From the end of Reconstruction until the 1950s, Texas was classified as part of the “Solid South,” consistently electing Democrats to national, state, and local office. After World War II, however, a new politics began to emerge throughout the South that ultimately made the region as solidly Republican as it had once been Democratic.
Allan Shivers wielded extraordinary influence in this about-face. Serving as governor from 1949 to 1957, Shivers stands as an important transitional figure who, while staying within the Democratic Party all his life, nonetheless led Texas into Eisenhower’s column and toward a new political alignment.
Author Ricky F. Dobbs traces the political career of Allan Shivers from his student days at the University of Texas, through his World War II service with the 36th Infantry and various state offices, to his role within the party after leaving the governor’s mansion. Throughout, Dobbs places Shivers’s career in the context of the modernization and urbanization that changed the state and regional picture. He portrays Shivers as one of the state’s most powerful governors and compellingly shows his influence on modern Texas.