Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Borderlands Sourcebook: A Guide to the Literature on Northern Mexico and the American Southwest. Edited by Ellwyn R. Stoddard, Richard L. Nostrand, and Jonathan P. West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983. Bibliography. Illustrations. Index. Maps. Tables. 445 Pages. $48.50.
Reviewed by Iris H.W. Engstrand, Professor of History, University of San Diego, and author of San Diego: California’s Cornerstone.
The Borderlands Sourcebook is designed as a basic guide to research in specific fields of study such as history, archeology, geography, economics, politics, law, demography, society and culture. It is a collection of fifty-nine separate articles plus an extensive bibliography of books, articles, dissertations, theses, public documents, and miscellaneous printed materials. Editors Stoddard, Nostrand, and West have done an excellent job in gathering together a wide variety of information. The some fifty authors include well-known experts in most aspects of borderlands studies.
The book is primarily useful as an introduction to sources and in providing an overview of the available literature in specific areas. Individual articles vary in readability, although clarity often depends upon the reader’s previous knowledge of the particular field. Topics that will appeal to persons in the San Diego region include changing cultural and economic patterns along the border, border comparisons, and concerns of border cities. Traditional subjects covered are California-Baja California archaeology, land grants, art and architecture, religion and church, Indian cultures and education. Studies of recent problems include Mexican migration and illegal immigration, illegal drug traffic, pollution, law enforcement, health and health care. In addition there are a number of maps, charts, and tables illustrating the textual material. In-formation on climate, weather patterns, vegetation, and future trends is also helpful. The book is divided more or less proportionately among the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Because of its nature as a research tool, the Borderlands Sourcebook is a must for all libraries and can be particularly valuable to borderlands scholars, especially teachers, concerned with the area’s past and present.