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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 346

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

were fighting only for their just due as citizens, using tactics commensurate
with the inherent imbalance of the extant political-social institutions; the
Anglos, a long-privileged minority used to running Crystal City by them-
selves, were struggling to perpetuate an unjust status quo.
Shockley approaches his subject in a disciplined way, examining per-
tinent literature on minorities' politics and other relevant data, both pub-
lished and unpublished. He has interviewed many of the participants and
has made use of oral history holdings. His footnotes and bibliography point
up problems that other researchers might profitably investigate. He dis-
tinguishes the particular from the general about the events at Crystal City,
and, finally, he offers a stimulating prognostication about the possible
future directions of the Chicano movement in South Texas. Shockley's book
is an important contribution, both to the history of minorities in the United
States and to the story of the Chicanos in Texas.
Memphis, Tennessee THOMAS W. CROUCH
William Aiken Walker: Southern Genre Painter. By August P. Trovaioli
and Roulhac B. Toledano. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1972. Pp. xviii+142. Illustrations, notes, chronology, bibliogra-
phy, index. $15.)
This book must stand on the fringe of interest for both the art historian
and the southern historian because it presents no new information about
the post-Civil War South and because the work of the painter William
Aiken Walker is decidedly minor. Walker, who died at 82 in 1921, pro-
duced a large number of paintings and drawings, best known of which are
plantation scenes and postwar blacks in rural settings. The account of
Walker's life, with its myriad of well-documented details, shows a man
trying to maintain a genteel existence as a southern gentleman through his
paintbrush and his amiability with patrons.
The authors show much care in their research, but the book remains
an exercise in the critical biography of an artist, for Walker, either as
painter or as a recorder of the southern scene on canvas, does not merit
such an elaborate study.
Walker's life appears to me, with my twentieth-century coarseness, as a
rather shabby life; and the authors' attempts to justify Walker's art, his
social consciousness, his paternalistic affection for the rural Negro, seem
strained. The connections between Walker's work and that of his more
illustrious contemporaries-Winslow Homer is cited more than once-are
tenuous at best.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.