The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965

Hook Raeviws
The Chief Executive in Texas. By Fred Gantt, Jr. Austin (Uni-
versity of Texas Press), i964. Pp. 396. Photographs, index.
$6.50.
The governorship of the American states is one of the least
understood, albeit one of the most important, institutions in the
vast heirarchy of elected offices. Yet the academic community
showed little interest in it until the appearance, in 1938, of Leslie
Lipson's pioneering work, The American Governor from Figure-
head to Leader. In the 1950's, two volumes by Coleman B. Ran-
some, Jr., The Office of Governor in the South and The Office
of Governor in the United States, were published. Other than
these there have been no serious attempts to study the institution
of the governorship on a national or regional basis, with the ex-
ception of those found in general text books. Excellent though
some of these may be, of necessity they must deal with state gov-
ernment as a whole rather than concentrate on a single office.
There has been a great need for detailed studies of the gov-
ernorship in individual states out of which the larger picture
could emerge. Although a few such studies have appeared, many
of them have been basically journalistic and are unsatisfactory
for the serious student of state government. Few former governors
have had the objectivity and literary skill to write meaningfully
of their own administrations. Some excellent biographies of gov-
ernors have been written (witness Robert C. Cotner's James
Stephen Hogg), but they have quite logically dealt mostly with
their subject as an individual and only incidentally with the
governorship. The governorship per se has been sorely neglected.
This neglect, as far as Texas is concerned, has been overcome
by the thoroughly researched, well organized, and clearly written
Chief Executive in Texas. The author, Fred Gantt, Jr., has made
a study, in depth, of the 'Texas governorship. Much of the ma-
terial comes from personal interviews with former governors,
their staffs, and influential legislators. For that reason there is less
conjecture than is found in most of the other books and articles

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed September 30, 2014.