The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 469
2001 Book Reviews 469
violence-had given way to "urbanism, vacation ranchettes ... tourists, filmmak-
ers . .. and the border patrol" (p. 236).
Texas's Big Bend country nevertheless is a region of contrasts. It is a place
where, early in the last century, disparate cultures, human will, and harsh envi-
ronment clashed. Conflict-thievery and murder-occurred in abundance as a
result, with Mexicans and Anglo ranchers and settlers all competing with each
other for the region's scant resources, especially water and grassland. Mexicans
and Anglos also struggled to overcome racial animosity and distrust, Ragsdale
explains. Sometimes they succeeded. And contrary to popular belief, compas-
sion ran deep when they did, with folks such as Casner, Daniels, and Madrid
working valiantly to better the lives of their neighbors regardless of whether they
lived north or south of the Rio Grande.
Bzg Bend Country's biggest drawback is that Ragsdale gives the reader his con-
clusions at the outset rather than at the book's end. Moreover, Ragsdale makes
few direct correlations between the folks or events he writes about; therefore,
the book's unity--from chapter to chapter, section to section-rests entirely on
the themes of violence, compassion, and mythologization. Although Ragsdale
reiterates these themes in many of the book's chapters (pseudo-essays), Bzg Bend
Country's abrupt end left the book without a satisfactory summation to convinc-
ingly contextualize the lives and events Ragsdale describes.
National Park Service FRED MACVAUGH
Knight Without Armor: Carlos Eduardo Castaieda, 1896-1958. By Fdlix D. Almariz
Jr. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999. Pp. xxi+430. List of
illustrations, preface, abbreviations, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN o-
89o96-89o-X. $39.95, cloth.)
The name of Carlos Eduardo Castafieda today ought to be as well known to
every student of Texas and southwestern history as those of Eugene C. Barker
and Walter P. Webb. Such is not the case. The reasons for this are rooted in
the anti-Hispanic and anti-Roman Catholic prejudices that permeated almost
every facet of Texas life in earlier generations when Anglo-Saxon, Protestant
values dominated. Castafieda, a prolific scholar and dedicated historian, suf-
fered from these prejudices throughout his lifetime. He was, nonetheless, a
man ahead of his time. He became a distinguished scholar of Hispanic her-
itage who secured a place for himself as a librarian and member of the history
department at the University of Texas at Austin during a period when persons
of his background suffered debilitating racial and religious discrimination. In
1934, for example, the Daughters of the American Revolution participated
with several university staff members and individuals in the Texas Legislature
in temporarily removing Castafieda from his post at the university library
because of his race and religion. Only Castafieda's hard work, perseverance,
optimism, and industriousness kept him above such intolerance during his
remarkable career. He was, as Professor F6lix D. Almariz Jr. notes, truly a
"Knight Without Armor." And, in the opinion of this reviewer, Castaileda's
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/537/ocr/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.