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2007Book Reviews1 1 1 ticularly helpful to those readers who are unfamiliar with the history ofWorld War II. Chapter Four is dedicated to interviews with Latinas and their participation in the military, in federal agencies, and in the war factories. The last chapter looks at the lives of these individuals after the war. Among these interviews are accounts of individuals who went on to become prominent political leaders, business leaders, educators, and civil rights activists. A Legacy Greater Than Words: Stories ofU.S. Latinos and Latinas ofthe World WarII Generation is not the final word on this subject; the oral history archives will hopefully expand as the urgency to collect these vanishing histories grows with each passing year. This publication is an excellent starting point for further scholarship on this subject. Finally, it might also spur some people to ask questions of their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles about their experiences and in the process expand the list ofwho should be included in that "greatest generation." University ofTexas at El PasoDaniel A. Melendrez Leavin' a Testimony: Portraitsfrom Rural Texas. By Patsy Cravens. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. Pp. 348. Foreword, acknowledgments, illustrations, afterword . ISBN 0292713053. $34.95, cloth.) Ifyou grew up in a small Texas town, as I did, you will no doubt recognize the characters in this book, although you will know them by different names. Author and photographer Patsy Cravens has provided a focused portrayal of individuals who live in several communities of Colorado County. Included are the elites and nonelites, such as they are in smaller, rural communities, and through their own words and the observations and reminiscences of the author, the reader develops an understanding of not only lifeways but also of how the system works. Leavin' a Testimony is essentially a close-up sociological and cultural snapshot of community life in Texas, and in that regard it makes a positive contribution to the literature. Blending the prose of memory with folklore and the unmistakable sense of place as expressed by those featured in the book, the author provides a gallery of words that complement the remarkable photographs. Those elements are evident in the words of Eva Mae Glover, who remembered, "We would have so much fun when I was a girl. It was a bottom—there was a bottom where we was stayin', and we would roll that bottom down!" (p. 21). And it echoes in the observations of Rosie Lee Hasty as she reflects on her long life: 'Yes it was ten of us, but all gone 'cept three ofus. I'm 'bout the last chicken in the yard—I had to buryjust 'bout all of 'em" (p. 49). If the reader should somehow miss the layers of history evident in the words, they clearly show in the dramatic photographs, arguably the strongest element of the book. While all of the photographs contribute much in support of the study, I particularly liked the ones ofSonny Hasty (p. 65); Beulah and Lonzo Dorn (p. 1 26) ; Isabel Garcia with his duck, Pasquale (p. 142); Jim and Sarah Kearney (p. 167); and Mamie Johnson with friends at the St. James AME Church (p. 146). Readers will no doubt compile their own list of favorites. 112Southwestern Hutorical QuarterlyJuly Leavin' a Testimony is not a history book, per se, because it lacks the requisite context and analysis, and it could have benefited from the use of maps, an index, and some definition of terms not readily understood by those unfamiliar with farm life, such as "bust middles," used in reference to plowing (p. g8). It nevertheless provides historical perspectives from those who have lived in and fashioned the communities under study. In that sense, it provides elements of oral history, folklore, sociology, cultural anthropology, and even gossip. And, of course, there are the photographs that, in a powerful way, capture both the art and the cultural landscape of rural life in the state. The distinct contrasts of the black-and-white photographs are, in a sense, reflected in the text as well, as such delineations are clearly part of the social fabric. The book succeeds at several levels in presenting a portrait ofa distinct Texas region, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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