The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984 Page: 435
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A8cM University, with its focus on the Southwest-primarily the
states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas-and its pro-
ceedings edited as a separate book by two prominent members of the
Aggie faculty. There is a slight overlap with the 1979 volume on
southern agriculture since the Civil War, but for the most part the
papers and comments effectively explore a variety of subjects in ways
that add significantly to our stock of knowledge.
The coverage is quite extensive in time, from an opening series on
the prehistoric agricultural climax in the region, the evolution of
chile pepper cultivation, and the literary treatment of farming
there (with a curious identification of Conrad Richter as a south-
western novelist!) to sections on the cattle and feed grain industries,
the experiment stations and extension service, cooperatives and agri-
business corporations, farmer movements in the late nineteenth cen-
tury, and some aspects of twentieth-century farm politics. The out-
standing pieces, in my judgment, are the sprightly essay by Manuel A.
Machado, Jr., on the "Hispanic" (qua Mexican) impact on the cattle
industry, William N. Stokes, Jr.'s study of the Plains Cooperative Oil
Mill of Lubbock since its founding, under precarious circumstances,
in the 1930s, the reconsideration by Robert C. McMath, Jr., of the
origins of the Texas Farmers' Alliance, in which he confronts both his
own excellent book and the more flamboyant approach of Lawrence
Goodwyn at length and to great effect, and the thoughtful, substantive
survey of Clinton P. Anderson's career as secretary of agriculture by
James L. Forsythe. At least two of the papers-those by Gladys L.
Baker and Harold F. Breimyer, dealing with the county agent and the
cooperative as ideals and realities-are general rather than regional in
scope. Several others seem more concerned with the present and fu-
ture of agriculture in the Southwest than with enhancing our under-
standing of the past.
Usually the weakest part of these published symposia (where
sotto voce murmurings go unrecorded) are the commentaries on
papers or sessions, which are often either distressingly bland or con-
cerned with some other subject. Alas, with the exception of the nice
critical edge and acerbic wit in the remarks of Donald E. Green and
George R. Woolfolk, they run true to form here, too. Another de-
ficiency is the lack of any reference to the development of specialty
fruit and vegetable crops in the Rio Grande and Salt River valleys,
among other places. With all the perceived faults-real or imagi-
nary-the volume still takes a rightful place with the others in the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984, periodical, 1983/1984; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/m1/503/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.