The Purgery

A Writer's Blog & Resource Repository

Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: Texas Log Buildings: A Folk Architecture

Texas Log Buildings: A Folk Architecture
Texas Log Buildings: A Folk Architecture by Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are interested in analyzing ramshackle wooden barns and corn cribs found crumbling here and there along old Central and Southeast Texas farm roads, learning more about the tools and methods used in their construction or the cultural backgrounds of their builders, then Texas Log Buildings will not disappoint. Learn all about timber selection, log hewing, corner notching, wall raising, chinking, roof pitch, wattle and daub, and stick-and-mud chimneys in this fascinating read about American folk architecture in Texas.

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Book Review: Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas

Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas
Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas by Gregg Cantrell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a gem! If you are interested to learn about Stephen F. Austin the man versus the myth, then this biography will not disappoint. It hits on all the good, bad, and ugly accomplishments of SFA’s life and work, and the primary source facts behind the narrative effectively deflate the idol into something more humanlike.

Side note – I recommend visiting the Stephen F. Austin statue and museum in Angleton, Texas as well. The Ranger/Historian I met with there is another useful resource on the history of Brazoria County and the Austin Colony:
http://brazoriacountytx.gov/departmen…

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Book Review: Sugar, Planters, Slaves, and Convicts

Sugar, Planters, Slaves, and Convicts
Sugar, Planters, Slaves, and Convicts by Joan Few
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An overview on the mechanics of antebellum sugar plantation and milling operations along the Brazos River. Joan Few has demonstrated how the archeological record speaks volumes about 19th century life and culture in the absence of site-specific written or oral histories. My one complaint is that I could not access the podcast lectures (outdated links maybe?) If anyone reads this and knows how to tap into them, please fill me in!

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