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554Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril steer-roping fan would not tire of the continuous recitation of details such as the times the competitors achieved in qualifying events. Baxter has a clear, engaging writing style, though, and the book is laced with enough cowboy and rodeo slang to keep such usage fun but not tiresome. The large number of handsome photographs culled from archives throughout the Southwest is quite impressive. Readers interested in the cattle industry or cowboy sports should find something to like in this attractive book. Texas State Historical AssociationRyan R. Schumacher The Master Showmen of the King Ranch: The Story ofBeto and Librado Maldonado. By Betty Bailey Colley and Jane Clements Monday, with Beto Maldonado, foreword by StephenJ. "Tio" Kleberg. (Austin: University ofTexas Press, 2009. Pp. 246. Illustrations, appendices, bibliography, index. ISBN 9780292719422, $45 cloth; ISBN 9780292719439, $24.95 paper.) Numerous publications provide extensive information on the establishment, investors, and cattle production of the King Ranch. Many of these previous studies tend to underscore the role of founder Richard King, cattlemen or cowboys, and the business development of the ranch. The Master Showmen ofthe King Ranch is a recent work based primarily on the life stories of Beto Maldonado and his father, Librado, who made significant contributions to the ranch's animal husbandry program by breeding cattle and preparing animals for public exhibition or sale from 1950 to 1986. The Maldonados were among the numerous kineños, Mexican-American ranch workers who served in the construction, operation, and refurbishing of the King Ranch in the twentieth century. The book integrates data from twenty-seven interviews with members of the Maldonado family, the StephenJ. "Tio" Kleberg family, and ranch employees. The incorporation of the oral history accounts is the main strength of the book. Beto is the main storyteller of the narrative while authors Betty Bailey Colley andJane Clements Monday provide briefwritten commentary throughout the text. Colley and Monday's new volume is the third one that they have written together on the kineños. Their two previous works are Voices of the Wild Horse Desert (1997) and Tales ofthe Wild Horse Desert (2001). The authors assert that Master Showmen of the King Ranch "is a story about the family as they grew up on the ranch and about their everyday life with its challenges , tragedies, and joys ... as a rare opportunity to experience a moment in time, gone forever" (xiii). The prologue rovides a verbatim account of one of Beto's lectures spoken during his bus tours of the King Ranch describing its history , landmarks, and animals while interweaving a few intriguing family stories. In chapter one, Maldonado and the authors discuss the public exhibitions of the Santa Gertrudis catde (the ranch's world famous breed) across the country and in faraway destinations such as Casablanca, Morocco. The second chapter examines Beto and his father's involvement in the growth and advancement of the ranch's annual cattle auction. Chapter three offers insightful information on the ranch's 20ogBook Reviews555 equine program that some readers may not know about, such as die Maldonados' breeding and raising of one famous thoroughbred called Assault, winner of the 1946 Kentucky Derby. Other horses trained by the Maldonados were sold to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. In chapters four and five, various members of the Maldonado family describe their memorable experiences on the ranch, including daily activities, family interactions , leisure time, women's roles, Christmas celebrations, and working relations with ranch owners, and chapter six focuses on the Maldonados' notable personal achievements. While the seventh chapter assesses the significance of the ranch on revitalizing the local economy of the neighboring city of Kingsville, the final chapter gives an overview of the Maldonado family today. The book features numerous family photographs and reprints of a few small documents such as Beto and Librado 's business receipts. The appendices include data on individuals interviewed and referenced for the project and list the Maldonados' extensive family tree and traditional family food recipes. Overall, Master Showmen ofthe King Ranch vividly portrays the lives of Beto and Librado Maldonado, who were among the numerous kineños who played a key role in transforming the King Ranch...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 554-555
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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