The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 597

Book Reviews

were fashioned in stirrups instead of on sidewalks. . . . Their
pants . . . hung precariously, threateningly, around the lower
rims of expansive abdomens that were built on 'vittles' instead
of vitamins."
To an era of supercilious contempt for successful personal
achievement - while enjoying its fruits and demanding more -
an era of sometimes thoughtless, sometimes calculated insinua-
tion that success is its own proof of exploitation and oppression,
such a story pleads a powerful demurrer.
The University of Texas
Dark Horse. By Frank van der Linden. San Antonio (The Nay-
lor Company), 1944. Pp. 114. Illustrations. $2.00.
The centennial of the annexation of Texas is with us. The
book here reviewed carries no subtitle, but the dust jacket
suggests one, namely, American Politics and the "Texas
Question" A Hundred Years Ago. This book commemorates
the election of James Knox Polk as the eleventh President of
the United States, but it plays up the "Texas question" to a
considerable degree. On this point it will have good company,
for it certainly seems probable that the centennial of annexation,
just as the centennial of Texan independence, will produce a
number of books, as well as countless newspaper stories,
patriotic addresses, and articles in historical journals.
The story of this book is told in ten chapters covering
eighty-eight pages. The author challenges the reader's atten-
tion with these words: "We Americans also admire the man
who makes a comeback after defeat; the underdog who over-
comes a favored rival; the dark horse which dashes to victory
in the last lap of a close, exciting race. . . . Because Polk won
his election, America won its empire; for the 'dark horse' carried
his campaign promises into effect. His campaign thus made
history." (Preface.) The author also acquaints the reader
with the thesis of his book by first pointing out that Polk early
in January, 1844, decided to enter the race for the vice-
presidential nomination, and then by saying that two weeks
before the Democratic convention Polk "suddenly announced
himself a candidate for President." Continuing, the author
writes: "He won the nomination by a surprise attack. He won


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.