Southwestern Classics On-Line | Lone Star Junction

Guide to
Life and Literature
of the

By J. Frank Dobie

Introduction to Online Edition

J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) was already widely known as a Texas author and folklorist when he first published his Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest in 1943. The Guide evolved from notes Dobie had collected and revised over the previous dozen or so years. It served as the basis for a class which he then taught at the University of Texas in Austin. It was further refined and significantly expanded for republication in 1952. The text for the online edition which follows is derived from the 1952 version of Dobie's work.

The Guide, as Dobie was the first to point out, is "fragmentary, incomplete, and in no sense a [comprehensive] bibliography" of Southwestern culture. Rather, it is a commentary and listing of a miscellany of writings on the Southwest that Dobie considered "good reading." The Guide's purpose, according to Dobie, was primarily: to help people of the Southwest learn more of the land to which they belong, to make their past more alive, to bring them to a realization of the values of their own cultural inheritance, and to stimulate them to observe.

By nature, any such work becomes dated, as many new titles are added which often provide deeper insight into new aspects of Southwestern history and culture. Nevertheless, Dobie's Guide remains an important work, written in a witty style, and conveniently organized into almost three dozen categories that cover virtually every aspect of Southwestern culture. Many of the titles reviewed by Dobie continue to be referenced in modern bibliographies, and will forever remain as primary sources which cover the period in which the Southwest was won. Almost without exception, the titles that form the core of Southwestern Classics On-Line will be included in Dobie's Guide.

Beginning of Original Text (1952 Edition)

A Preface with Some Revised Ideas

Chapter 1 -- A Declaration

Chapter 2 -- Interpreters of the Land

Chapter 3 -- General Helps

Chapter 4 -- Indian Culture; Pueblos and Navajos

Chapter 5 -- Apaches, Comanches, and Other Plains Indians

Chapter 6 -- Mexican-Spanish Strains

Chapter 7 -- Flavor of France

Chapter 8 -- Backwoods Life and Humor

Chapter 9 -- How the Early Settlers Lived

Chapter 10 -- Fighting Texians

Chapter 11 -- Texas Rangers

Chapter 12 -- Women Pioneers

Chapter 13 -- Circuit Riders and Missionaries

Chapter 14 -- Lawyers, Politicians, J.P.'s

Chapter 15 -- Pioneer Doctors

Chapter 16 -- Mountain Men

Chapter 17 -- Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Trail

Chapter 18 -- Stagecoaches, Freighting

Chapter 19 -- Pony Express

Chapter 20 -- Surge of Life in the West

Chapter 21 -- Range Life: Cowboys, Cattle, Sheep

Chapter 22 -- Cowboy Songs and Other Ballads

Chapter 23 -- Horses: Mustangs and Cow Ponies

Chapter 24 -- The Bad Men Tradition

Chapter 25 -- Mining and Oil

Chapter 26 -- Nature; Wild Life; Naturalists

Chapter 27 -- Buffaloes and Buffalo Hunters

Chapter 28 -- Bears and Bear Hunters

Chapter 29 -- Coyotes, Lobos, and Panthers

Chapter 30 -- Birds and Wild Flowers

Chapter 31 -- Negro Folk Songs and Tales

Chapter 32 -- Fiction-Including Folk Tales

Chapter 33 -- Poetry and Drama

Chapter 34 -- Miscellaneous Interpreters and Institutions

Chapter 35 -- Subjects for Themes

Southwestern Classics On-line | Lone Star Junction

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