The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 540
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Professors Pool, Craddock, and Conrad have produced a de-
tailed record of President Johnson's life from his birth in 19o8
to his departure for Washington with Congressman R. M. Kle-
berg in 1931. Sometime by direct intrusion, sometime by infer-
ence, the authors have tried to explain and evaluate the influences
of environment on this remarkable young man. For instance,
the rocky terrain of the Hill Country and the independent,
agrarian folk who populate this area were major influences in
young Lyndon Johnson's life. The year of teaching in Cotulla
is revealed as the well-spring of concern for disadvantaged youth,
although the Mexican-American children in Welhausen Ward
School were not called "disadvantaged" in 1928.
The first three chapters of the book deal with family and geo-
graphical environment. The theme of this section was best stated
by Governor John Connally's speech nominating Lyndon B.
Johnson at the Democratic Convention of 1964. Quoted in The
Formative Years, Governor Connally said, "the Hill Country of
Texas is a stern adversary. . This is the native land of Lyndon
Baines Johnson. . Here at the grass roots of America, where
the soil is meager and the sun is hot, he learned about life and
about people." The forebears from whom the President sprang
are given particular attention. Although the simplicity of his
background frequently is emphasized in popular thought, in
pioneer terms the President has a rich ancestral heritage. Mem-
bers of his family were ranchers, teachers, preachers, legislators,
men of great independence and real personal dignity. His ma-
ternal grandfather was Secretary of State of Texas, his father a
distinguished member of the Texas legislature.
College, only thirty miles from home, opened up a whole new
world. Throughout his life Lyndon Johnson has displayed an
unusual sensitivity to people, and for this reason as a youth in
college he was profoundly affected by forceful personalities with
whom he was associated.
Chapter four is a lengthy apologia for small, state-supported
colleges in general and for Southwest Texas State College in par-
ticular. Its tone is defensive. While the arguments may be well
founded and the college dear to the hearts of the authors, the
idea is pursued beyond proper proportion to the rest of the book.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/618/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.