The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 392
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
American music, of farmer cooperatives-all are using grassroots tech-
niques. When it is time to write the history of Students for a Demo-
cratic Society, the historian will have to go to the grassroots-the
grassroots of the Harvard Yard. Everywhere and in every way we
are getting back to the people-and that is just what the grassroots
historian has been doing all along.
There is still time to find out a little more about the days when
our country was in the making, though the earlier chapters are closed.
A good grassrooter can still get inside information, for instance, on
rumrunning and moonshining during the Prohibition era; and men
are still around who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan during its revival
in the 192o's. At any period it is possible to feel as Pres Lewis does in
Eugene Manlove Rhodes' The Trusty Knaves, when he says to an
You have a fine inquiring mind; and you want to remember that in
a thousand years, or some such, historians will publicly offer their right
eye to know what you can see now, at first hand; just as they puzzle
and stew and guess about Harold the Saxon, nowadays. . . . Here you
are, living in the ancient days and the springtime of the world, with a
priceless chance to get the lowdown on how we scramble through with
a certain cheerfulness and something not far removed from decency and
make merry with small cause.1"
But even if there were no connection between grassroots history
and larger issues, we grassroots historians have one satisfaction which
other historians can never share. When we have finished our job,
no matter how much we miss, how shallow our thinking, how ama-
teurish our writing, we have done a job which nobody can do over.
The door which opens for so brief a time closes while we watch it.
The last survivor dies before we get into print. For better or for worse,
we have done what we could- while we could. And we have said the
final word. There won't be any more.
"1Eugene Manlove Rhodes, The Trusty Knaves (New York, 1933), 115-116.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/428/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.