The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000 Page: 382
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
in Jackson's words, "thematic monographic chapters": Jackson himself looks at
"The Formation of Frontier Indigenous Communities: Missions in California
and Texas," and Peter Stern writes on "Marginals and Acculturation in Frontier
Readers of this journal will appreciate Frank de la Teja's masterful overview of
Spanish Colonial Texas, which treats the major themes that the editor asked each
writer of a regional study to explore: "the structure of frontier society, demo-
graphic and settlement patterns, and economic development" (p. 5). De la Teja's
marries solid analysis with vivid detail, from the illegal making of bootleg rum
("chinguerito") to a portrait of the Seguin family that illuminates social mobility in
Texas. Like other writers in this book, de la Teja seeks to explain native American
responses to Spanish colonization. He notes the deleterious impact of Spanish-
introduced diseases and mission life on Amerindian populations in Texas, and he
judges most of the Texas missions as failures. He also sees Texas as an economic
backwater, where nomadic Indians discouraged Hispanic settlement and where
social structures were more fluid than in central New Spain.
Readers of this journal also will appreciate Peter Stern's deeply researched
examination of marginal peoples, for many of his examples come from Texas.
Stern describes Texas as a refuge for career criminals who, when the going got
tough, could disappear into Indian communities. Spanish Texas sheltered crimi-
nals long before the 1820s when Anglo-American lawbreakers scrawled GTT
("gone to Texas") on their cabin doors and headed west toward the Sabine to
escape bill collectors and lawmen.
In introducing these essays, Robert Jackson notes that a multi-authored work
offers "benefits over the writing of a general synthetic history by a single histori-
an" (p. 5). And so it does. Each writer offers us a distinctive voice and sensibility.
One might have wished, however, that the authors of the five "regional studies"
in this book had worked from a common template, so that students interested in
drawing comparisons could move readily from category to category within each
essay. Taken together, the views expressed in this volume are not "new," as the
title promises, but they do reflect current scholarship in each author's area of
Southern Methodist University DAVID WEBER
Culture Y Cultura: Consequences of the U.S.-Mexican War, 1846-1848. By Iris H. W.
Engstrand, Richard Griswold del Castillo, and Elena Poniatowska. (Los
Angeles: Autry Museum of Western Heritage, 1998. Pp. xi+16o. Foreword,
illustrations, afterword, appendices, suggested reading, contributors. ISBN
1-882880-05-6. $30.00, cloth.)
One hundred and fifty years after the end of the U.S.-Mexican (Mexican-
American) War properly occasions reflections on the effects of the war. This vol-
ume provides a good overview of these effects. It is written in both English and
Spanish (the translations are good); and it contains the essays of a trio of emi-
nent scholars, one Anglo, one Mexican American, and one a longtime observer
of and writer on Mexico. The book deals with a wide variety of topics, most
notably the Native American, Mexican American, and Anglo populations living
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000, periodical, 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/m1/428/?rotate=90: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.