Books | Texas
Milton S. Jordan
and George Cooper, eds.
Reflections on the New Deal in Texas
(Nacogdoches: Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2019)
Review by Dr.
October 2 , 2019
interested in Texas history
and the New Deal era should read this excellent collection of eleven
essays ably edited by Jordan (Past President of the East Texas Historical
Association) and Cooper (Adjunct Professor of History at Lone Star
College in Montgomery). "The projects and programs" of the New Deal,
the editors assert, "influenced the culture, economy, social structures
and politics of the state." Of course, many aspects of FDR's New Deal
were controversial. Jordan and Cooper point out, however, that the
"deep and widespread need of the time…and the obvious help available
from federal dollars overcame most disagreements."
The purpose of this anthology is "to highlight some examples of the
lasting positive impact" of the New Deal in Texas. Jordan and Cooper
have recruited some of the state's leading historians for their book,
including Dr. Cynthia Brandimarte (Director of the Historic Sites
and Structures Program, Texas State Parks) and Dr. Light T. Cummins
(State Historian of Texas, 2009-2011, and Professor of History at
Austin College in Sherman). Topics examined in this volume include
"Eleanor Roosevelt and a Woman's New Deal in Texas," "New Deal Programs
Supporting the Visual Arts in Texas," "I Too Sing 'Texas, Our Texas':
Texas African Americans and the New Deal," "The Construction of Huntsville
State Park: Race and Recovery in Twentieth Century East Texas," and
"The New Deal in Cass County, Texas, 1933-1943."
Lone Star history enthusiasts, particularly those interested in the
1930s, will profit from this fine compilation. Jordan, Cooper, and
Stephen F. Austin State University Press have made an impressive contribution
to the historiography of New Deal Texas.
Book Review Editor,
Central Texas Historical Association
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