The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Women's fight for political equality challenged popular assumptions
about woman's proper place. It also forced Texans to reexamine the
meaning of citizenship in a democratic society. This book tells us a
great deal about the expanding role of women in Texas life, and, be-
cause the question of suffrage is fundamental to democracy, it con-
tributes to our understanding of the continuing reinterpretation of
American political ideals.
Georgza Southern College ANASTATIA SIMS
Rayburn: A Bzography. By D. B. Hardeman and Donald C. Bacon. (Aus-
tin: Texas Monthly Press, 1987. Pp. xi+554. Acknowledgments,
introduction, photographs, notes, sources, index. $21.95.)
Impressions of Mr. Sam: A Cartoon Profile. Edited by H. G. Dulaney and
Edward Hake Phillips. (Bonham, Tex.: Sam Rayburn Foundation,
1987. Pp. vii+ 164. Acknowledgments, preface, introduction, illus-
trations. $7.95, paper.)
This long-awaited biography by one of Rayburn's aides narrates chro-
nologically the story of the Tennessee-born, Texas-bred Samuel Talia-
ferro Rayburn. From a quiet, lonely child, he became the youngest
Speaker of the Texas House and went to the halls of the nation's capital,
where he served for forty-eight years, twenty-one of these as Speaker
of the House.
Writing with sympathy, the authors reveal Rayburn's political career
and his early years in Washington. There Rayburn, like many of his
contemporaries, manifested party loyalty. He emerged as a lieutenant
of John Nance Garner, but respected the mediocre Calvin Coolidge.
The chapters through the 192os are enriched by insights into Ray-
burn's personality, but significantly weakened by a lack of details about
his voting record. For example, the authors contend that Rayburn's
"three great interests were people, public affairs, and agriculture"
(p. Lo7), yet omit Rayburn's views on the major agricultural bills.
The authors continue this trend in their treatment of the New Deal.
At their best, they describe the bitter fight over the Public Utility Hold-
ing Company Act. But there is a lack of significant facts and analyses
concerning Rayburn's views on much New Deal legislation. An ade-
quate treatment of Rayburn as minority leader is presented, but the
best version appears in an article by Anthony Champagne in the South-
western Historical Quarterly (April, 1987).

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed December 20, 2014.