History Faculty Publications and Presentations
Living on ,the Edge of America: At Home on the Texas-Mexico Border by Robert Lee Maril (review)
Salmon, Robert M., "Living on ,the Edge of America: At Home on the Texas-Mexico Border by Robert Lee Maril (review)" (1993). History Faculty Publications and Presentations. 26.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Valley of Texas. Robert Lee Maril's diary-like style covers some thirteen years of personal experiences as an outsider to the Valley's culture. In three sections, he combines storytelling and participant observation to tell thirty-one short stories. A sociologist by training, Maril explores the forces at work in peoples' lives that keep many of them under the control of external factors in the borderlands. While interesting on the level of storytelling, as social science the work is sketchy, scattered, and hardly defines the dynamic aspects of Mexican American culture. Maril needed to employ a wider, culturally relative view of South Texas affairs. He needed to probe the common-sense coping systems of Texas-Mexico culture. He should have viewed several institutions, not just his own teaching experiences.