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The Texas Right

The Radical Roots of Lone Star Conservatism

David O'Donald Cullen

Publication Year: 2014

In The Texas Right: The Radical Roots of Lone Star Conservatism, some of our most accomplished and readable historians push the origins of present-day Texas conservatism back to the decade preceding the twentieth century. They illuminate the initial factors that began moving Texas to the far right, even before the arrival of the New Deal.
By demonstrating that Texas politics foreshadowed the partisan realignment of the erstwhile Solid South, the studies in this book challenge the traditional narrative that emphasizes the right-wing critique of modern America voiced by, among others, radical conservatives of the state’s Democratic Party, beginning in the 1930s. As the contributors show, it is impossible to understand the Jeffersonian Democrats of 1936, the Texas Regular movement of 1944, the Dixiecrat Party of 1948, the Shivercrats of the 1950s, state members of the John Birch Society, Texas members of Young Americans for Freedom, Reagan Democrats, and most recently, even, the Tea Party movement without first understanding the underlying impulses that produced their formation.
Focusing on broad-based movements and significant public figures, The Texas Right provides a careful, reasoned synthesis of the factors that led to the transformation of the Texas Republican Party from its Reconstruction beginnings.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

This work grew out of an East Texas Historical Association meeting roundtable discussion of a collection of essays titled The Texas Left: The Radical Roots of Lone Star Liberalism. In conversations about the influence of radical movements in shaping post–World War II liberalism in the state...

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From “Turn Texas Loose” to the Tea Party: Origins of the Texas Right

David O'Donald Cullen

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pp. 1-9

The triumph of the Texas Right in the late twentieth century can be tracked by Republican Party electoral victories. In 1979 William Clements became the first Republican governor of Texas since Reconstruction. In 1994 the Texas Observer proclaimed the...

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Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State

Michael Phillips

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pp. 10-33

The bitterest political conflict occupying Texans for much of the period from the 1880s through the 1930s did not concern urbanization, unions, Prohibition, the post–World War I Red Scare, or the New Deal. A real battle—resulting in thousands of...

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“The Evils of Socialism”: The Religious Right in Early Twentieth-Century Texas

Kyle G. Wilkison

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pp. 34-50

The Battle of Armageddon is on, and our rulers are slumbering. . . . Destruction will come!” Thus warned Church of Christ preacher William F. Lemmons, writing in 1914 of the menace of socialism facing Texas and America. From his East Texas home in Tyler he...

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“He, Being Dead, Yet Speaketh”: J. Frank Norris and the Texas Religious Right at Midcentury

Samuel K. Tullock

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pp. 51-67

J. Frank Norris’s attention-grabbing rhetoric from the pulpit both carried on the old traditions and provided new models for Texas political preachers of the Right. His themes mixed old warnings of threats to constitutional government, warnings against alien...

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The Far Right in Texas Politics during the Roosevelt Era

Keith Volanto

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pp. 68-86

On June 28, 1934, Franklin Roosevelt delivered his fifth fireside chat to the American people. The president chose this opportunity to openly address growing criticism of his administration’s efforts to combat the Great Depression. Chastising the...

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Establishing the Texas Far Right, 1940–1960

George N. Green

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pp. 87-100

The Far Right in post–World War II Texas was alienated from the mainstream by anger over rapid social change. Some of its leaders were possessed of recently made oil wealth and despised both taxes and regulations that might diminish that money or...

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The Paranoid Style and Its Limits: The Power, Influence, and Failure of the Postwar Texas Far Right

Sean P. Cunningham

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pp. 101-118

During one particularly memorable scene in Oliver Stone’s 1995 pseudobiographical film Nixon, the title character finds himself in a dark, smoke-filled room on a ranch somewhere outside Dallas in 1963. There, he is confronted by a cabal...

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Focus on the Family: Twentieth-Century Conservative Texas Women and the Lone Star Right

Nancy E. Baker

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pp. 119-154

Not long ago, the online magazine Salon heralded the revival of old-fashioned grassroots political tactics as a hopeful sign that big money and the mass media have not subverted American democracy. As increasingly expensive mass media...

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Texas Traditions and the Right: Continuity and Change

Michael Lind

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pp. 155-172

As political coordinates, “left” and “right” derive from the seating arrangements in the French National Assembly at the time of the French Revolution. Their application to the politics of Texas and the United States may obscure more than it illuminates...

About the Contributors

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pp. 173-174


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pp. 175-196

Back Cover

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pp. BC-BC

E-ISBN-13: 9781623491116
E-ISBN-10: 1623491118
Print-ISBN-13: 9781623490294

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 869736210
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Texas Right

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Radicalism -- Texas -- History.
  • Conservatism -- Texas -- History.
  • Right-wing extremists -- Texas -- History.
  • Religious right -- Texas -- History.
  • Tea Party movement -- Texas -- History.
  • Social movements -- Texas -- History.
  • Texas -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
  • Texas -- Politics and government -- 1951-.
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