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and depth which made his other work so affecting. At one point in the book Sonny Crawford asks Sam the Lion, the poolhall owner: “Is growin’ up always miserable? .. . Nobody seems to enjoy it much.” Sam the Lion replies, “Oh, it ain’t necessarily miserable . . . About eighty per cent of the time, I guess.” Despite the sexual exuberance and the genuine humor, there is this persistent feeling to the book: that life is about eighty per cent miserable, sour, frustrating, abortive not just for some of the natives of Thalia but for the reader, author, everybody. And maybe that is what I am really objecting to: the fact that I can’t identify, or empathize, very strongly with anyone in the book because the electricity is all wrong. Just about everyone is fixed up with his own little negative charge and as a result the air can’t do anything except stay grey and bitter. YOU HAVE TO QUIT sometime in a review even if you have just barely got started and even if you feel that you have probably not been as fair or perceptive or responsible as you should have been. Larry McMurtry is an undeniably talented and important writer, and it has been personally disturbing, even painful, to find a work of his that I can’t respond to whole-heartedly. Horseman, Pass By, Leaving Cheyene? certainly; I will be rereading them for years to come. But if I had to guess, I would guess not The Last Picture Show. Of course I will think from time to time of Coach Popper, filled with canned peaches and breaking wind gently into the sheets while he reads “Sports Afield”; and the lone traffic light blinking off and on to itself on the highway; and Billy sweeping out into the gusty winter winds. But the book itself, lacking the poetic lure and resonance of its predecessors, may remain as tightly closed as the doors of the Thalia theatre. William Manchester and Texas Austin The first installment of the Manchester book in Look Magazine has opened up, for national readers, the divisions of Texas politics. Yet to those who have paid attention to these divisions before, William Manchester’s revelations are mostly proments of the Texas situation. This situation embodies conflicts of principle and of purpose in the personalities of leading politicians. It is not easy to summarize because it involves countless past events a regional political history embodied in the leading politicians’ attitudes. These attitudes cannot then truly be described as mere conflicts of personality, although they are partly that. In general it has been true that the former Speaker Sam Rayburn and his understudy, Lyndon Johnson, used to oldstyle, country squire Texas politics, were suspicious of and opposed to big-city Democrats as they emerged, organizing their precincts and stressing liberal issues, in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Being, however, national Democrats, Rayburn and Johnson played a double game, one in Washington, another in Texas. Apart from variations in their stances on the issues of their days, Texas governors since Allan Shivers, at least, have fought the big-city Texas Democrats. From the first Ralph Yarborough., running against Shivers, aligned himself with the big-city Democrats and, not without difficulties in the early period, came to speak for them. The state’s commercial power structure saw in the big-city Democrats and in Yarborough a threat to their entrenched positions and the prospect of liberal legislation at the state level. By the time Senator Price Daniel returned from Washington to oppose Yarborough for governor in 1956, a liberal-conservative split was established. At first Senator Johnson sought to enlist Senator Yarborough in Johnson’s campaign for the presidency. Yarborough would not so commit himself, and thereupon Johnson favored Daniel for governor. Daniel won, but Yarborough became senator. In 1960 18 The Texas Observer Yarborough, favoring Kennedy for president, was not even a delegate to the national convention from Texas, because Johnson did not want him to be. Then, three years later, Johnson became president. The controversy surrounding Manchester’s remarks about Texas politics just before the assassination is basically a historical one and is better understood when this background is understood. Manchester says Jack Kennedy came to Texas to quiet the feud between Gov. John Connally and Yarborough, but that Kennedy thought “Johnson ought to be able to resolve this petty dispute himself; the trip seemed to be an imposition.” Connally nominated Johnson for president at the national convention in 1956; the two have been close business and political associates for years. Connally also inherited the role passed by Shivers through Daniel to him of opposing the bigcity Texas Democrats and their chief spokesman, Senator Yarborough. The Yarborough-Connally division was not a petty dispute, although it sometimes took petty forms; it was the personification, in two leaders, of the real political and economic conflict in one-party Texas. Yarborough has denied that Kennedy came to Texas to patch up this feud. “It’s simply not true,” he said. “If President Kennedy had wanted to patch up a dispute between John Connally and me he wouldn’t have had to come to Texas. He would have just called both of us to the White House. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply discounts the power and prestige of the presidency.” No man wants to think that in any way he figured in the chain of causes that led to the assassination, however guiltlessly. Kennedy’s was a political trip, and Manchester quotes Kennedy having said to Mrs. Kennedy that she shouldn’t yield to her personal dislike of Connally: “… for heaven’s sake, don’t get a thing on him, because that’s what I came down here to heal. I’m trying to start by getting two people in the same car. If they start hating, nobody will ride with anybody.” Manchester must have gotten this from Mrs. Kennedy. Yarborough takes the view that the President’s trip was political: the Democrats had barely carried Texas in 1960, and Kennedy needed to mend fences. This is obviously true, but it also appears to have been true that Kennedy believed he should try to heal, somewhat, divisions among Texas Democrats, as a part of this political trip. In this connection, Manchester says Connally “in effect” apologized to the Dallas power structure for Kennedy’s trip and told them that he wouldn’t become “Kennedy’s errand boy.” Margaret Mayer of the Dallas Times-Herald in Washington, in a copyrighted story, quoted Connally as saying that Kennedy first told Connally he wanted to make a political trip to Texas in the spring of 1963 and Connally discouraged it. Connally said, Mrs. Mayer reported, that Kennedy want-. ed to speak at four fund-raising dinners in Texas. “I reminded him he had not made a political appearance in Texas since the 1960 campaign and that if he spoke at four fund-raising dinners, he would be accused of coming to Texas just to take back a lot of money,” Mrs. Mayer quotes Connally. Only one fund-raising event, in Austin, was planned during the trip that did materialize. The money was not returned to those who had bought tickets in advance. No public accounting of how it was deployed in later political campaigns has been made. Manchester relates that Rufus Youngblood, \( who was the Secret Serviceman sought to lead Yarborough into the car with Johnson, and Yarborough twice refused to ride with him. Yarborough preferred to ride with Cong. Henry Gonzalez in San Antonio; in Houston, with Cong. Albert Thomas. Yet Manchester misses the fact that Yarborough rode with VicePresident Johnson in the motorcade from Carswell Air Force Base in a motorcade to the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth the night before the assassination. In a letter to Tom Wicker of The New York Times, Yarborough added that as of that motorcade into Fort Worth, he “planned to ride with Vice-President Johnson for the rest of the time if requested, and if he had no objections. President Kennedy had not