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2oogBook Reviews275 Three daughters, however, feared traveling to the distant school in a land devoid of landmarks. To guide them, Ashburn plowed a single, straight-line furrow six and one-half miles long from house to schoolhouse, hence die book's title. Sam Taylor of North Carolina had a youthful vision of becoming a Texas rancher, but under parental pressure became a professor of mathematics instead. He came to West Texas, taught, saved money, married, and realized his boyhood dream with notable success. There is also the story of EuIa Taylor, the author's mother, and the Ku Klux Klan. Mrs. Taylor, on her way to meet her husband and walk home with him from his work, stumbled upon and in fear hid from a procession of Klansmen, many of whom she recognized. One of the best stories is that of Richard Taylor, the author's father. Cowboy first, then World War I veteran, lawyer, and devoted company man ofInternational Harvester, whose farm machinery was a select item on the black market in World War II. In clever disguise, Taylor went underground, identified black market dealers , and built evidence of their sorry dealings. A number found themselves unemployed after the war ended. Finally, Professor Herndon's recollections of a Dust Bowl childhood will find powerful identification among readers of Dust Bowl vintage. Most of these stories are told in first person, and fortunately for those who never have had a chance to hear Herndon tell these stories, we can at least read them. Therein, though, lies the problem. The printed page lacks inflection, eye contact, facial expression, and body language, all ingredients ofgood storytelling. But here we do have the words of stories well told, happily and delightfully, for the reader. West Texas A&M University, EmeritusFrederick W. Rathjen Inventing tL·Fiesta City: Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio. By Laura HernándezEhrisman (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. Pp. 248. Illustrations , notes, bibliography, index. ISBN g78o8o26343iog, $2g.g5 cloth.) San Antonio defies easy description, try as so many writers do to simplify the subject. Laura Hernández-Ehrisman takes on a central theme the hard way. Inventing tL· Fiesta City: Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio is die product of nearly ten years of development from graduate paper to master's thesis to dissertation and finally to book. Unlike odiers who have addressed certain aspects of this difficult subject, Hernández-Ehrisman plumbs the evolution and cultural implications of the entire event—parades, A Night in Old San Antonio, Rey Feo, the problematic Fiesta Carnival, and more. Popular accounts of the Batde of Flowers parade that launched the modern Fiesta celebration in 1 89 1 convey a sense of an orderly procession of carriages filled with Anglo ladies calmly tossing flowers to celebrate the victory at San Jacinto. Hernández-Ehrisman finds, however, that in reality there was considerable disorder: "The ladies of the parade committee had assumed that the parade 276Southwestern Historical QuarterlyOctober could display a city that was less isolated and more modern than ever before," whereas "the rowdy crowd that awaited die procession . . . suggested diat such a rapid modernization came with many dislocations as well" (22-23). Fiesta has had to deal with both an imagined South and an imagined West, becoming a cross between Carnival in New Orleans—"the city that care forgot" (g)—and Fiesta de Los Angeles, which shifted its parade and romantic royal court in 1 goo to a vaguer Fiesta de las Flores. It would be another halfcentury until San Antonio's Fiesta viewpoint was also broadened, from Fiesta de SanJacinto to Fiesta San Antonio. San Antonio's Fiesta has never drawn huge numbers of outside visitors. It has remained "a story that San Antonians told themselves, articulating a civic identity involving negotiations among multiple communities" (14). The Fiesta proves to be an ample field to study social dislocations and negotiations over the course of more dian a century of disorienting municipal growdi. Women took on education and patriotism by organizing the parade while men dealt with practical matters through a separate organization. Conflicts caused by the gradual blurring of women's roles were accompanied by other evolving contradictions. Mexican Americans early...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 275-276
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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