Catalogue


Cowboy conservatism [electronic resource] : Texas and the rise of the modern right /
Sean P. Cunningham.
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2010.
description
xvi, 293 p. : ill, maps, photographs ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780813125763 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2010.
isbn
9780813125763 (hardcover : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
The eyes of Texas: political culture and tradition -- Growing pains: the politics of extremism -- Reconstructing conservatism: antiliberalism and the limits of "law and order" -- "I am a sick American": race, fear, and the limits of backlash politics -- Poisons: establishments in crisis -- Civil war: populist conservatism and the 1976 campaigns -- The gathering storm: Republican momentum and the albatross of Jimmy Carter -- Revolution: Reagan and Texas in 1980.
catalogue key
8379929
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 273-282) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
During the 1960s and 1970s, Texas was transformed by a series of political transitions. After more than a century of Democratic politics, the state became a Republican stronghold, influenced by the public perception that the GOP seemed better prepared to handle the formidable crises the country faced. By 1980, Texas was "Reagan Country." Ultimately, Republicans dominated the Texas political landscape, holding all twenty-seven of its elected offices and carrying former governor George W. Bush to his second term as president with more than 61 percent of the Texas vote.In Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, Sean P. Cunningham examines the remarkable origins of Republican Texas. Utilizing extensive research drawn from the archives of four presidential libraries, gubernatorial papers, local campaign offices, and oral histories, Cunningham presents a compelling narrative of modern conservatism as it evolved in one of the nation's largest and most politically important states.Cunningham analyzes the political changes that took place in Texas during the tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedy's assassination and the election of Ronald Reagan. Assessing the state's geography, history, economy, and social outlook, his analysis considers the nature of the political evolution in Texas during this time, as well as the changes that occurred within the political parties themselves. He explores critical issues related to the changing political scene in Texas, including the emergence of "law and order," race relations and civil rights, the slumping economy, the Vietnam War, and the rise of a politically active Christian Right, as well as the role of iconic politicians such as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Connally, and John Tower.Cowboy Conservatism demonstrates Texas's distinctive and vital contributions to the transformation of postwar American politics, revealing a vivid portrait of modern conservatism in one of the nation's most fervent Republican strongholds.
Flap Copy
During the 1960s and 1970s, Texas was transformed by a series of political transitions. After more than a century of Democratic politics, the state became a Republican stronghold, influenced by the public perception that the GOP seemed better prepared to handle the formidable crises the country faced. By 1980, Texas was "Reagan Country." Ultimately, Republicans dominated the Texas political landscape, holding all twenty-seven of its elected offices and carrying former governor George W. Bush to his second term as president with more than 61 percent of the Texas vote. In Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, Sean P. Cunningham examines the remarkable origins of Republican Texas. Utilizing extensive research drawn from the archives of four presidential libraries, gubernatorial papers, local campaign offices, and oral histories, Cunningham presents a compelling narrative of modern conservatism as it evolved in one of the nation's largest and most politically important states. Cunningham analyzes the political changes that took place in Texas during the tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedy's assassination and the election of Ronald Reagan. Assessing the state's geography, history, economy, and social outlook, his analysis considers the nature of the political evolution in Texas during this time, as well as the changes that occurred within the political parties themselves. He explores critical issues related to the changing political scene in Texas, including the emergence of "law and order," race relations and civil rights, the slumping economy, the Vietnam War, and the rise of a politically active Christian Right, as well as the role of iconic politicians such as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Connally, and John Tower. Cowboy Conservatism demonstrates Texas's distinctive and vital contributions to the transformation of postwar American politics, revealing a vivid portrait of modern conservatism in one of the nation's most fervent Republican strongholds.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-03-01:
The shift in Texas's political alignment from solid Democrat to solid Republican happened between 1963 with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan. Cunningham (Texas Tech Univ.) looks at political events local, statewide, and national to show how Texans stopped perceiving the Democratic Party as their natural allies and began to believe that conservative Republicanism better suited their worldview. He draws heavily from secondary sources for the first two chapters, but relies on archival sources for the rest of the book. Papers of political figures, speeches, newspaper and magazine articles, and oral histories all give credence to the arguments. The first chapter is a good political history of Texas to 1960. The turmoil of the 1960s moved Texans to feel a need for law and order and to exhibit extreme patriotism. The Republican Party repackaged itself to promote these ideals. Infighting among Texas Democrats and scandal in both parties hastened the change, as did Texans' anti-Washington bias. Jimmy Carter's failures as president coincided with Ronald Reagan's capitalizing on Texans' new ideologies. The book is easy to read and appropriate for anyone who likes political histories. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. A. Stuntz West Texas A&M University
Reviews
Review Quotes
""Cunningham provides a vivid, informative, and frequently insightful chronicle of Texas politics between 1963 and 1980." --Journal of American History" --
"A carefully researched and crafted look at Texas' role in the Republican Party's transformation from a political party controlled by northeastern moderates to one embraced by Southern and western populists." -- Austin American Statesman
""Cunningham... examines the political change in Texas [that] helped shape political change nationally..."--Bryan-College Station Eagle" --
"Cunningham masterfully reconstructs how the Republican Party in Texas became a majority... in a state long dominated by Democrats. Cowboy Conservatism should be placed high on the 'must read' list for anyone seriously interested in recent American politics." -- Donald T. Critchlow, author of The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History
""Cunningham... examines the political change in Texas helped shape political change nationally..."--Eagle" --
"Cunningham's book goes beyond party rivalries to explain how political parties position themselves in the minds of voters." -- Sherrel Jones, Texas Tech University
""Cowboy Conservativism is a careful study that avoids polemics and oversimplifications while still presenting a clear, focused argument."--Reviews in American History" --
""Cunningham aptly describes the roots of Texas's political culture.... This book should be a needed addition for the political science and Texana collections of all academic and public libraries." --Review of Texas Books" --
""Cunningham's book goes beyond party rivalries to explain how political parties position themselves in the minds of voters."--Texas Tech Today" --
""Cunningham skillfully explains a timeline for change that makes sense and contributes to our understanding of this political transformation."--The Journal of Southern History" --
""In his study of the demise of Democratic party dominance in Texas, Sean P. Cunningham provides a vivid, informative, and frequently insightful chronicle of Texas politics between 1963 and 1980."--Journal of American History" --
"Mr. Cunningham writes with an easy and nonacademic gusto befitting a literary hand from the new national center of conservatism." -- Washington Times
""The book is easy to read and appropriate for anyone who likes political histories."--Choice" --
""The book is easy to read and appropriate for anyone who likes political histories."--J.A Stuntz, West Texas A&M University" --
"Cunningham chronicles the pivotal years between the assassination of JFK and Ronald Reagan's ascension to power in the 80s, which coincided with the swing of his state from blue to red.... Cunningham deftly weaves these threads into the tapestry of national politics." -- Publishers Weekly
"Cunningham... examines the political change in Texas helped shape political change nationally..." -- (Bryan, TX) Eagle
""Cowboy Conservatism is an illuminating history of modern conservatism in the state of Texas....It is a non-partisan, level evaluation and study about the rise of modern conservatism in the United States. It does what books on history should do. Tell a story."--New York Journal of Books" --
"Cowboy Conservatism is an illuminating history of modern conservatism in the state of Texas....It is a non-partisan, level evaluation and study about the rise of modern conservatism in the United States. It does what books on history should do. Tell a story." -- John Presta, New York Journal of Books
""Anyone who has ever wondered why once loyally Democratic Texas... has become a Republican and conservative stronghold today, will profit from reading this history." --Voice of Reason" --
This item was reviewed in:
PW Annex Reviews, July 2010
Choice, March 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
When you consider the rise of modern political conservatism, you must look at the transformation of Texas from a Democratic stronghold to a linch-pin of the Republican surge in the late 20th century. Cunningham does a remarkable job of dissecting this phenomenon. There is no doubt in my mind that Sean Cunningham is going to be a major force in US Political History. This first book is nothing short of a triumph.
Table of Contents
List of Maps and Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
The Eyes of Texas: Political Culture and Traditionp. 12
Growing Pains: The Politics of Extremismp. 40
Reconstructing Conservatism: Antiliberalism and the Limits of "Law and Order"p. 68
"I am a Sick American": Race, Fear, and the Limits of Backlash Politicsp. 97
Poisons: Establishments in Crisisp. 127
Civil War: Populist Conservatism and the 1976 Campaignsp. 155
The Gathering Storm: Republican Momentum and the Albatross of Jimmy Carterp. 182
Revolution: Reagan and Texas in 1980p. 209
Conclusionp. 237
Notesp. 243
Bibliographyp. 273
Indexp. 283
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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