This book is all about political change as it evolved in one of the nation's largest and most important states during the tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas and Ronald Reagan's ascension to the presidency in 1980. A simplistic analysis of this transformation, based in large part on the perception that Texas has always been a conservative place, might suggest that—as Ronald Reagan, the preeminent icon of modern conservatism, once similarly quipped—Texas did not leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left Texas. Yet the political changes that gripped Texas during the last decades of the twentieth century resulted from a far more complex mélange.
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