The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974 Page: 277

Book Reviews

life of the Jew in the South during different periods of American history.
This book needs a critical essay reflecting on the papers it presents, one
which would analyze and interpret the separate parts, and which would
turn them into history.
Dallas, Texas LEVI A. OLAM
Fort Worth: A Frontier Triumph. By Julia Kathryn Garrett. (Austin: The
Encino Press, 1973. Pp. xiv+366. Illustrations, bibliography, appen-
dix. $12.50.)
This volume is a popular account of the adolescent years of Fort Worth.
Julia Garrett traces the building of the military garrison on the Trinity, dis-
cusses the gradual settlement of Fort Town as well as other communities in
Tarrant County, and concludes with the emergence of "cowtown."
The author argues that Fort Worth grew because of the dynamism dis-
played by its citizens. Instability, caused by Indian problems, gave way to
gradual growth. Stability appeared during the I86os despite the economic
demands of the Civil War, and Fort Worth prospered in spite of harsh, re-
pressive, "radical" reconstruction. Contrary to this argument, internal evi-
dence in the book may lead one to deduce that Republican economic poli-
cies were responsible in part for the emergence of Fort Worth as a national
cattle center.
Three problems exist. The book is filiopietistic. Family histories, biogra-
phies, and lists of settlers mar thematic development and lead the author to
the doubtful conclusion that all Fort Worth citizens were "good," "thrifty,"
"hardworking," "freedom-loving," "men of good faith in the future." A
complete lack of maps handicaps the book's usefulness. The reader who is
not familiar with modern Fort Worth will be unable to recreate the spatial
arrangement of the early city from descriptions such as, "in the first block
where the Ripley Arnold Housing Center is located" (p. 291). This over-
used device detracts from the narrative and does not help those unfamiliar
with Fort Worth. And the interpretive framework of the book could have
been more up-to-date had the author incorporated fresh material on slavery,
abolitionism, and reconstruction which has appeared since 196o in this
journal, in national publications, and in monographs.
There are few new findings in this book, but Texas historians will appre-
ciate the vast amount of social data on Fort Worth's internal response and
attitudes toward national events. Students of city development may be
disappointed with the lack of emphasis on emerging urban institutions such


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974, periodical, 1973/1974; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.