The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

current social problems. It is weakest in covering the arts. There is
some general information on painting, folk art, and architecture, but
nothing substantive on fiction. This aspect of southwestern culture
needs attention in depth, since the arts are one of the area's most dis-
tinctive attributes, and are barometers of social change just as much
as statistics are of economic or demographic change.
Like all symposia this one is uneven, but its total impact is positive.
It delineates well our inherited views and interpretations of the bor-
derlands region, tells us where we are now, and suggests where we
need to go in further inquiry. It is a basic reference work which all
students of the area and of comparative frontiers will profit from using.
University of Oklahoma H. WAYNE MORGAN
From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920. By
Roger M. Olien. (Dallas: SMU Press, 1982. Pp. x+309. Preface,
photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $15.)
The evolution of Texas into a two-party state is well documented in
this ambitious book by Roger M. Olien, the chairman of the Depart-
ment of History and Government at the University of Texas of the
Permian Basin. Olien traces the Republican party's development from
the days when Texas was a totally Democratic bastion, with the Repub-
lican party serving only to dole out patronage in the state when the
GOP happened to hold the White House, to the present, with the party
a viable, powerful force that now boasts a United States senator and
a recent governor.
Olien notes that from 1920o to 1950, almost without interruption, the
party was the personal patronage playground of Rentfro B. Creager.
He rode to power by helping engineer Warren G. Harding's presiden-
tial nomination at the 1920o Republican national convention, and held
on to that power, often at the expense of party development. Until his
death in 1950, Creager used his position on the Republican National
committee and juggling of rural party representation on the Republi-
can State Committee to keep rival power brokers at bay--including
Harry M. Wurzbach, Texas's sole GOP congressman in the 1920s,
whom he helped the Democrats beat in 1928.
Wurzbach charged that Creager's organization "aimed at controlling
patronage and losing elections" (p. 45). Another foe compared the party
under Creager to "a midget plum tree which can be guaranteed to bear
luscious fruit whenever a Republican president goes to the White

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed December 25, 2014.