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Cowboy conservatism : Texas and the rise of the modern right / Sean P. Cunningham.

By: Cunningham, Sean P.
Material type: TextTextSeries: New directions in southern history: Publisher: Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2010Description: xvi, 293 p. : ill, maps, photographs ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780813125763 (hardcover : alk. paper); 0813125766 (hardcover : alk. paper).Subject(s): Texas -- Politics and government -- 1951- | Conservatism -- Texas -- History -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 976.4/063 LOC classification: F391.2 | .C86 2010
Contents:
The eyes of Texas: political culture and tradition -- Growing pains: the politics of extremism -- Reconstructing conservatism: antiliberalism and the limits of "law and order" -- "I am a sick American": race, fear, and the limits of backlash politics -- Poisons: establishments in crisis -- Civil war: populist conservatism and the 1976 campaigns -- The gathering storm: Republican momentum and the albatross of Jimmy Carter -- Revolution: Reagan and Texas in 1980.
Summary: During the 1960s and 1970s, Texas was transformed by a series of political transitions. After more than a century of Democratic politics, the state became a Republican stronghold, influenced by the public perception that the GOP seemed better prepared to handle the formidable crises the country faced. By 1980, Texas was "Reagan Country." Ultimately, Republicans dominated the Texas political landscape, holding all twenty-seven of its elected offices and carrying former governor George W. Bush to his second term as president with more than 61 percent of the Texas vote. In Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, Sean P. Cunningham examines the remarkable origins of Republican Texas. Utilizing extensive research drawn from the archives of four presidential libraries, gubernatorial papers, local campaign offices, and oral histories, Cunningham presents a compelling narrative of modern conservatism as it evolved in one of the nation's largest and most politically important states.Summary: Cunningham analyzes the political changes that took place in Texas during the tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedy's assassination and the election of Ronald Reagan. Assessing the state's geography, history, economy, and social outlook, his analysis considers the nature of the political evolution in Texas during this time, as well as the changes that occurred within the political parties themselves. He explores critical issues related to the changing political scene in Texas, including the emergence of "law and order."race relations and civil rights, the slumping economy, the Vietnam War, and the rise of a politically active Christian Right, as well as the role of iconic politicians such as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Connally, and John Tower. Cowboy Conservatism demonstrates Texas's distinctive and vital contributions to the transformation of postwar American politics, revealing a vivid portrait of modern conservatism in one of the nation's most fervent Republican strongholds.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
F391.2 .C86 2010 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002129104

Includes bibliographical references (p. 273-282) and index.

The eyes of Texas: political culture and tradition -- Growing pains: the politics of extremism -- Reconstructing conservatism: antiliberalism and the limits of "law and order" -- "I am a sick American": race, fear, and the limits of backlash politics -- Poisons: establishments in crisis -- Civil war: populist conservatism and the 1976 campaigns -- The gathering storm: Republican momentum and the albatross of Jimmy Carter -- Revolution: Reagan and Texas in 1980.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Texas was transformed by a series of political transitions. After more than a century of Democratic politics, the state became a Republican stronghold, influenced by the public perception that the GOP seemed better prepared to handle the formidable crises the country faced. By 1980, Texas was "Reagan Country." Ultimately, Republicans dominated the Texas political landscape, holding all twenty-seven of its elected offices and carrying former governor George W. Bush to his second term as president with more than 61 percent of the Texas vote. In Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, Sean P. Cunningham examines the remarkable origins of Republican Texas. Utilizing extensive research drawn from the archives of four presidential libraries, gubernatorial papers, local campaign offices, and oral histories, Cunningham presents a compelling narrative of modern conservatism as it evolved in one of the nation's largest and most politically important states.

Cunningham analyzes the political changes that took place in Texas during the tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedy's assassination and the election of Ronald Reagan. Assessing the state's geography, history, economy, and social outlook, his analysis considers the nature of the political evolution in Texas during this time, as well as the changes that occurred within the political parties themselves. He explores critical issues related to the changing political scene in Texas, including the emergence of "law and order."race relations and civil rights, the slumping economy, the Vietnam War, and the rise of a politically active Christian Right, as well as the role of iconic politicians such as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Connally, and John Tower. Cowboy Conservatism demonstrates Texas's distinctive and vital contributions to the transformation of postwar American politics, revealing a vivid portrait of modern conservatism in one of the nation's most fervent Republican strongholds.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

The shift in Texas's political alignment from solid Democrat to solid Republican happened between 1963 with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan. Cunningham (Texas Tech Univ.) looks at political events local, statewide, and national to show how Texans stopped perceiving the Democratic Party as their natural allies and began to believe that conservative Republicanism better suited their worldview. He draws heavily from secondary sources for the first two chapters, but relies on archival sources for the rest of the book. Papers of political figures, speeches, newspaper and magazine articles, and oral histories all give credence to the arguments. The first chapter is a good political history of Texas to 1960. The turmoil of the 1960s moved Texans to feel a need for law and order and to exhibit extreme patriotism. The Republican Party repackaged itself to promote these ideals. Infighting among Texas Democrats and scandal in both parties hastened the change, as did Texans' anti-Washington bias. Jimmy Carter's failures as president coincided with Ronald Reagan's capitalizing on Texans' new ideologies. The book is easy to read and appropriate for anyone who likes political histories. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. A. Stuntz West Texas A&M University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>Sean P. Cunningham, assistant professor of history at Texas Tech University, has published articles and book reviews in Southwestern Historical Quarterly and the East Texas Historical Journal, among others. He lives in Lubbock, Texas.</p>

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