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Shivers in the 1952 primary with a lopsided 36 percent. But in 1954 he obtained 47 percent against Shivers, who was riding a surging tide of McCarthyite hysteria. In 1956 he officially lost of Price Daniel by less than one percentage point, and many knowledgeable observers believe that Yarborough actually won. In 1957 Yarborough won his Senate seat with a plurality in a special election, and the next year he won a full term against ultraconservative William “Dollar Bill” Blakley with 59 percent of the primary vote. He won by a similar landslide in the 1964 primary. Yarborough lost to Bentsen in the 1970 primary by six points and to Barefoot Sanders in the 1972 runoff by four. Don Yarborough, the other major liberal candidate in the Sixties, lost his gubernatorial bid to Connally in the 1962 primary by about two points. He obtained 44 percent against Preston Smith in 1968. The liberals in every one of the above primary races were tremendously outspent by conservatives, who had virtually all of the editorial backing from the large newspapers and who had far greater radio and television advertising. I don’t wish to belabor this point, but it is crucial for understanding Texas politics and hence for seeing how Conaway misunderstands it. Texas has the potential for becoming one of the more liberal states in the nation. Its electorate is already fairly liberal, relative to the rest of the country. It is the mogulsthe upper classwho are fiercely conservative. By my estimate, less than 8 percent of wealthy Texans voted for Farenthold in the 1972 primaries, compared to the 45 percent of the statewide voters who did. And Farenthold probably received more votes from the rich than any other liberal candidate in recent history. Neither a glandular difference nor an indefinable cultural style sets the Texas upper class off from ordinary folks. It is their power and wealth \(and their PR apparatus function of the state’s unique economic structure, shaped since 1901 by the petroleum industry. Their special brand of politics and their entrepreneurial style are also shaped to a degree by the industry, as Robert Engler has demonstrated in The Politics of Oil. The nature of the industry has enabled sharp men on the make from diverse regional backgrounds to get rich quick and join forces to protect their wealth. George Bush from Connecticut, H. L. Hunt from Illinois, and Robert Mosbacher from New York are examples of such “Texans.” The state at the turn of the century was an underdeveloped country within the United States. The accident of oil created an especially powerful and reactionary sheikdomone, however, that is in the final stages of integration into the national power structure. The Connallys, Johnsons, Nixons, and Reagans have not taken over the country in the name of the sunbelt. They have in large measure been co-opted by a truly national upper class, one of whose mainstays has been the international \(not It is curious that writers like Sale and Conaway cannot understand this. Ronnie Dugger made the point bluntly to Conaway: “The whole United States is a corporate system interconnected through law firms. I The Best Years, 1945-50, by Joseph C. Goulden. Atheneum, 468 pp. Austin Joe Goulden, the son of the book store owner in Marshall, Texas, has established himself as a prolifiC muckraking reporter. His book, Monopoly, was a detonation of AT&T, and many readers will remember his The Superlawyers or his biography of George Meany. In 1945 Joe was an 11-year-old East Texas boy, reading comic books, skinning catfish, and when the Korean war broke out he was stacking sugar sacks in the local Piggly Wiggly. By the title of this, his eighth book, he means that 1945 to 1950 were the best years for the United States in his life, and the book is a nostalgia trip through the public events of that time, interspersed with his reminiscences of his own boyhood and the personal stories of some of the people he interviewed. “I conducted interviews for more than two years, and I read an incredibly huge pile of printed material,” Goulden said, describing his look back to the post-war years he was too young to understand. The book is not history, for Goulden seeks to get into the psyches of the people of the period and stay there. It’s not literature, although it is reminiscent of the idea of U.S.A., because Goulden is a journalist who is not given to roaming very far from the facts. But if you feel like a review of those days, the return of the veterans, the housing crisis, books and movies and soap operas that were the rage, the spy hunts, Joe McCarthy, the Cold War and Henry Wallace, Truman’s delicious upset over Dewey, Goulden will take you on a tour. Perhaps because I knew Joe when he was the unfashionably conservative managing editor of the student newspaper bent intently over his typewriter, and then, a little later, a good, tough reporter for the Dallas News, I enjoyed most his reminiscences about his youth in Marshall. “What inequities of capitalism,” he asks in The Best Years, “convert an apolitical teen-ager into a muckraking journalist? Piggly Wiggly did its full share. During summers the ‘normal’ work day was 11 hours, except on Monday, when the warehouse supply truck arrived at 6:30 p.m., our ostensible quitting time, and we spent two to three hours unloading cases stopped thinking about Texas as a state years ago. It’s all the same now.” A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but no more than that. Either Conaway failed to see the truth in what he was being told, or he was too far along to quit a book whose appeal rests on just the opposite premise, the mythic one, sui generic. of canned goods and stacking 60-pound bags of sugar to a height out-stretched-arms distance above my head; and on Wednesday, Double S&H Green Stamp Day, when we stayed open until nine o’clock; and on Saturday, another late-closing day. Piggly Wiggly lacked air-conditioning, and on hot July afternoons, when the temperature inside the store crept to 100 degrees, 115, even 118, canned goods turned warm to the touch, and we invented errands to the produce storage vault to find fleeting moments of refrigerated relief. . . . For these labors, a minimum of 70 hours weekly, Piggly Wiggly paid me $35. . . . ” Half the people of Marshall were black, and “Here,” Goulden remembered of his home town, “are some of the things a black man dared not do in Marshall circa 1946, as the best years began: “Buy a cup of coffee or a meal in a `white restaurant,’ or even get a glass of water in an emergency. “Expect service from a white woman clerk in the dime stores or most department stores; he was expected to stand quietly in the store until a man noticed him and asked what he wanted. He could not try on garments for size; he likely was not even given a bag for his purchase. “Sit on the ground floor of the Paramount or Lynn theater. He bought his ticket at a separate entrance and climbed up to the balcony, or ‘nigger heaven.’ Discerning blacks learned to find entertainment elsewhere on days the Paramount featured such voluptuous white stars as Betty Grable or Rita Hayworth, lest their interest in the cinema be interpreted as lust for a white woman. “Ride in a taxi driven by a white man; blacks were serviced by a separate fleet of local undertaker. The back benches of city buses were ‘reserved’ for blacks, with the white driver periodically adjusting the boundary marker \(a card with arrows on the composition of the traffic. Regardless of the number of blacks aboard, however, the marker was never placed forward of the midpoint of the bus, and ‘surplus’ blacks stood, regardless of the number of empty seats in the white section. June 18, 1976 5 Goulden’s Best Years