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4 8 8 W e s t e r n A m e r ic a n l it e r a t u r e W in t e r 2 0 0 6 others, such as artist Elbridge Ayer Burbank and photographers Adam Clark Vroman, Frederick Monsen, and Sumner Matteson may be less well known. The texts they produced include military reconnaissance reports, narratives of scientific exploration and ethnographic discovery, travelogues, journals, private letters, and novels, as well as paintings, drawings, and photographs. Padget is at his best in teasing out the often contradictory and self-revela­ tory impulses directing these works. Is the Southwest exotic, foreign, vaguely dangerous, or a charming comer of the United States, safely Americanized and easily accessible to the modem tourist? Are its non-Anglo inhabitants to be praised for their perceived ability to assimilate to Anglo culture or preserved in their imagined timeless difference from it? While the majority of Indian Country attempts to answer these questions by examining the cultural productions ofEuroamericans, a fair amount oftext is dedicated to the overt and covert resistance of Hispanic and Native American populations to both assimilationist and preservationist assaults. Padget charges some earlier critics with overestimating “the degree to which Euro-Americans could contain the ethnic and cultural differences” they encountered (9). Rather, he argues, “the process of American annexation and incorporation of the lands and peoples of the Southwest ... was necessarily a dialogue,” albeit rarely a balanced one, between cultures (11). It is here that some readers may be disappointed to find Padget’s text lack­ ing a really energetic engagement with theory. Although most of the big names associated with scholarship on the Southwest are mentioned, their arguments tend to be invoked then abandoned within a couple of sentences. On the other hand, many readers may welcome the absence of mind-numbing sentence structure and ultra-hip critical jargon. What they get instead is a thorough embedding of individuals and their works in an intensely detailed matrix of culture, history, class, politics, economics, racial and ethnic constructions, and emerging ideas of nationhood and identity. Within this framework, Padget suc­ ceeds in illuminating how works produced by scientists, travel writers, amateur photographers, and professional ethnologists “collectively ... contributed to the process whereby the colonial frontier of the Southwest was claimed by intellec­ tual authority and ... transformed into a region of the United States” (116). Five Shades of Shadow. By Tracy Daugherty. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003. 286 pages, $27.95. Reviewed by Neil P. Baird University of Nevada, Reno “Whether mentioned directly or not, the Oklahoma City bombing informs each sentence here” (5). Even though Tracy Daugherty, who was teaching in Oregon at the time, did not experience the bombing directly, this tragedy deeply affected him, disrupting his life by intensifying the depression that B o o k R e v ie w s would bring an end to his marriage. Daugherty tells the story of the survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing in order to understand his deep connections to the geography of his youth. Daugherty divides his memoir into three parts, and the first, “Hard Ground,” relates stories of his childhood in the Dust Bowl territories of West Texas and southern Oklahoma. Daugherty says that “the sands and slopes of our childhoods, which shape our geographical senses, our understandings of time and space, also frame the way we grieve” (110). If this is so, Daugherty’s love for the sounds of Roy Orbison and Merle Haggard, for his grandfather’s political speeches, for the story of the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath (1939), and for the novel as a literary form all shape his reaction to the bombing. In “Cleared Ground,” Daugherty turns from his childhood memories to the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing and the conviction of Timothy McVeigh. His memoir is at its most powerful here, especially in the extended interview with survivor Dr. Paul Heath in “After Murrah” as both Daugherty and Heath retrace the route McVeigh reportedly took the day of the bombing. “After the Oklahoma City bombing,” Daugherty says, “I fretted constantly about the lines between private and public: where they crossed or didn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 488-489
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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