The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 319

Book Reviews

Connally, whose feuds and machinations are detailed in George Green's master-
ful The Establzshment zn Texas Politics (University of Oklahoma Press, 1979).
Frankie adds a perspective from the liberal or Yarborough wing of the party, a
shifting coalition of labor, rural populists, urban liberals, and-sometimes-
minority voters.
Randolph contributed to a number of liberal successes, including Yarbor-
ough's 1957 U.S. Senate victory and a predominantly liberal Harris County leg-
islative delegation (eventually including Barbara Jordan). However, Green's
"Establishment" never really lost control, and Randolph's groups were often rel-
egated to walkouts and dispirited rump caucuses at state conventions. In 1961,
intraparty bitterness drove many liberal Democrats to support a conservative
Republican-John Tower-who would hold Lyndon Johnson's old Senate seat
for more than two decades.
What set Randolph apart was the ability to back her beliefs with money, and in
1954 she put up the cash to create the Texas Observer as a liberal alternative to
conservative newspapers. While the early Observer built a reputation far beyond
its circulation and nurtured a remarkable set of editors and writers, Randolph
kept the bills paid. Most important, she gave free rein to editors Ronnie Dugger,
Willie Morris, and Molly Ivins. In Frankie, each recalls her fondly, the late Willie
Morris describing Mrs. Randolph as "the Eleanor Roosevelt of Texas."
Frankie is an interesting monograph on a truly original character. It reflects
substantial primary research from Randolph's surviving political allies and
detailed archival research on the personalities and intraparty struggles of one-
party Texas. Anecdotes about confrontations with Lyndon Johnson, while possi-
bly apocryphal, are the stuff from which political legends are formed. On one
occasion, Vice President Johnson telephoned and apparently addressed Mrs.
Randolph by her first name. "Who gave you permission to call me Frankie?" she
demanded before hanging up on LBJ. Regrettably, or perhaps happily, primary
sources in Frankie do not include aging Texas politicians who would remember
its formidable subject less than fondly.
Austn, Texas James Cousar
Viva Kennedy: Mexzcan Americans zn Search of Camelot. By Ignacio M. Garcia.
(College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000. Pp. xi+227.
Illustrations, acknowledgments, introduction, notes, bibliography, index.
ISBN 0-89096-917-5. $29.95, cloth.)
The author has done a superb job of using primary sources, especially the
Hector P. Garcia Collection and oral interviews, to reconstruct an important
period (from 1960 to 1964) in the political history of Mexican Americans. This
is the first definitive study of the Viva Kennedy Clubs in the United States.
Concisely organized into seven chapters, notes, an extensive bibliography, an
index, and twelve illustrations, this work focuses mainly on Texas because it was
the Lone Star State "where the Kennedy campaign had the most effect" (p. 10o).
For the first time in a presidential campaign, the notion of using an ethnic



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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.