NEW BOOK BY MAX KROCHMAL FOCUSES ON THE MULTIRACIAL STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY IN TEXAS
SLSA member Max Krochmal’s new book, Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era, is now available from the University of North Carolina Press as part of the Justice, Power, and Politics series. Thomas Sugrue says the book is “one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time,” and “a model of clarity,” while historian Lilia Fernandez praises Blue Texas as “[v]ividly detailed and painstakingly researched,” a book that “beautifully captures a political movement that fought to empower marginalized racial minorities and workers in Texas.”
As described by UNC Press, Blue Texas “is about the other Texas, not the state known for its cowboy conservatism, but a mid-twentieth-century hotbed of community organizing, liberal politics, and civil rights activism. Beginning in the 1930s, Max Krochmal tells the story of the decades-long struggle for democracy in Texas, when African American, Mexican American, and white labor and community activists gradually came together to empower the state’s marginalized minorities. At the ballot box and in the streets, these diverse activists demanded not only integration but economic justice, labor rights, and real political power for all. Their efforts gave rise to the Democratic Coalition of the 1960s, a militant, multiracial alliance that would take on and eventually overthrow both Jim Crow and Juan Crow. Using rare archival sources and original oral history interviews, Krochmal reveals the often-overlooked democratic foundations and liberal tradition of one of our nation’s most conservative states. Blue Texas remembers the many forgotten activists who, by crossing racial lines and building coalitions, democratized their cities and state to a degree that would have been unimaginable just a decade earlier–and it shows why their story still matters today.”
Max Krochmal is an assistant professor of History at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. His research and teaching sit at the intersection of modern U.S., African American, Chicano/a-Latino/a, and labor histories, and their present-day ramifications. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and received his M.A. and Ph.D. at Duke University. Krochmal is also the founder and director of the Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project, a statewide collaborative research initiative and digital humanities website that received a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.