Border Boss: Manuel B. Bravo and Zapata Countyby J. Gilberto Quezada
On January 1, 1937, Manuel B. Bravo was sworn in as county judge of Zapata County, a post he would hold for twenty years. In Border Boss: Manuel B. Bravo and Zapata County, J. Gilberto Quezada delineates Bravo's political career in the Democratic party and examines his role in some of the important issues of his day, especially the construction of Falcon Dam.
During Bravo's years in office, he worked and corresponded with many Texas and national politicians, including James Allred, Lloyd Bentsen, Kika de la Garza, Ralph Yarborough, and, most prominently, Lyndon Johnson. The association between Bravo and Johnson began with the special Senate election of 1941 and is reflected in the more than fifty letters between the two in Bravo's personal papers. In Johnson's 1948 Senate runoff against Coke Stevenson, voting irregularities were alleged in Zapata County when the election returns from Precinct No. 3 were reported missing. Quezada analyzes the Bravo papers for any evidence that Bravo and Johnson had arranged the disappearance and offers possible alternative explanations.
“Quezada’s biography of Bravo brings context and identifiable people into relief, disposing of the un-nuanced stereotypes of Hispanic leaders of the age without undermining the drama that makes the history of Texas politics so compelling.”--Josh Busby, Georgetown University
Meet the Author
J. GILBERTO QUEZADA, Associate Superintendent for Special Programs, Finance, and Pupil Services for the South San Antonio Independent School District, is an active member of the Texas State Historical Association and several other historical societies. He received his master's degree in history from St. Mary's University.
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