J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind (Charles N. Prothro Texana by Steven L. Davis

By Steven L. Davis

The first Texas-based author to achieve nationwide cognizance, J. Frank Dobie proved that genuine writing springs simply from the local soil of Texas and the Southwest. In best-selling books reminiscent of Tales of Old-Time Texas, Coronado's Children, and The Longhorns, Dobie captured the Southwest's people historical past, which used to be speedy disappearing because the usa grew to become ever extra urbanized and business. well known as "Mr. Texas," Dobie sarcastically has nearly disappeared from view—a casualty of fixing tastes in literature and shifts in social and political attitudes because the 1960s.

In this energetic biography, Steven L. Davis takes a clean examine a J. Frank Dobie whose "liberated brain" set him on an highbrow trip that culminated in Dobie changing into a political liberal who fought for exertions, unfastened speech, and civil rights good sooner than those factors grew to become appropriate to so much Anglo Texans. Tracing the entire arc of Dobie's lifestyles (1888–1964), Davis indicates how Dobie's insistence on "free-range pondering" led him to such radical activities as calling for the full integration of the collage of Texas in the course of the Nineteen Forties, in addition to taking up governors, senators, and the FBI (which secretly investigated him) as Texas's prime dissenter through the McCarthy era.

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S. intervention and he made no secret of his desire to rally others to war. He again came to the attention of the Austin American, whose editorial policy favored neutrality. In a dig at Dobie, the paper wrote, “The amiable alien harbored in the University is at it again. In addition to preaching the British propaganda to his class, he has taken occasion to advise it that The American is a ‘diabolical’ newspaper. Of course Old Sweetie prefers to fight Great Britain’s battles in the University rather than on the firing line .

Through them Dobie learned of Alice Stillwell Henderson, who ran a ranch “without any man to boss her” and by herself pursued cross-border raiders into Mexico, successfully retrieving her stolen horses. 22 In Alpine he also met and befriended John Young, a mostly retired cattleman from the Brush Country who told him dashing stories about trail drives and battles with Indians and Mexicans. These were the same sorts of tales Dobie had grown up hearing from family members, only Young had been more adventurous and so his stories were even more fascinating.

6 The Army, however, refused to accept him. He had varicose veins in his legs, making him ineligible. Undeterred, he underwent an operation to have them cut out. After recovering, he enlisted again. No cavalry assignments were available, so he was assigned to artillery instead. He sold off his cattle and Bertha was forced to move out of their home—which she had fallen in love with—in order to take a room at a boarding house. Dobie apologized to her, but explained that, given her delicate health, she needed to be around someone who could help look after her while he was at war.

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