Education: Plains Talker

Shambling through downtown streets like a man in plowed ground, leathery little Walter Prescott Webb looks every bit his part: a shrewd real estate trader in Austin. Texas. But Walter Webb, raised in the alkali flats of West Texas, schooled in the saddle, and for 40 years a professor at the University of Texas, is also his generation's foremost philosopher of the frontier, and the leading historian (The Great Plains, The Texas Rangers) of the American West. At 71, he has been made the hero of a sort of plainsman's festival of letters—a...

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