Southwestern Historical Quarterly
CORE's rise and decline, its strategies, tactics, and ideologies in transition.
The authors, drawing extensively upon materials in CORE's archives and
other primary sources, including more than two hundred personal inter-
views, view the national organization from within. Crises of ideology, cohe-
sion, finances, and leadership are thoroughly discussed, as are such CORE
activities as sit-ins, jail-ins, freedom rides, voter-registration drives, and
community-organization efforts. Moreover, since CORE was actually a
federation of strong local groups, considerable attention is given to the per-
formance of individual chapters.
CORE was launched in Chicago in 1942. Its founders, four whites and
two blacks, were dedicated pacifists. Their resolve was to counter racial in-
justice with Gandhian techniques of nonviolent direct action. Following
disciplined procedures, CORE members would first gather facts about a
specific instance of discrimination, then attempt to convert their opponents
through negotiation. If unsuccessful, they would try to mobilize public opin-
ion, and, as a last resort, engage in a form of direct action, such as the sit-in.
The tactics pioneered by CORE in the 1940os were adopted by the awak-
ening protest movement of the I95os and I960s. The small organization
expanded in size and significance. Its national director, Texas-born James
Farmer, assumed a major leadership role in the civil rights cause. Although
violent white resistance and increasing black unrest precipitated the legisla-
tive triumphs and desegregation of the mid-I96Os, CORE, like the move-
ment in general, experienced a "crisis of victory." Meier and Rudwick have
skillfully analyzed the complex factors in its subsequent drift toward black
separatism. Their incisive, well-documented book is an important addition
to the history of civil rights.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library MICHAEL L. GILLETTE
Essays on the Gilded Age. By Carter E. Boren et al. Edited by Margaret
Francine Morris. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973. Pp. I08.
Introduction, notes. $5-)
Rarely is one asked to review one's progeny. I was present at the creation
of the Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures and this is the first volume
in the series in which I have not taken a significant part. With the exception
of H. Wayne Morgan, every contributor is a friend. The introduction is by
Jenkins Garrett, who recently gave his important collection of Texana to
the University of Texas, Arlington. The editor is Margaret Francine Mor-
ris, the special collections librarian at that institution.
Carter E. Boren's essay is a useful summary of the development of a uni-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/. Accessed February 1, 2015.