The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 465
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2003 Book Reviews 465
He essentially posits that changes in mining wages corresponded to price fluctu-
ations and that wage/price ratios typically favored non-Mexican workers. Equally
significant is his analysis of census-based data gathered in 1900oo among Mexican
households in South Texas mining communities. Calder6n also offers consider-
able new information-derived from an exhaustive examination of primary doc-
uments that include his own interviews-that advances our understanding of the
work process in Mexican coal mining and Mexican participation in the ethnical-
ly diverse work force and labor movement outside the border region. His penul-
timate chapter also adds to what we know about the Mexican labor cause along
the Texas-Coahuila region.
Although Calder6n writes in a ponderous and long-winded manner that often
makes the reading somewhat tedious, he succeeds in demonstrating that the sto-
ry of labor should not be limited to organizing activity, as worthwhile as this
might be. It is also necessary to understand the conditions under which workers
lived and worked, their way of combining traditions and new experiences to val-
orize their work and public life, their collectivist ethos, and the larger transna-
tional story of capital and state authority. With this book, Calder6n is obviously
addressing an academic audience in Mexican American history as well as in
Texas and Southwestern history. He also seeks to revise the historical record, not
as a mere academic exercise but as an act of recovery that pays tribute to the still
neglected Mexican working class of the United States.
University of Texas at Austzn EMILIO ZAMORA
Tales of the Wild Horse Desert. By Betty Colley and Jane Clements Monday. (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 2ool. Pp. xi+124. Acknowledgments, introduc-
tion, appendices, glossary, bibliography, index, maps. ISBN 0-292-71241-31.
This book is a successor to Vozces of the Wild Horse Desert, which was published as
an adult version in 1997. Tales of the Wild Horse Desert was taken from the original
book in order to provide school teachers with an interesting eighth-grade read-
er. This thin version is slightly oversized, and uses large print with a variety of
creative graphics throughout. The authors state that they wanted "young read-
ers" to learn about the colorful life of the Mexican-American cowboys or vaqueros
on the King Ranch and the Kennedy Ranch known as Kinefios and Kenedefios.
The aim was to describe the lives of vaqueros and their families, portraying them
as "heroes and potential role models whose stories had not been told" (p. vii).
A major theme of the book is that the vaquero families were significant in the
success of these two monumental ranches. Indeed, the vice president of the King
Ranch Corporation is quoted as stating that the vaquero families are his extended
family, and the "greatest asset" leading to the success of the ranch (p. 9). Using
anecdotes with first-person accounts, the readings focus on the vaquero skills,
children's jobs, and historical events. In an appeal to younger readers, the book
quotes the family members in describing their daily chores. The "boy jobs" in-
cluded milking, sweeping, and chopping wood, while the girls learned to wash
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/533/?rotate=90: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.