by WALTER BUENGER
2nd ed., 1983, 546 pages, $26.95
For the past few years I have been searching for a book from which
students could obtain a basic understanding of Texas History.
I have wanted something that would familiarize students with chronology,
people, and major events of Texas history, but would be stimulating
and interesting reading. The essays in this book fit those needs.
Reading these essays should allow my students to better understand
lectures and to participate in discussion. In turn, it will free
me to lecture on more diverse topics because students will have
enough knowledge to understand the significance of those diverse
topics. Of course, these high expectations will not be met if
students do not read these essays as they are assigned.
These essays are organized in chronological fashion and are a
mixture of narrative and topical studies. The first three essays
introduce you to Texas prior to 1810. Indians and Mexicans, who
dominated the population at that time and who remain important,
are sympathetically portrayed and the Spanish influence on Texas
is described. The next three essays focus on the Anglo-American
and European migration to Texas in the mid-19th century. The third
trio of essays outline the history of the Republic and Civil War
years, and call attention to Texas literature which quite often
deals with those romantic times. The final group of three essays
treat Texas in the 20th century. Reasons for economic growth are
given, and purposefully argumentative political history is offered.
Argumentative is a key word. When you read these essays do not
accept every word as the absolute truth. Certainly the dates and
facts are correct, but the interpretation of the past is always
open to question. Become an active reader. Question what you read
and compare it to what else you know and hear. Remember, though,
that you too are biased in one way or another, and that you have
less knowledge and information than the authors of these essays.
Keep an open mind, and look for logical clues to the changes over
time in the region called Texas.
Chapter 1: NATIVE AMERICAN OF TEXAS
Chapter 2: THE HISTORY OF MEXICAN AMERICANS IN TEXAS: A PRELIMINARY
Chapter 3: SPANISH TEXAS, 1519-1810
Chapter 4: ENVIRONMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PERCEPTIONS IN TEXAS
Chapter 5: IMMIGRATION TO TEXAS
Chapter 6: LAND AND COMMUNITY: EUROPEAN MIGRATION TO RURAL TEXAS
IN TH 19th CENTURY
Chapter 7: THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
Chapter 8: TEXAS IN GRAY: THE CIVIL WAR YEARS 1861-1865
Chapter 9: IMAGINING TEXAS: THE LITERATURE OF THE LONE STAR STATE
Chapter 10: TEXAS ECONOMIC GROWTH, 1890 TO WORLD WAR II: FROM
FRONTIER TO INDUSTRIAL GIANT
Chapter 11: A LIBERAL VIEW OF TEXAS POLITICS, 1890's-1930's
Chapter 12: A LIBERAL VIEW OF TEXAS POLITICS SINCE THE 1930's