The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

raw material from Clayton's files which should elevate the level of the
arguments. Dobney has properly allowed more space for documents
which bear upon major Cold War policies and events-postwar plan-
ning, UNRRA, the British Loan, the Marshall Plan. Of little appeal to
general readers, this volume will be stimulating and useful for students
of economic history and foreign policy in the early Cold War.
University of Missouri-Kansas City RICHARD D. MCKINZIE
Biracial Politics: Conflict and Coalition in the Metropolitan South. By
Chandler Davidson. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1972. Pp. xviii+ 3o1. Tables, index, appendices. $11.95.)
Written by Chandler Davidson, a sociologist at Rice University, Bi-
racial Politics is not so much a history as it is a political analysis and an
outline of action for the black minority. Using Houston in the 196o's as
a case study, the author proceeds to attack the efficacy of democratic
pluralism-the idea that in America many small groups combine success-
fully to gain at least a part of what each group desires. Along the way
Davidson cuts down as myths assertions that Negroes are less active in
politics than Caucasians, that blacks are less adept in politics than
whites, that low-income whites are more prejudiced than others, and
that Negroes have made great progress during the new civil rights move-
ment of the past decade.
Although admitting achievement in elections, social climate, and
housing, Davidson claims that it is all too slow, especially in the area
of income and job parity. He concludes: "There does not seem to be
any clear-cut connection between the political pressure exerted by
Negro interest groups, Negro Politicians, and the Negro electorate on
the one hand, and progress in obtaining benefits on the other" (p. 138).
To correct this, he urges a political coalition of all lower-income peo-
ple and argues that when the choice is between dollars and skin color,
dollars will win.
The book is well-written-clear, bright, and persuasive. Its weak
points of analysis are an assumption that political power will lead in-
evitably to economic and social benefits, and the argument that a coali-
tion of low-income peoples will achieve the power. He has not proven
the point that politics in this country, or on a local basis, is so pervasive
as to dominate all aspects of life. A low-income coalition, moreover, was
attempted during the Populist movement of the nineteenth century,

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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 September 1, 2014.