Suggested Reading List
Hemisfair ’68 and the Transformation of San Antonio
Author: Sterlin Holmsely
Description: Memoirs and contemporary first person accounts offer valuable evidence about the history of San Antonio particularly when they offer commentary on events that affected the city, its population, and its development. Or, in this case its transformation. In the mid-1990s, Sterlin Holmesly undertook the job of gathering an impressive set of such personal accounts, that document the motivation, planning, building, presentation, context, and aftermath of HemisFair ’68. While the book offers glimpses into the way the Fair had the trappings and political intrigue of any big-budget infrastructure project, it also sets out a complex picture of the socio-economic environment that confronted the organizers. This was the 1960s after all, and just as battles about poverty, peace, and liberalism gripped the nation, those challenges faced the people of San Antonio, too. In a time of drop-outs and drug use, draftees and draft dodgers, race riots and voting rights, confrontation and assassination, a group of civic leaders decided to advance the town’s participation on the international stage.
With such a historical event offering much fertile soil for producing significant documentation and analysis, Holmesly set an elegantly simple route to presenting the story. In lengthy tape recorded interviews, he applied his polished inquiry method, to get the principles involved in the HemisFair project to discuss their aspirations, methodology, setbacks, and victories.
The finest picture of the value of the book comes from a glimpse at the table of contents, because even novice students of San Antonio history will see the breadth of the offerings.
Place Names of San Antonio plus Bexar and Surrounding Counties
Author: David Green
Description: This second, much-enlarged edition of Dr. David Green's pioneering book on place names now identifies, often for the first time, more than 700 familiar and less familiar names in eight counties in South Texas. There are dozens of new illustrations of namesakes. Chapters on San Antonio s names reveal origins in numerous categories streets, parks, schools, libraries and learning centers, landmarks, military bases, suburbs. Another chronicles the blizzard of names on the streets and buildings of the South Texas Medical Center. Origins of many Spanish names are included, as are those of a few names less officially designated, such as Pace Picante Sauce and the Quarry Market. Vanished families reappear, forgotten achievements gain new recognition, and those who just happened to be around when a name was needed get their credit, too. This is a book with answers that will be referred to again and again.
San Antonio: Portrait of the Fiesta City
Author: Susanna Nawrocki
Description: The spirit of this unique city in Texas is captured in this entertaining text and Langford's vivid colour photographs. The book is a thorough introduction to San Antonio, detailing the city's history, architecture, military tradition, and cultural events. The authors outline the history of what is perhaps San Antonio's best-known landmark, the Alamo. They also highlight more recently developed points of interest in San Antonio, focusing on the River Walk, the development that turned the San Antonio River into a graceful, romantic, and historic centrepiece for the city. They recommend several of the city's many Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Museum of Art, Brackenridge Park, and HemisFair Plaza. And they present San Antonio's varied menu of cultural opportunities, from a day spent at the rodeo or Sea World to an evening at the Grand Opry House or the San Antonio Symphony. Finally, the authors summarise the city's most popular fiestas and festivals. Throughout, Mark Langford's colour photographs celebrate the diversity and spirit of San Antonio.