The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 322
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ing. George Norris Green, a history professor at the University of Texas
at Arlington, levels a strong indictment against those who ruled the state
politically from 1938 to 1957. He supports his thesis with voluminous
evidence which elaborates on segregation, antilabor laws, political dem-
agoguery, and anti-intellectualism, as well as blatant chicanery and
public corruption. In fact, the book's subtitle, The Primitive Years,
r938-1957, adequately reflects the subject matter.
After defining the Establishment as "a loosely knit plutocracy of the
Anglo upper classes" (p. xi), Green investigates its leaders, their philos-
ophy and actions, warning that "some readers will find this book de-
pressing" (p. xii). Indeed they will. Green argues that W. Lee O'Daniel
as governor and later as United States senator betrayed "the common
man"-to whom he owed office-gradually evolving into "a right-wing
extremist" (p. 44). Congressman Martin Dies served as chairman of the
insidious House Un-American Activities Committee, smearing indi-
viduals as Nazis or Communists; yet, "as usual, he had no proof" (p. 72).
Coke R. Stevenson appointed anti-intellectuals to the University of
Texas Board of Regents, who, in turn, through their lack of understand-
ing concerning higher education, almost destroyed academic freedom
in the state. Lyndon B. Johnson achieved a senate seat in 1948 by out-
maneuvering and buying more votes than his opponent Coke Stevenson.
And Allan Shivers became a labor-baiter and racist in the bitter 1954
gubernatorial race with Ralph Yarborough, manufacturing evidence
and spewing hatred in order to win another two-year term.
About this twenty-year period of Texas politics Green has written a
monograph well worth investigation and reading. Besides uncovering
and synthesizing a tremendous amount of material, he has presented it
in an interesting and analytical manner. And although, in this reviewer's
opinion, he failed to give the Shivers Administration enough credit for
bringing the state into the twentieth century, The Establishment in
Texas Politics is an important addition to the understanding of modern
Texas Christian University
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980, periodical, 1979/1980; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/m1/366/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.