The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Land, the Law, and the Lord - Dorothy Blodgett

The Land, the Law, and the Lord:

The Life of Pat Neff:

Governor of Texas, 1921-1925,

President of Baylor University, 1932-1947.

By Dorothy Blodgett, Terrell Blodgett, and David L. Scott. Foreword by Ann Richards. Austin: Home Place Publishers (POB 13062, zip 78711), 2007. Hardback, covered with dark green cloth carrying gold lettering on the spine and front, and protected by a thick, golden colored dust jacket, 383 pages. Notes, bibliog, index. $27.95 ISBN 978-0-9761152-2-9

Pat Morris Neff (1871-1952) did more than fight Demon Rum and live a personally righteous life. Rising from a dirt farm, he placed the highway system in a top priority, planted the seeds of our parks system, appointed women to office, fought the Klan, and attempted reform of our prison system. Thereafter he chaired the Railroad Commission and steered Baylor toward stability during the Depression, through the War to its centennial. The late Dorothy Blodgett’s years of research are augmented by Terrell and David. Over 50 pages are consumed by the footnotes and 20 pages are consumed by the bibliography.

This first and only full biographical treatment of the visionary Texan is exciting and worthwhile, written by admiring hands on a landmark governor. The volume may spark further inquiry into Texas’ early 20th century humane qualities.

See also the recent work: Guided with a steady hand: the cultural landscape of a rural Texas park / by Dan K. Utley and James W. Steely. Baylor University Press, 1998. [electronic resource] – The most interesting older work may be his own: Making Texans: five minute declamations / by Pat M. Neff. Austin: Gammel's Books Store, 1931.

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