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Over the course of World War II, Orange, Texas’s easternmost city, went from a sleepy southern town of 7,500 inhabitants to a bustling industrial city of 60,000. The bayou community on the Sabine became one of the nation’s preeminent shipbuilding centers. In They Called It the War Effort, Louis Fairchild details the explosive transformation of his native city in the words of the people who lived through it. Some residents who lived in the town before the war speak of nostalgia for the time when Orange was a small, close-knit community and regret for the loss of social cohesiveness of former days, while others speak of the exciting new opportunities and interesting new people that came. Interviewees tell how newcomers from rural areas in Louisiana and East Texas tried to adjust to a new life in close living quarters and to new amenities–like indoor toilets. People from all walks of life talk of the economic shift from the cash and job shortages of Depression era to a war era when these things were in abundance, but they also tell of how wartime rationing made items like Coca-Cola treasured luxuries. Fairchild deftly draws on a wide array of secondary sources in psychology and history to tie together and broaden the perspectives offered by World War II Orangeites. The second edition of this justly praised book features more interviews with non-white residents of Orange, as Japanese Americans and especially African Americans speak not only of the challenges of wartime economic dislocations, but also of living in a southern town where Jim Crow still reigned.
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- Ellen Walker Rienstra, Jo Stiles, Judith Walker Linsley
In this scholarly work firmly rooted in the narrative tradition, and using material collected over decades, the authors bring to life the efforts of Pattillo Higgins, Anthony Lucas, Al and Curt Hamill, and Peck Byrd to master the Spindletop salt domeefforts that culminated in the discovery of the great Lucas Gusher. Their find subsequently transformed not only the state of Texas but the entire oil industry.
The Cartwrights of San Augustine: Three Generations of Agricultural Entrepreneurs in Nineteenth-Century Texas
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- Margaret Swett Henson and Deoloce Parmalee
“Few academic volumes remain timely and relevant more than thirty years after they were first published. This is one of those exceptional books.”—from the foreword by Andrew J. Torget
Historians have published countless studies of the American Civil War and the era of Reconstruction that followed those four years of brutally destructive conflict. Most of these works focus on events and developments at the national or state level, but much less attention has been given to studying how ordinary people experienced the years from 1861 to 1876. What did secession, civil war, emancipation, victory for the United States, and Reconstruction mean at the local level in Texas? Exactly how much change did the era bring to the focus of the study, Harrison County: a cotton-growing, planter-dominated community with the largest slave population of any county in the state? Providing an answer to that question is the basic purpose of A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850–1880. First published by the Texas State Historical Association in 1983, the book is now available in paperback, with a foreword by Andrew J. Torget, one of the Lone Star State’s top young historians.Randolph B. Campbell is Regents' Professor of History at the University of North Texas. One of the leading historians of Texas of his generation, he has served as Chief Historian of the Texas State Historical Association and is the author of numerous articles and books, including An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 and Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State.Andrew J. Torget is associate professor of history at the University of North Texas and the author of Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800–1850."