The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 68
68 Southwestern Historical Quarterly July
succumbing or pandering to the Post's editorial view, the articles reflected
a long-held view of the author in favor of toleration and cooperation. In
one of his early unpublished autobiographical novels, Perry had his fiction-
al likeness argue for gradualist reform against the violent revolution sought
by the radical figure "Comrade": "unemployment insurance, state medi-
cine, a legal minimum wage upon which a man and his family could live,
government owned and operated public utilities, a dole for unemployables
... we've already got public schools and are beginning to get old age pen-
sions. With those things the world could be pretty near inhabitable for
most everybody." When Perry's articles portrayed blacks and other minori-
ties unencumbered by the prejudices that he despised, the idealistic writer
showed readers the world as it should have been, rather than as it was.
While lacking the wide impact, and occasional controversy, of the "Cities of
America" series, with which individuals and communities directly identi-
fied, 'Your Neighbors" received substantial public approval. Like its prede-
cessor, the series soon appeared in book form, Families of America, in 1949,
as much a tribute to Perry's marketability as to the subject matter.21
Requests for use and reprints of his previous works insured recogni-
tion of his name. A French edition of Where Away and serialization of
Thirty Days Hath September demonstrated the Texan's international
appeal. The death of his grandmother prompted the grieved Perry to
collect the numerous short stories he had written about her into a popu-
larly received book, My Granny Van. The Library of Congress asked per-
mission to print a text in braille. The Department of State requested his
approval to adapt Texas: A World in Itself for broadcast outside the United
States. Edna Ferber, researching material for her epic novel, Giant,
praised the book as containing "a humour, a reality, a sense of propor-
tion and of compassion to be found in no other Texas book I've read ...
and I've read a lot of them."22
By the early i95os George Sessions Perry was a household name where
novels and popular magazines were read, and his fame was expanding
beyond the print medium. Sigma Delta Chi welcomed him into the pro-
fessional journalism fraternity, Tale of a Foolish Farmer drew laudatory
reviews, an adulatory Story of Texas A&Mless so, and a sociologist asked to
excerpt the cities series in a projected college textbook. Theater produc-
er Margo Jones brought his earlier murder mystery Thirty Days Hath
September and comedy Walls Rise Up to the Dallas stage to sold-out houses.
21 Perry, "After Many Days," 303 (quotation); Alexander, George Sesszons Perry, 34.
"2 Edna Ferber to Perry, Mar. 14, 195o, Letters Recip. E-F, Perry Collection (1st quotation);
Gertrude S. Weiner to Perry, Mar. 17, 1950, May 31, 1950, Letters Recip. Curtis Brown Ltd.,
Perry Collection; Collins to Perry, Apr. 7, 1950, Letters Recip. Curtis Brown Ltd., Perry
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/96/ocr/: accessed December 6, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.