The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 424
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
known as the "Petticoat Lobby," the Republican party in Texas, the
internecine conflict within the majority party, and the emergence of
a group of "liberal" Democrats during the years 1926-1928. Brown
clarifies the influential and mischievous part played by Jim Ferguson
in state politics and does a reasonably good job of relating state and
national politics in 1924 and 1928.
In general, the strength of this political history lies in its descriptive
and narrational qualities rather than in its interpretive attributes: the
volume is most successful in providing a comprehensive and reliable
account of political developments in Texas during the twenties. This
accomplishment is noteworthy, given the complexities of the state's
politics in this period. The book is not without interpretation, es-
pecially in the author's efforts to illuminate the motivation of in-
dividual leaders and the circumstances that explain certain decisions
and events. He also makes clear the persistence of progressivism in the
192os, both in the form of "business" reform and in the widespread
commitment of Texans to traditional moral standards and cultural
values. On the whole, however, Brown rather shies away from larger
interpretive themes. It would have been helpful, for instance, to
have a more sustained and coherent interpretation of the dynamics of
Democratic factionalism during these years, as well as a clear indica-
tion of changing intraparty alignments and an attempt to show just
how the state's political situation in 1928 compared with that of 1920.
Even so, this is a scholarly contribution of real value and significance.
It whets one's appetite for the appearance of the second volume in the
Vanderbilt University DEWEY W. GRANTHAM
Congressman Sam Rayburn. By Anthony Champagne. Foreword by
Carl Albert. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1984.
Pp. xiv+228. Foreword, preface, tables, photographs, appendices,
notes, index. $19.95.)
Early in this book Anthony Champagne offers a disclaimer that his
is not another biography of the venerable "Mr. Speaker." What he has
done is to describe the ties that Congressman Sam Rayburn maintained
with his constituents and the facile manner in which he functioned as
speaker and as a national Democratic party leader without losing his
political base. The ingredients of that success are to be found in the
nature of the Fourth District of Texas, Rayburn's style, his organiza-
tion, his campaign techniques, and the means by which he balanced
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/490/?rotate=270: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.