Date of this Version
Great Plains Research 22.1 (Spring 2012)
The tidelands case is one of many examples of Ariens's success in weaving the narrative of a legal development into the state's political, economic, and social history. He meticulously analyzes scores of decisions and statutes, clearly and economically explains them, and locates them in the larger history of Texas. Some of Texas legal history is unique because of Texas's origins as a republic and its membership in the Confederacy, but other chapters, particularly those relating to land, minerals, water, and railroads, will resonate in the other Great Plains states. Ariens wisely declines to trumpet Texas exceptionalism. The infatuation with Texas myth that has bedeviled many chroniclers of the state's past will not be found in this careful, honest work. The book is a must for anyone who seeks an authoritative source for Texas legal history and a delight for anyone who just wants to understand the Lone Star State.