Big Bend's Ancient and Modern Past (Paperback)
The Big Bend region of Texas—variously referred to as “El Despoblado” (the uninhabited land), “a land of contrasts,” “Texas’ last frontier,” or simply as part of the Trans-Pecos—enjoys a long, colorful, and eventful history, a history that began before written records were maintained.
With Big Bend’s Ancient and Modern Past, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Robert J. Mallouf provide a helpful compilation of articles originally published in the Journal of Big Bend Studies, reviewing the unique past of the Big Bend area from the earliest habitation to 1900.
Scholars of the region investigate not only the peoples who have successively inhabited it but also the nature of the environment and the responses to that environment. As the studies in this book demonstrate, the character of the region has, to a great extent, dictated its history.
The study of Big Bend history is also the study of borderlands history. Studying and researching across borders or boundaries, whether national, state, or regional, requires a focus on the factors that often both unite and divide the inhabitants. The dual nature of citizenship, of land holding, of legal procedures and remedies, of education, and of history permeate the lives and livelihoods of past and present residents of the Big Bend.
About the Author
BRUCE A. GLASRUD is the retired dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Sul Ross State University (Alpine, Texas). His numerous previously published books include Texas Labor History (with James C. Maroney) and Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement (with Merline Pitre), both published in 2013 by Texas A&M University Press. He lives in San Antonio. ROBERT J. MALLOUF, formerly Texas State Archeologist and director of the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross State University, has published extensively on the prehistory and history of Texas, Kansas, and north-central Mexico.
“Several features make this compilation a worthy contribution to the growing literature on regional studies. First, it serves as a useful overview of a too-often overlooked section of the state–the Big Bend. Second, it provides insights into life there through the lens of history, archaeology, ethnicity and race, folklore, anthropology, and other fields of inquiry. Third, the work brings to a wider audience the value of the Journal of Big Bend Studies, a periodical whose publications equal in substance those issued by other Texas regional periodicals. Last, it comes from the creative mind of the esteemed scholars Bruce Glasrud and Robert Mallouf, two academicians who have devoted much energy to promoting scholarly investigations of the Big Bend.”—Arnoldo De Leon, professor, Angelo State University
— Arnoldo De Leon
"Bruce Glasrud and Robert Mallouf contribute significantly to our understanding of the Texas past with this fascinating anthology of essays on the Big Bend region. The time span they cover is immense, from prehistory through the nineteenth century, and the range of disciplines this volume weaves together—scholars of history, archeology, and folklore, along with geologists , biologists, geographers and practitioners—contribute to the deep and rich discussion of the land, the peoples, and the cultures that define the Big Bend region and its past. Appropriately, the theme that runs through this collection is the diversity of the peoples of the Big Bend, who, from the pre-historic peoples who first settled the area to the Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, Anglos, and African Americans who arrived in more recent times, made the Big Bend the crossroads of cultures that it continues to be today."--Cary D. Wintz, Distinguished Professor of History, Texas Southern History
— Cary D. Wintz
"This impressive collection of essays reminds the reader that El Despoblado region is neither empty nor uninhabited but rich in human history that predates European intrusion and perseveres over time."--Miguel Levario, author, Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy
— Miguel Levario