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Book Reviews Jesús F. de la Teja, Editor Hütoric Texas from the Air. By David Buisseret, Richard Francaviglia, and Gerald Saxon, photographs by Jack W. Graves Jr. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009. Pp. 218. Illustrations, color and b&w photographs, maps, index. ISBN 9780292719279, $45.00 cloth.) Fans of T. R. Fehrenbach's Texas: A Salute from Above (World Publishing Services , 1985) will delight in a new volume ofaerial photographs ofthe state: Historic Texasfrom theAir, by David Buisseret, Richard Francaviglia and Gerald Saxon, with photography byJack W. GravesJr. The authors of Historic Texas set out to help the reader explore the history of Texas in its geographic context, using angled aerial photographs of some of the most significant sites of the state's past. Through this unconventional point of view, the authors achieve what would be difficult from any other perspective: the visual story of how the land has shaped Texans, and how Texans have shaped the land. The isolation early Texans must have felt is more palpable to the twenty-first century reader after viewing Fort Davis from the air and the barren, rocky landscape surrounding it. A bird's eye view of Galveston and its seawall makes it apparent how dramatically Texans have changed the land since Cabeza de Vaca first was shipwrecked on the island's inhospitable shores. The volume also includes sites that could not be fully appreciated from any other angle—the twisted tangle offreeways that make up the Fort Worth Mixmaster , the immensity of the scattered rocks at the Alibates Flint Quarries near Amarillo , the contrast of the wild, craggy landscape of the Palo Duro Canyon alongside neat, patchwork-quilt squares of agricultural land. Each of Graves's brilliant photographs is accompanied by a summary of the historic significance of the site. The volume is supplemented with other relevant images—satellite photographs of Texas from NASA, both contemporary and historic maps, detailed pictures of significant features of the sites (such as the pictographs at Hueco Tanks) and historic illustrations and documents. The authors of Historic Texas from the Air succeed in presenting an inclusive version of the history ofTexas, devoting significant space to the Native American and Spanish contributions to the story of the land. Curiously, however, while they include sections on Baylor University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at El Paso and Southern Methodist University, they neglect Texas A&M University and Rice University, two more of Texas's leading institutions of higher learning. 530Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril Historic Texas from the Air deserves a place on the bookshelves of teachers and students of Texas history, as well as those with a general interest in the subject . It is both a work of scholarship and art, and it offers a rare and important perspective. League City, TexasElizabeth Chapman New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas. Compiled by Galen D. Greaser. (Austin: Texas General Land Office, 2009. Pp. 344. Illustrations, figures, glossary, bibliography, index. $15.00 paper.) Don't let die title mislead you. This New Guideis much more thanjust a revamping of the 1 988 index to the Spanish and Mexican land grants available from the Texas General Land Office. Based on Virginia H. Taylor's 1976 Index to Spanhh and Mexican Land Grants and on the 1 988 guide written by William Todd IV under the direction ofJesús F. de la Teja, this New Guide is written by Galen D. Greaser, a 25-year veteran of the General Land Office. In this work Greaser provides the best and most extensive overview of the history ofland grants in South Texas from 1740 to the twentieth century. The history, tided Once Upon a River" encompasses the first half of the book, more than 150 pages, and includes four appendices , while the second half provides a far more detailed and complete list of the land grant records. Galen Greaser's keen interest in the history of Hispanics in Texas has led him to research South Texas land grants. His scholarship is amply evident in the many footnotes and in the in-depth research into the materials available from the historic archives in Saltillo, Monterrey, Mexico City, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 529-530
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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