Progressivism sprang, but his work fares badly when compared to such
studies as David Thelen's exciting account of the origins of Progres-
sivism in Wisconsin. Moreover, some readers may not be convinced
from Barr's account that Progressivism even penetrated into Texas.
As of 9go6, the closing date of this study, there was little in the records
of Edward M. House, Joseph W. Bailey, Charles A. Culberson, and
others to indicate that they were Progressives.
Professor Barr has written political history that rarely penetrates
beneath the surface level. In treating such topics as the Greenbacks
and the Populists, he devotes most of his efforts to describing one elec-
tion after another and fails to explore the character of those move-
ments. The reader learns little about the intriguing figures of Wash
Jones, Norris Wright Cuney, and James H. "Cyclone" Davis. In chap-
ter after chapter the reader must make his way through a maze of
nominating conventions, party platforms, and election returns, an ap-
proach that the following sentence well illustrates:
The convention opened on August io amid talk of Swain-Martin com-
binations against Ross, a conservative swing to Giddings, a Ross plot to get
Martin's vote by circulating the story that he planned to bolt, and a plan
for Ross men to "hurrah" the convention into nominating their hero by
acclamation. (p. 98).
Such an approach is destined to discourage even the most ardent
students of Texas history.
University of Georgia WILLIAM F. HOLMES
Texas Under a Cloud. By Sam Kinch, Jr., and Ben Procter. (Austin:
The Pemberton Press, 1972. Pp. 159. Illustrations. $6.95.)
Political power in Texas since the New Deal has been in the hands
of a conservative business establishment closely identified with the
ruling Democratic party. Money is the lifeblood of Texas campaigns;
it is, as the saying goes, "well ahead of whatever is in second place."
If Texas's monied structure has an Achilles' heel, it is ethics. No line
is drawn between private interest and public responsibility. In Janu-
ary, 1971, a stock-fraud scandal stunned Texans when the Securities
Exchange Commission revealed that two bills promoted by Houston
financier Frank W. Sharp had passed the legislature about the time
that Sharp and friends had arranged profitable bank-loan stock pur-
chases for Governor Preston Smith, state Democratic party Chairman
Elmer Baum, and Speaker of the House Gus Mutscher, among others.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/. Accessed May 6, 2015.