Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History

Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History

Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History

Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History

Synopsis

Texas changed enormously in the twentieth century, and much of that transformation was a direct product of social and cultural events. Standard histories of Texas traditionally focus on political, military, and economic topics, with emphasis on the nineteenth century. In Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History, editors John W. Storey and Mary L. Kelley offer a much-needed corrective. Written with both general and academic audiences in mind, the fifteen essays herein cover Indians, Mexican Americans, African Americans, women, religion, war on the homefront, music, literature, film, art, sports, philanthropy, education, the environment, and science and technology in twentieth-century Texas. Each essay, written by a prominent scholar in the field, is able to stand alone, supplemented with appropriate photographs, notes, and a selected bibliography. This anthology will appeal to anyone interested in the social and cultural development of the state. It will also prove useful in the college classroom, especially for Texas history courses.

Excerpt

Literature on texas abounds. Historians, folklorista, and novelists have seemingly explored the Lone Star State from every imaginable perspective, from the Great Plains to the Alamo to Spindletop, from ranchers and cowboys to wildcatters and oil field roughnecks to timber barons and lumberjacks, from Catholic missionaries to Protestant evangelists to Buddhist monks. Until recently much of this scholarship tended to concentrate on the nineteenth century, the founding period of Texas. For those authors, the state’s identity, uniqueness, and relevance to modern life were embedded in the frontier experience and Anglo culture.

Given such a large body of scholarship, another study of Texas seems hardly necessary. What, then, do the authors of this anthology have to offer that has not already been investigated? in terms of political and economic history, very little, if anything! Those topics have been covered quite thoroughly, most recently by Randolph Campbell’s outstanding work, Gone to Texas (2003), which will likely remain a standard for some years. in terms of social and cultural history, however, they have quite a lot to say, inasmuch as that side of the state’s development is often given short shrift, especially the twentieth century. Illustrative here is Gone to Texas, which virtually ignores social and cultural matters altogether, and in that respect it is typical of much of the literature about the state. a notable exception is William Ransom Hogan’s The Texas Republic: a Social and Economic History (1946), a first-rate account that presented a more balanced treatment of the state’s past, albeit with . . .

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