The Urban Texas (University of Texas Press, $35)

David-G-McComb_The-City-in-TexasDavid G. McComb’s The City in Texas is an informative and moderately entertaining history of urban development in Texas, including fact-filled descriptions of the industries associated with those cities. It wanders at times.

Writing of the retreat of the Mexican Army after the Texas Revolution, McComb quotes nine lines from the celebrated De la Peña “diary” to describe the mud encountered. Given the well-publicized factual and historical problems with this document, perhaps a simple “it was very muddy” would have sufficed. It goes well as a resource with other histories of Texas such as T.R. Fehrenbach’s Lone Star, and James Haley’s Passionate Nation.


William Groneman, author of David Crockett: Hero of the Common Man.