The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 183
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Wright in pioneering the study of exploration in the United States, and explo-
ration's impact on American culture.
Since expeditions involve geography more than anything else, there follows a
cartographic section in which the importance of patriotic mapmakers, like John
Melish, is examined in terms of the establishment of our national identity. (He
would have substituted Philadelphia for Greenwich as the Prime Meridian!) It is
followed by a straightforward discussion on the evolution of geologic maps in
the United States.
In an excellent study of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, as another re-declaration
of our (cultural) independence, the focus is on the boundaries-the division of
labor-between naval officers and civilian scientists, where friction was sure to
occur. Lt. Charles Wilkes was a martinet, but it was his strict discipline over the "sci-
entifics" as well as his officers that made such an investigative success of the voyage.
A rather harsh biographical sketch of the Arctic's Elisha Kent Kane shows him
to have been a throwback to the heroic adventurer type of explorer, in great
contrast to the next individual considered, the Smithsonian's Spencer F. Baird.
The best section of the book is Ron Tyler's investigation of the illustrations of
the West in government publications. These pictures, often lithographs and
sometimes pretty good as art, per se, were first-rate as documentation (even
when artistic license-liberties-in composition, etc., of landscapes was taken)
and were superior to their texts in their impact on the public. An accompanying
chapter on the crude woodcuts employed by such popular magazines as
Appleton's, Scribner's, and Harper's extends Tyler's story.
After a section on the anthropology of the Southwest of Gallatin, Squier,
Bandelier, and Boas, there is a section on the Lewis and Clark expedition that
reiterates the common belief that it is our national epic of exploration and a
model for subsequent ventures. Gunther Barth compares Lewis with Alexander
Mackenzie, then does a fine job of demonstrating how skillfully a career army
officer, but an exemplary citizen-solider of Jefferson's egalitarian Young
Republic, adapted routines and discipline of military life to fit the much differ-
ent needs of a scientific expedition.
This is quite a good book, with less of the unevenness one often encounters in
compilations by diverse hands, especially those extracted from lectures. And,
mzrabile vzsu!, it is virtually free of academic jargon, and, thus, quite readable.
Only one chapter seemed out of place here in a study of North American explo-
ration, a treatment of painter Frederick Church's big canvases of South
American subject matter.
Mill Valley, California RICHARD H. DILLON
Hz Lo to Hollywood! A Max Evans Reader. By Max Evans. (Lubbock: Texas Tech
University Press, 1998. Pp. xvi+384. Foreword, dedication, introduction.
ISBN 0-89672-404-2. $34.95, cloth.)
It had been about ten years since I had read Max Evans. What a pleasure to
rediscover his stories and to read an aspect of his work that I was unfamiliar with,
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
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 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/191/?rotate=270: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.