The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998 Page: 134
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
world's foremost supplier of offshore oil drilling equipment. Clements's suc-
cess in the business world resulted in large part from a willingness to gamble,
the development and utilization of innovative technology, anticipating chang-
ing circumstances before others, and unparalleled managerial skills. These tal-
ents served him well when Richard Nixon tapped him to administer the
Department of Defense. While others set policy, Clements provided day-to-day
management, oversaw the development of new weapons systems, and held his
own in political and bureaucratic infighting.
His greatest long-term impact, however, was in the electoral arena. Barta
argues persuasively that the crusty Dallas millionaire was the fulcrum of the his-
toric political change in Texas during the last half of the twentieth century.
Unlike previous Grand Old Party candidates associated with the country club set
and content to make a good showing on election day, Clements was absolutely
committed to victory and willing to spend whatever it took. Most importantly,
disgruntled Democrats saw in him the quintessential Texas. Here was a no-non-
sense businessman with acceptably conservative views who spoke his mind and
vowed no new taxes. As such, he was uniquely suited to capture the governor's
mansion as a Republican, administer the executive branch, and engineer the
long-anticipated political realignment of the Lone Star State.
Clements's victory over Attorney General John Hill in 1978 ended Democrats'
century-long monopoly on power in Austin but greatly complicated his eight years
in office. Drawing upon a wide variety of both primary and secondary sources,
Barta produces a balanced picture of those turbulent times. While acknowledging
the governor's failures, she commends his efforts to cope with budgetary crises,
modernize state government, wean the Texas economy of its dependence upon
petroleum, and broaden the Republican Party's base of support.
This volume represents a significant contribution to the literature of Texas
Politics and begins the historical evaluations of the Clements era.
Austin Community College L. PATRICK HUGHES
Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers. By Elizabeth Silverthorne. (College
Station. Texas A&M University Press, 1996. Pp. xvii+24o. Preface, introduction.
illustrations, afterword, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN o89096-702-4. $24.95,
Elizabeth Silverthorne's love of wildflowers and the stories that surround
them is quite evident as one strolls through the pages of this book. She has
researched the subject thoroughly and amassed a wealth of information for the
reader to enjoy. Traveling the state. she has drawn from all corners of Texas
(and many points in between) to bring us tidbits of facts and fiction we possibly
never knew about her favorite wildflowers. Gleaning from Greek mythology,
astrology, fairy tales, dream lore, and Native American lore, Silverthorne has
put together a collection of fascinating stories pertaining to how the wildflowers
originated. Her research and knowledge of Greek and Latin offers the reader
interesting facts about the origin of the scientific names of wildflowers and
their families. Material gathered from antique herbal and medicinal books tells
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998, periodical, 1998; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/m1/164/ocr/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.