SouthwesternHistoricalQuarterly January into a junior college, but also racially integrated it and made it co-educational. It is not until chapters three and four that the reader is introduced to the history of the Texas Prison System. Authors David M. Horton and George R. Nielson chronicle the development of one the nation's most storied and reviled prison systems with great aplomb. It is here that the book is at its best, offering insights into conditions that led one authority in 1944 to report that the Texas prison system was "among the worst in the United States, and the shame of the Lone Star State" (p. 51). In 1961, after a stint as director of a seminary in Illinois that began in 1959, Beto was summoned by Texas officials to take over as prison director after the sudden death of director O. B. Ellis. His decision "had been especially agonizing because he had to choose between his two callings" (p. 107). After an initial refusal he accepted when he was assured he could also serve as chief chaplain. The book is best at describing Beto's relationship with inmates, life at the Director's Mansion across the street from the Walls Unit,
Southwestern Historical Quarterly – Texas State Historical Association
Published: Mar 28, 2007
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