The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 173
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of wealth and culture in the state. Though himself a Texan since
the age of five, he tries to maintain a strictly objective viewpoint
in his discussion of the Texas mind, letting the facts speak for
themselves, and is for the most part successful in this. Having
obviously gained a certain insight into contemporary Texas pol-
itics, economics, traditions, and customs, he presents these in a
clear, readable style not devoid of humor.
Fuermann focuses his book on the years since World War II,
adding little of the early history of the state, and that at the end
of the book. His critical faculties are turned on several signifi-
cant themes that go to make up the mind of Texas. The state's
one-party politics are said to have weakened the government and
caused the people to "react ineffectively" to the recent political
scandals. The background of Texas political thinking is the
philosophy of States Rights, which Fuermann calls "the Holy
Grail of modern Texas aspirations." In the mid-twentieth century,
however, these sacred ideals, oftentimes based on conservative
demagoguery, are being challenged by a growing liberalism.
"Texas is being retreaded with modern principles." Oil gets at
least as much, if not more, attention than politics; for, as Fuer-
mann so aptly puts it, "Texas is oil." Oil is the lifeblood of the
state economically, yet, it is pointed out, oil and its by-products
directly reward few Texans percentage-wise. Its meaning to the
state is greatly braced, though, by the myths which surround it.
A Texan would no more criticize it than he would criticize Texas
itself, but the actions of a few Texas oil magnates in trying to
influence politics in other states are not supported by the people,
since only 2,200oo rather than the predicted 40,000 turned out to
hear Senator Joseph McCarthy speak at San Jacinto in 1954. The
legends of "Big Rich" and "millionism" are not neglected by
any means, and several quite amusing tales are related about such
figures as J. M. ("Silver Dollar") West, Jr., Mrs. Guy Waggoner,
and H. R. Cullen. Additional humor is added by such appealing
phrases as the chapter title "Crude Descending a Staircase" and
by the quotations liberally spread throughout the work of state-
ments by such men as Frederick Law Olmsted, Rafael Semmes,
Hubert Mewhinney, and J. Frank Dobie on the subject of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/211/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.