholarly
research. I was very impressed by her ability to tie local, specific folkloric ele-
ments to the broad, general discipline of the field. Some of her most interesting
research deals with meterials she collected from female informants. "A Spinster
by Choice" is both humorous and poignant. Some of the general categories of
tales are the usual East Texas topics: picking cotton, hog killing, tornados, grave-
yards, and legendary family characters. She finishes her study with an excellent
Texas folklore is rich and varied. Much remains to be done. Not only is
Winniford's study a model of the right way to proceed, but it's an excellent
example of how a book can be both scholarly and interesting. It shows how
each and every one of us fits into the folk tradition, how we are all part of a liv-
ing heritage.
The Rise of the National Guard: The Evolution of the American Militia, I865-z92o. By
Jerry Cooper. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997. Pp. xx+246. Tables,
acknowledgments, introduction, abbreviations, epilogue, appendices, notes, select-
ed bibliography, index. ISBN o-8032-1486-3. $45.00, cloth.)
Jerry Cooper teaches history at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Cooper
has written two other books on military issues, one which is used frequently as a
source in this, Cooper's latest book.
Cooper chronicles the changes from a state-run volunteer militia into the fed-
erally-run National Guard of today. He states that the way to study this transition


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. ( accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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