The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 100

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

example of "centralistic and dictatorial" policies. Also, not until the last chap-
ter, and almost in an incidental manner, Reichstein refers to the speculative
interests of the Mexican authorities themselves as a motive for suppressing the
activities of empresarios and companies, along with the state authorities of
Coahuila and Texas; these attempts at suppression and the consequent reac-
tion of the colonists led, ultimately, to the revolution.
The last three chapters of Rise of the Lone Star, which cover the period from
the establishment of the republic to the U.S. annexation, are a rather general
synthesis of political, diplomatic, and military history. The speculative interests
disappear almost completely, which makes the reader wonder what happened
to them, since they could hardly have been absent altogether once indepen-
dence was achieved.
Perhaps the book's most serious problem is its lack of sources on Mexican
history of the period, which would have helped Reichstein avoid several factual
mistakes as well as better understand the highly complicated political scenario.
This is particularly important because the different groups were not as clearly
divided as he suggests and also because his picture of the Mexican Liberals is
far too close to the American model than they really were.
Reichstein provides interesting material to reflect about the role of individu-
als in history. While he exaggerates the importance of Stephen F. Austin at the
beginning of the revolution, he emphasizes properly the equivocal career of
the actor Sam Houston up until his ambiguous Texas military campaign; in
doing so, he shows how in fact, on the banks of the San Jacinto, Antonio Lopez
de Santa Anna, the Great Player of early Mexican history, was defeated not
only on military grounds.
Finally, the author reflects on the economic motives behind Manifest Destiny
and the spoliation that it represented, both for Mexicans and Indians as well.
Also, he questions if indeed the "Texan Revolution" was indeed revolutionary.
In spite of its shortcomings, Rise of the Lone Star is a decisive step forward in
understanding the motivations behind events of early Texas history.
Unzversity of Texas at Austin MIGUEL So'ro
The Lone Star: The Lfe of John Connally. By James Reston, Jr. (New York: Harper
and Row, Publishers, Inc., 1989. Pp. x+691. Acknowledgments, photo-
graphs, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $25.)
James Reston, Jr.'s biography of John Connally is an ambitious attempt to
craft a best-seller about the former Texas governor and secretary of the trea-
sury. Instead, the book provides a cautionary lesson in the dangers of a popu-
lariLed history that employs the apparatus of scholarship without really under-
standing its methods and limits. Readers will have to double and triple-check
many of the factual and interpretive statements in The Lone Star to distinguish
credible, hard evidence from the gossip, innuendo, and error that Reston
Mistakes about Texas and national politics mar the narrative. Carl Albert was
not a Texan (p. 364), George Peddy (not Petty) ran for the Senate in 1948


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. ( accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.