Freedom Is Not Enough: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Texas

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Led by the Office of Economic Opportunity, Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty reflected the president’s belief that, just as the civil rights movement and federal law tore down legalized segregation, progressive government and grassroots activism could eradicate poverty in the United States. Yet few have attempted to evaluate the relationship between the OEO and the freedom struggles of the 1960s. Focusing on the unique situation presented by Texas, Freedom Is Not Enough examines how the War on Poverty manifested itself in a state marked by racial division and diversity—and by endemic poverty.
Though the War on Poverty did not eradicate destitution in the United States, the history of the effort provides a unique window to examine the politics of race and social justice in the 1960s. William S. Clayson traces the rise and fall of postwar liberalism in the Lone Star State against a backdrop of dissent among Chicano militants and black nationalists who rejected Johnson's brand of liberalism. The conservative backlash that followed is another result of the dramatic political shifts revealed in the history of the OEO, completing this study of a unique facet in Texas’s historical identity.
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What People Are Saying

James Smallwood
No one has done this kind of in-depth study before. . . . This is an outstanding piece of the past that does inform our present and points the way to the future.
James Smallwood, Professor Emeritus of History, Oklahoma State University
James Smallwood
No one has done this kind of in-depth study before. . . . This is an outstanding piece of the past that does inform our present and points the way to the future.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292721869
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2010
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM S. CLAYSON is Professor and Lead Faculty in History at the College of Southern Nevada. He has published several articles and made frequent conference presentations on Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty as it played out in cities across Texas.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Poverty, Race, and Politics in Postwar Texas 13

2 Postwar Liberalism, Civil Rights, and the Origins of the War on Poverty 25

3 The War on Poverty and Texas Politics 39

4 Launching the War on Poverty in Texas 50

5 Making Maximum Participation Feasible: Community Action in Urban Texas 65

6 Race Conflict and the War on Poverty in Texas 84

7 The War on Poverty and the Militants: The OEO and the Chicano Movement 100

8 A "Preventative Force"?: Urban Violence, Black Power, and the OEO 121

9 After LBJ: Republican Ascendance and Grassroots Antipoverty Activism 136

Conclusion: Texans and the "Long War on Poverty" 157

Notes 165

Bibliography 195

Index 205

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