The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986 Page: 88
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88 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
four have been image makers for Dallas. J. R. Ewing captured the es-
sence and style of Dallas businessmen, Kennedy's murder confirmed
the idea of Dallas as a right-wing city, Hunt identified it as a mil-
lionaires' home, and the Cowboys made Dallas an All-American city.
The guilt for the president's assassination was self-imposed, according
to Greene, and is dying as more non-Dallasites move in. Greene sug-
gests that blame for the assassination belongs to the Citizens' Council
for not speaking out against the city's hatemongers in the early 196os.
According to Greene, Dallas residents are often inhospitable to their
history, which is appreciated more by outsiders than by natives. In a city
that prides itself on growth and development, history can be a stum-
bling block, not a yardstick of cultural achievement. Culture is mea-
sured in business terms: the arts are good if they are well managed and
organized. In Dallas, Greene explains, "culture is strictly a matter of
decision and execution" (p. 238), not creativity.
Both books attempt to be thoughtful: Imagining Dallas is ethereal;
Dallas, USA is earthy. As Dallas grows in importance, there are those
who will write about it and the curious will read what is written. In a
time when athletes expose coaches' locker-room antics, daughters tell
all about famous mothers, and political insiders reveal official wrongdo-
ings, there is room for tell-it-all books about Dallas.
Dallas County Heritage Society THOMAS SMITH
The Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company: The First Century. By David J.
Murrah. (Lubbock, Tex.: Texas Tech University Press, 1983- Pp.
iii+78. Acknowledgments, preface, maps, tables, photographs, il-
lustrations, notes, index. $2o.)
Once again David J. Murrah has filled a gap in the history of Texas
cattle ranching. His latest work, The Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company,
examines a pillar of the state's most celebrated and romanticized busi-
ness. Working with material from four depositories, including Texas
Tech University's Southwest Collection, where he is director, Murrah
tells the hundred-year story of this unique West Texas ranch.
The Pitchfork, taking in much of Dickens and King counties, began
amid the celebrated beef bonanza of the early i88os as an open-range
outfit. But unlike many other cattle operations, this ranch survived and
prospered after the open range was only a memory. In the face of a
remorseless climate, erratic market cycles, and rising operating costs,
the Pitchfork benefited from solid management and a family-based
corporate structure devoted to sound business principles. Never over-
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986, periodical, 1985/1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/m1/114/?rotate=270: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.