TSHA Community

Great publications from our members and award recipients.

These books were authored by members of TSHA or received one of TSHA’s book awards. They are provided here for reference and support of the historical content they contain.


List of Publications (119 total) Page 6 of 10

The Dukes of Duval County

The notorious Parr family manipulated local politics in South Texas for decades. Archie Parr, his son George, and his grandson Archer relied on violence and corruption to deliver the votes that propelled their chosen candidates to office. The influence of the Parr political machine peaked during the 1948 senatorial primary, when election officials found the infamous Ballot Box 13 six days after the polls closed. That box provided a slim eighty-seven-vote lead to Lyndon B. Johnson, initiating the national political career of the future U.S. president.

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By Anthony R. Carrozza

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Recipient of the Al Lowman Memorial Prize.

The Texas Frontier and the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858-1986

This is the story of the antebellum frontier in Texas, from the Red River to El Paso, a raw and primitive country punctuated by chaos, lawlessness, and violence. During this time, the federal government and the State of Texas often worked at cross-purposes, their confused and contradictory policies leaving settlers on their own to deal with vigilantes, lynchings, raiding American Indians, and Anglo-American outlaws. Before the Civil War, the Texas frontier was a sectional transition zone where southern ideology clashed with western perspectives and where diverse cultures with differing worldviews collided.

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By Glen Sample Ely

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Recipient of the Al Lowman Memorial Prize.

The Garden of Eden: The Story of a Freedmen’s Community in Texas

Tucked in a bend of the Trinity River a few minutes from downtown Fort Worth, the Garden of Eden neighborhood has endured for well over a century as a homeplace for freed African American slaves and their descendants.

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By Drew Sanders

Recipient of the Al Lowman Memorial Prize.

Fort Worth: Outpost, Cowtown, Boomtown

From its beginnings as an army camp in the 1840s, Fort Worth has come to be one of Texas’s—and the nation’s—largest cities, a thriving center of culture and commerce. But along the way, the city’s future, let alone its present prosperity, was anything but certain. Fort Worth tells the story of how this landlocked outpost on the arid plains of Texas made and remade itself in its early years, setting a pattern of boom-and-bust progress that would see the city through to the twenty-first century.

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By Harold Rich

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Recipient of the Al Lowman Memorial Prize.

When Mexicans Could Play Ball

The first sports book to look at Mexican American basketball specifically, When Mexicans Could Play Ball is also a revealing study of racism and cultural identity formation in Texas. Using personal interviews, newspaper articles, and game statistics to create a compelling narrative, as well as drawing on his experience as a sports writer, García takes us into the world of San Antonio’s Sidney Lanier High School basketball team, the Voks, which became a two-time state championship team under head coach William Carson “Nemo” Herrera. An alumnus of the school himself, García investigates the school administrators’ project to Americanize the students, Herrera’s skillful coaching, and the team’s rise to victory despite discrimination and violence from other teams and the world outside of the school. Ultimately, García argues, through their participation and success in basketball at Lanier, the Voks players not only learned how to be American but also taught their white counterparts to question long-held assumptions about Mexican Americans.

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By Ignacio M. García

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Recipient of the Al Lowman Memorial Prize.

Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era

This book is about the other Texas, not the state known for its cowboy conservatism, but a mid-twentieth-century hotbed of community organizing, liberal politics, and civil rights activism. Beginning in the 1930s, Max Krochmal tells the story of the decades-long struggle for democracy in Texas, when African American, Mexican American, and white labor and community activists gradually came together to empower the state’s marginalized minorities. At the ballot box and in the streets, these diverse activists demanded not only integration but economic justice, labor rights, and real political power for all. Their efforts gave rise to the Democratic Coalition of the 1960s, a militant, multiracial alliance that would take on and eventually overthrow both Jim Crow and Juan Crow.

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Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State

Tracing the intersection of religion, race, and power in Texas from Reconstruction through the rise of the Religious Right and the failed presidential bid of Governor Rick Perry, Rough Country illuminates American history since the Civil War in new ways, demonstrating that Texas's story is also America's. In particular, Robert Wuthnow shows how distinctions between "us" and “them” are perpetuated and why they are so often shaped by religion and politics.

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Progressive Country

During the early 1970s, the nation’s turbulence was keenly reflected in Austin’s kaleidoscopic cultural movements, particularly in the city’s progressive country music scene. Capturing a pivotal chapter in American social history, Progressive Country maps the conflicted iconography of “the Texan” during the ’70s and its impact on the cultural politics of subsequent decades.

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Lone Star Law: A Legal History of Texas

Michael Ariens proves that no state possesses a richer or more surprising legal history than Texas. In narrative as engaging as it is accessible, he has produced an overarching consideration of Lone Star law and legal culture—something notably missing in other Texas histories. After taking readers chronologically from early settlement through 1920, Ariens focuses on particular areas of Texas law, including property, family, business, criminal, and civil harms (tort), and on the history of Texas€™s legal profession itself. Through illuminating and utterly Texan particulars, Ariens helps us understand a place at once southern and western, Spanish and Mexican, republic and state.

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Before Brown: Heman Marion Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall, and the Long Road to Justice

On February 26, 1946, an African American from Houston applied for admission to the University of Texas School of Law. Although he met all of the school's academic qualifications, Heman Marion Sweatt was denied admission because he was black. He challenged the university's decision in court, and the resulting case, Sweatt v. Painter, went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in Sweatt's favor. The Sweatt case paved the way for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka rulings that finally opened the doors to higher education for all African Americans and desegregated public education in the United States.

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Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas: Mexican Workers and Job Politics during World War II

In Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas, Emilio Zamora traces the experiences of Mexican workers on the American home front during World War II as they moved from rural to urban areas and sought better-paying jobs in rapidly expanding industries. Contending that discrimination undermined job opportunities, Zamora investigates the intervention by Mexico in the treatment of workers, the U.S. State Department's response, and Texas' emergence as a key site for negotiating the application of the Good Neighbor Policy. He examines the role of women workers, the evolving political struggle, the rise of the liberal-urban coalition, and the conservative tradition in Texas. Zamora also looks closely at civil and labor rights–related efforts, implemented by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Fair Employment Practice Committee.

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The Feud That Wasn't: The Taylor Ring, Bill Sutton, John Wesley Hardin and Violence in Texas

Marauding outlaws, or violent rebels still bent on fighting the Civil War? For decades, the so-called “Taylor-Sutton feud” has been seen as a bloody vendetta between two opposing gangs of Texas gunfighters. However, historian James M. Smallwood here shows that what seemed to be random lawlessness can be interpreted as a pattern of rebellion by a loose confederation of desperadoes who found common cause in their hatred of the Reconstruction government in Texas. Between the 1850s and 1880, almost 200 men rode at one time or another with Creed Taylor and his family through a forty-five-county area of Texas, stealing and killing almost at will, despite heated and often violent opposition from pro-Union law enforcement officials, often led by William Sutton. From 1871 until his eventual arrest, notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin served as enforcer for the Taylors. In 1874 in the streets of Comanche, Texas, on his twenty-first birthday, Hardin and two other members of the Taylor ring gunned down Brown County Deputy Charlie Webb. This cold-blooded killing—one among many—marked the beginning of the end for the Taylor ring, and Hardin eventually went to the penitentiary as a result. The Feud That Wasn’t reinforces the interpretation that Reconstruction was actually just a continuation of the Civil War in another guise, a thesis Smallwood has advanced in other books and articles. He chronicles in vivid detail the cattle rustling, horse thieving, killing sprees, and attacks on law officials perpetrated by the loosely knit Taylor ring, drawing a composite picture of a group of anti-Reconstruction hoodlums who at various times banded together for criminal purposes. Western historians and those interested in gunfighters and lawmen will heartily enjoy this colorful and meticulously researched narrative.

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