History Professor Reveals Texas’ Liberal Roots

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Max Krochmal

While many perceive Texas as a place dominated by “cowboy conservatism,” assistant history professor Max Krochmal has evidence of a robust liberal tradition in the Lone Star State.

In early 2016, the University of North Carolina Press is scheduled to release Krochmal’s book, Blue Texas: Labor, Civil Rights, and the Making of the Multiracial Democratic Coalition. The new work outlines the cooperation and successes of African Americans, Mexican Americans and white labor and liberal groups in Texas during their struggles for civil rights and economic justice in the mid-20th century.

“The book follows a dverse group of activists from the workplace to the neighborhoods and into electoral politics as they experimented in building coalitions across the color line,” Krochmal said. “Those coalitions were rooted in deep interpersonal relationships and broad social movements and gave life to a rather powerful liberal wing of the Democratic Party in the 1960s — and in the process those older coalitions teach us something about efforts to turn Texas blue today.”

– Rachel Stowe Master

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