Max Krochmal, associate professor of history and director of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, has received the Frederick Jackson Turner Award for the author of a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history for his book, Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press). The award, presented April 8, was given by the Organization of American Historians. The book previously won an award from the Texas branch of the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS Tejas Foco).
From a release by the Organization of American Historians: “Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press) fashions a dynamic, evocative political history through extraordinary research, page-turning prose, and an exquisite reconstruction of Texas’s shifting cultural, economic, racial, and electoral landscapes from the 1930s past the 1960s. Blue Texas describes how tenuous coalitions ultimately overcame obstinate localisms, vexed personal dynamics, and the deep impress of racism among white liberals and Texas labor activists to create a broad multiracial political coalition that successfully challenged anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-labor prejudice in the 1960s. Krochmal’s mesmerizing personal portraits explore individual motivations behind political action, and his deft scrutiny of Texas’s regional, organizational, and cultural differences explains the outsized rise and fall of coalitions and candidates that reshaped Texas politics across several decades, tradition and internal tension to the contrary. Vivid, subtle, and affecting, Blue Texas is a compelling book that turns intricate research into an electrifying narrative about a political history that mattered.”