The Blazing Southwest is the third history book I've read recently by Paul Wellman. Like the other two books, Death in the Desert and Death on the Prairie, this one is also excellent.
The Blazing Southwest is divided into sections, each fascinating and informative, but the section on Texas really stood out. This is partly because much of the information in the other parts of the book is covered elsewhere in his work, but reading about Texans and their incredible history was nothing short of stimulating and, to be honest, plain awe-inspiring.
I'd never before understood or appreciated the whole Texas pride and macho man image until reading this book, and I now stand humbled. Maybe I've been too much a product of modern thinking that insists there are no differences between men and women; maybe I've just never been around men who don't put up with attitude - especially one like mine. In any event, reading about the history of Texas and the rugged "manly men" who settled that state causes me to question my "modern" upbringing.
But it goes byond Texas, really. It goes to the heart of the expression "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." How did so many modern men lose that gumption, that determination, that fearless face of masculinity?
I read about Sam Houston and marvel at his outstanding character, stamina, courage, and determination. And there were SO MANY like him.
It's not that Texas/Texans didn't make their share of blunders and bad decisions in their tumultuous history. But when those long rifles fired, there was no mistaking who was pulling the triggers!
So, to all you fine Texan men - and women - your history is impressive, admirable, and inspiring. Makes me proud to be part of the great Southwest!