Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right

Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right

by Sean P. Cunningham
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813125766

ISBN-13: 9780813125763

Pub. Date: 11/30/2010

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813125763
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
11/30/2010
Series:
New Directions in Southern History Series
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,305,096
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction 1

1 The Eyes of Texas: Political Culture and Tradition 12

2 Growing Pains: The Politics of Extremism 40

3 Reconstructing Conservatism: Antiliberalism and the Limits of "Law and order" 68

4 "I am a Sick American": Race, Fear, and the Limits of Backlash Politics 97

5 Poisons: Establishments in Crisis 127

6 Civil War: Populist Conservatism and the 1976 Campaigns 155

7 The Gathering Storm: Republican Momentum and the Albattoss of Jimmy Carter 182

8 Revolution: Reagan and Texas in 1980 209

Conclusion 237

Notes 243

Bibliography 273

Index 283

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