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 They are provided here for reference and support of the historical content they contain.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 (126 total) Page 7 of 11

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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Petra's Legacy

The matriarch of one of the most important families in Texas history, Petra Vela Kenedy has remained a shadowy presence in the annals of South Texas. In this biography of Petra Vela Kenedy, the authors not only tell her story but also relate the history of South Texas through a woman’s perspective. Utilizing previously unpublished letters, journals, photographs, and other primary materials, the authors reveal the intimate stories of the families who for years dominated governments, land acquisition, commerce, and border politics along the Rio Grande and across the Wild Horse Desert.

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Integrating the 40 Acres: The 50-Year Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas

You name it, we can't do it. That was how one African American student at the University of Texas at Austin summed up his experiences in a 1960 newspaper article―some ten years after the beginning of court-mandated desegregation at the school. In this first full-length history of the university's desegregation, Dwonna Goldstone examines how, for decades, administrators only gradually undid the most visible signs of formal segregation while putting their greatest efforts into preventing true racial integration. In response to the 1956 Board of Regents decision to admit African American undergraduates, for example, the dean of students and the director of the student activities center stopped scheduling dances to prevent racial intermingling in a social setting.

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Changing National Identities at the FrontieTexas and New Mexico 1800-1850

Hispanics, Native Americans, and Anglo Americans made agonizing and crucial identity decisions in this southwestern region during the first half of the nineteenth century. Whereas the Mexican government sought to bring its frontier inhabitants into the national fold by relying on administrative and patronage linkages, Mexico's northern frontier gravitated toward the expanding American economy. Andrés Reséndez explores how the diverse and fiercely independent peoples of Texas and New Mexico came to think of themselves as members of one particular national community or another, in the years leading up to the Mexican-American War.

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The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1936-1981

Despite controversies over current educational practices, Texas boasts a rich and vibrant bilingual tradition—and not just for Spanish-English instruction, but for Czech, German, Polish, and Dutch as well. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Texas educational policymakers embraced, ignored, rejected, outlawed, then once again embraced this tradition.

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Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism

Private First Class Felix Longoria earned a Bronze Service Star, a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Combat Infantryman's badge for service in the Philippines during World War II. Yet the only funeral parlor in his hometown of Three Rivers, Texas, refused to hold a wake for the slain soldier because "the whites would not like it." Almost overnight, this act of discrimination became a defining moment in the rise of Mexican American activism. It launched Dr. Héctor P. García and his newly formed American G.I. Forum into the vanguard of the Mexican civil rights movement, while simultaneously endangering and advancing the career of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who arranged for Longoria's burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

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