Synopses & Reviews
LBJ and Grassroots Federalism: Congressman Bob Poage, Race, and Change in Texas
reveals the local ramifications of federal policy. Three case studies in the rising career of Lyndon B. Johnson show this in action: LBJ's formative experience as a New Dealer directing the National Youth Administration (NYA) in Texas; his key role as senate majority leader in breaking the deadlock to secure funds for the Lake Waco dam project; and the cumulative effect of his Great Society policies on urban renewal and educational reform among the Mexican American community in Waco.
In each of these initiatives, Bob Poageand#151;though far more politically conservative than Johnsonand#151;served as a conduit between LBJ and citizen activists in Poageand#8217;s congressional district, affirming the significance of grassroots engagement even during an era usually associated with centralization.
Robert Harold Duke's careful analysis in LBJ and Grassroots Federalism alsoand#160;offers a unique insight into a transformational period when the federal government broke down barriers and opened doors to the engagement of African Americans and Mexican Americans in community planning processes and social policy.
andquot;LBJ and Grassroots Federalismand#39;s important findings shed light on a lively topicandnbsp;today: the complex and often surprising nature of federal initiatives as played out on the local level, notably in a region supposedly championing limited government.andnbsp; In the process, Robert Harold Duke also provides fascinating new insights into that twentieth century political giant, Lyndon Baines Johnson.andquot;--Julie Leininger Pycior, author ofandnbsp;LBJ and Mexican Americans: The Paradox of Power
andldquo;. . . offers a significant contribution to our understanding of the period on many levels. His detailed analysis of the different histories of Waco and the Texas Hill Country helps us to understand the way that place shapes ideology, and explains how two men with so much in common on the surface could embrace such disparate views on civil rights. . . a noteworthy book. It asks interesting questionsa bout federalism, place, race, and ideology, and provides thoughtful and convincing answers. The writing is clear, the research is thorough, and the conclusions are sound. Congressman Bob Poage may have been largely lost to history, but in Robert Dukeand#39;s hands, his life and career make a valuable contribution to the literature on Lyndon Johnson and the politics of his times.andrdquo;andmdash;American Historical Review
Reveals the local ramifications of federal policy and alsoand#160;offers a unique insight into a transformational period when the federal government broke down barriers and opened doors to the engagement of African Americans and Mexican Americans in community planning processes and social policy.
About the Author
ROBERT HAROLD DUKE recently retired as assistant professor of history at Eastern Michigan University. Holding a PhD from Western Michigan University, he has previously served as a public school educator, both in the classroom and as a superintendent.