The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

next decade, but by 1958 he was running American Income Life Insurance
Company in Waco and discovering, through the Ralph Yarborough senatorial
campaign, that he was a splendid fund raiser. Rapoport has been at it ever
since, for more than forty years, raising crucial money for Texas's chronically
under-funded liberal candidates, e.g. Maury Maverick Jr., Don Yarborough, and
Sissy Farenthold, but also Democratic senatorial candidates in other states and
presidential candidates beginning with John Kennedy. He offers appealing vi-
gnettes on most of them.
Rapoport founded his company with $25,000 in assets and built it into a bil-
lion-dollar corporation. He demonstrated his business acumen by taking AIL
through several phases, the most dramatic of which was selling disability and life
insurance to union members. His long business relationship with the Texas AFL-
CIO began in i961, and was cemented by their mutual liberal ideology.
Rapoport also embraced other progressive causes, e.g. financing the liberal
monthly, the Texas Observer, though he was sometimes appalled by its opinions.
Some liberals fell out with him in the 199ggos when one of the gubernatorial
candidates for whom he provided vital funds, Ann Richards, was actually elected,
and appointed him to the University of Texas Board of Regents. As regent he de-
fended the university's ties to an alleged polluter, endorsed higher tuitions, and
denounced affirmative action.
In 1987 he and Audre established the Rapoport Foundation, which has dis-
pensed millions to nonpartisan, educational causes, especially to the University
of Texas at Austin, the Waco schools, Planned Parenthood, and education and
child care in Israel. The Rapoports strongly believe that illiteracy and under-edu-
cation are the key causes of poverty in the United States.
"B," as he styles himself in later years, has admitted to as many failures as any
autobiographer could be reasonably expected to. One not revealed is that in the
midst of hundreds of financial promises made for worthy causes over the
decades, he has occasionally not lived up to his oral commitments. On the other
hand, he has bolstered some needy individuals without the recipients even
knowing it. His deficiencies are dwarfed by the man's colossal generosity and the
totality of his achievements. Anyone interested in Texas public life in the twenti-
eth century could benefit from reading this well-written, lively volume.
University of Texas at Arlington GEORGE GREEN
Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrnszc Gzft. By Thomas E.
Chaivez. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2oo2. Pp. xii+286.
Preface, introduction, illustrations, appendices, notes, selected bibliogra-
phy, index. ISBN 0-8263-2793-1. $29.95, cloth.)
Our United States of America has been waiting a long time for someone to write
a full-fledged, fully documented book on Spain's role in the American Revolution
that is based on original documents in Spanish archives and published in English!
Most books about the War for Independence are based on American sources and
mention little if anything about Spain. With this mind-opening volume by Thomas

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed November 26, 2014.