The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987 Page: 210
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
pressive technical research and numerous anecdotes, the authors easily
prove their thesis that firearms served not only as indispensible tools
but also as symbols of individual power.
These oversize volumes offer ample descriptions of the firearms em-
ployed in the American West, integrated into a captivating and well-
documented narrative of the actual uses of the guns by their military
and civilian owners. The scope includes weapons of every descrip-
tion-rifles, smoothbores, and pistols-used by American, Spanish,
Mexican, Russian, and British soldiers and settlers in the region, as well
as by the resourceful Indians, who often had to make do through the
most innovative repairs. Many illustrations, some of them quite rare, of
firearms and their owners accompany the text and reinforce the central
theme of the importance of firearms as tools and as unique expressions
of individuality in the American West.
The geographic and temporal restrictions of the authors' focus may
occasion some dismay among those who favor a broader view of the
American West. The scope of these volumes encompasses only that
portion of North America that lies west of the Mississippi River, north
of the Rio Grande, and south of the present boundary with Canada.
The narrative begins in 1803, when Lewis and Clark opened the region
to American exploration and settlement, then ends abruptly in 1894,
when the United States Army adopted a bolt action, high-velocity rifle,
indicative of a new era of weaponry.
Within these bounds, however, the authors' research is impressive in
its depth and range. They have combed the archives of twelve western
states, uncovering correspondence, diaries, newspapers, patent appli-
cations, and government reports that provide insight into the use of lit-
erally hundreds of varieties of firearms. The authors' thesis that guns
became important both as tools and as expressions of individuality may
cause little surprise, but their extensive use of primary materials pro-
vides a vital addition to the wealth of secondary literature on the role of
firearms in the development of the frontier.
The University of Texas at Austin RICHARD B. MCCASLIN
"Let the Eagle Soar!": The Foreign Policy of Andrew Jackson. By John M.
Belohlavek. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985- Pp.
x+328. Acknowledgments, introduction, maps, appendices, notes,
bibliography, index. $28.95.)
In both popular and scholarly worlds, Andrew Jackson remains a fas-
cinating subject. Relatively little attention, however, has been given to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987, periodical, 1986/1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/m1/248/ocr/: accessed August 27, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.