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ii6Southwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly Fisher opens with the arrival of the first Episcopalian missionaries to San Antonio and the creation of the short-lived Trinity Church in 1850, noting that later historians of St. Mark's mistakenly believed diis to be the inauguration of their own community. St. Mark's began in 1858, and from that point onward it has been associated with the big names of history. The founders somehow retained the services of Richard Upjohn, foremost church architect at the time. Robert E. Lee was an early communicant; the book reproduces a July 15, i860, letter from Lee to his wife describing the congregation as "small at best, & poor at that" (15). Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson were married there in 1934 in a hasty ceremony. And Rector Arthur McKinstry dirice turned down a call to move to St. Thomas's Church in Washington D.C, the spiritual home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pushed to have the offer made. But the author does not focus too much on these big names. He also tells die stories of varied youth groups, the struggle to collect offerings during the Great Depression, serving Sunday luncheons to soldiers during World War II, the first woman layreader at the church, and more. The church's history is always placed within die context of the changing environment of San Antonio itself, such as the flight to the suburbs draining the life from downtown and die creation of a transient problem for the church. One might wish the author had also addressed die issue of ethnic diversity at St. Mark's and whether the congregation is and has been reflective of the ethnic diversity of the city as a whole. Fisher does mention in two brief paragraphs how issues of "lifestyle diversity" arose at St. Mark's in the wake of the national church's struggle to deal with gays and lesbians (i 16), but he leaves untouched a previous era's civil rights movement, except to note a fear that the church might be occupied by militant students. Some treatment of how national church developments made an impact upon diis congregation would have been welcome. The book itself is a handsome, coffee table volume replete with beautiful pictures from every age of the church's history, many of which serve to illustrate the architectural evolution of the building. Indeed, Fisher shines when describing the various construction or renovation projects undertaken by die church, which should interest students of design and architecture. There is also an array of people featured therein, such as girls from the church's Camp Waring or die roster of the St. Mark's Sunday School Basketball Team, as well as numerous original documents—letters, pages from various ledgers, and an admission ticket for families of those being confirmed. Despite its minor flaws, Saint Mark's Episcopal Church should serve as a model for future church histories. Encyclopedia ofArkansas History & CultureGuy Lancaster Bordertown: The Odyssey of an American Place. Text by Benjamin Heber Johnson. Photographs by Jeffrey Gusky. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Pp. 224. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, list of photographs, index. ISBN 9780300139280, $50.00, cloth.) It has been two decades since journalist Alan Weisman and photographerJay Dusard teamed to produce La Frontera (1986), the widely acclaimed original 20ogBook Reviews117 account of the place and personality of the U.S.-Mexico border. Many works combining text and photographs have followed in the wake of that path-breaking book, but none with more heart and soul than Bordertown by Benjamin Heber Johnson andJeffrey Gusky. Johnson, a historian by craft, and Gusky, a photographer by avocation, join talents to explore the small Texas border town of Roma, which tiiey claim is "a microcosm of the history of the border in the life of the United States" (15). The Odyssey is smardy organized, with chapters chronologically assembled and given spirit by historic tides for their respective eras. William Emory, of the U.S.-Mexico boundary survey, figures in chapter one to set die geographical parameters of the story and the town on the border, circa 1848. A founding family, viajóse Maria García Sáens, serves to underscore a chapter two...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 116-118
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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