The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 182

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the narrative in subtle ways, while the authors' ability to weave the history of
the Colorado with personal accounts throughout the centuries brings a previ-
ously untapped aspect of Texas history to life.
Southwest Texas State University SCOTT NELSON
Southern Writers and Their Worlds. Edited by Christopher Morris and Steven G.
Reinherdt. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998. Pp.
ix+162. Preface, introduction, notes, contributors. ISBN o-8071-2274-2.
$11.95, paper.)
This is an excellent analysis of southern writing, covering both nineteenth-
and twentieth-century writers. The breadth of coverage would allow this volume
to serve as an excellent vehicle for discussion in upper-level undergraduate
course in southern prose. It is certainly a book that would be a valuable addition
to any academic library.
This book is somewhat limited in its discussion of specific Texas writers, but it
does deal with some themes prevalent in southern writing in general.
Christopher Morris's essay "What's So Funny" deals with the theme of horse-
swapping in southern literature. Morris shows us how the intrusion of a market
economy changed the American frontier. His thesis was that manners and char-
acter, so important in eighteenth-century American society, were replaced by a
desire for money and possessions.
Other topics in this collection of essays are gender, slavery, and a melancholic
attitude toward life found in southern literature. The last essay is a fascinating
discussion, dealing with whether or not a white man can "capture" the reality of
a black slave. Does one have to be black to portray the black experience?
The main shortcoming of this volume is Michael O'Brien's wordy and some-
what confusing introduction. For example, I have no idea what this sentence
means: "The translation of ideas designed for France to the American situation
was curious, because inapt." But the introduction is a minor part of the book
and it should not detract from the content of these fine essays.
Surveying the Record: North American Scientific Exploration to 193o. Edited by Edward
C. Carter II. (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1999. Pp.
xv+343. List of illustrations, introduction, acknowledgments, appendix,
notes, contributors, index. ISBN 0-87169-231-7. $25.00, cloth.)
This is a collection of sixteen essays drawn from papers delivered at a 1997
American Philosophical Society conference. It is meant to be a re-appraisal of the
study of exploration, the recording of it, rather than a re-examination of the activ-
ities of the expeditions themselves. This rather arbitrary and, frankly, unnecessary
distinction quickly breaks down, however, and at no loss to the reader.
The book opens with a general overview of the subject that stresses the impor-
tance of Bernard DeVoto, William Goetzmann, and little-known John Kirtland



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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.