The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 120
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
author's frustration; her earlier books came complete with scholarly apparatus.
No, the fault lies with the folks at Texas Christian University Press, who for rea-
sons of their own, decided to eschew notes. This is a disturbing trend, rife even
among those presses that purport to be academic. The omission of notes is a dis-
service to the readers and the author. Scholars-both lay and professional-
should condemn this fad in voices relentless, sharp, and united. Publishers
opine that notes alienate lay audiences, but such claims are condescending and
self-serving. The fact that one is writing for general readers does not absolve the
author from the obligation of giving credit to previous scholars. Note are not
frills; they enable the serious reader to sift evidence, balance testimony, and veri-
fy assertions. Henson's study is the first in what TCU Press calls its informal biog-
raphy series. Informal it is. Still, any academic press that is deserving of that des-
ignation ought to observe the established house rules.
A former Horned Frog, this reviewer derives no pleasure from rebuking the
TCU Press. Nevertheless, if university presses do not maintain scholarly stan-
dards, who will? And if reviewers do not chide them when they fall short, what
reason will they have to improve? Once again, Margaret Henson has produced a
work of commendable scholarship. Because of her press, however, it is not the
book it should have been nor the one readers deserve.
Victoria College Stephen L. Hardin
The United States and Mexico at War: Nineteenth-Century Expansionism and Conflict.
Edited by Donald D. Frazier. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, Simon
& Schuster Macmillan, 1998. Pp. xl+584. Preface, contributors, articles,
map key and military glossary, illustrations, maps, appendix, content out-
line, index. ISBN o-o28-646o6-1. $125.00, cloth.)
A product of some two hundred contributors, this single-volume encyclopedia
provides a brief but informed reference for several hundred persons, places, and
events involved both directly and tangentially in the 1846-1847 war that came
to define the political geography of the North American continent for at least
the next century and a half. Despite the brevity of many of the entries, they are,
for the large part, accurate and likely to be uncontested. Short bibliographies
supplement each article thus enabling the curious to find additional informa-
tion; therefore, the book should appeal to a scholarly and general audience
alike. Although essentially free of error, there is considerable room in a number
of entries for a reader to question an author's judgment in matters of interpreta-
tion. In this matter, the editor apparently allowed considerable latitude. The
lightly held redactional rein did not restrain widely ranging and occasionally
As the volume's subtitle plainly indicates, the material presented is not
reserved strictly to the province of the war itself. Examples of textuary diversity
are evident in entries that include contributions on peonage, Indians, banditry,
the election of 1824, Manuel de Mier y Terin (who died a full fourteen years
before the war began) among others. This overflow in no way detracts but lends
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/148/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.