LBJ and Grassroots Federalism
Publication Date 5 Aug 2014
OverviewLBJ and Grassroots Federalism: Congressman Bob Poage, Race, and Change in Texas reveals the local ramifications of federal policy. Three case studies in the rising career of Lyndon B. Johnson show this in action: LBJ's formative experience as a New Dealer directing the National Youth Administration (NYA) in Texas; his key role as senate majority leader in breaking the deadlock to secure funds for the Lake Waco dam project; and the cumulative effect of his Great Society policies on urban renewal and educational reform among the Mexican American community in Waco.
In each of these initiatives, Bob Poageâ€”though far more politically conservative than Johnsonâ€”served as a conduit between LBJ and citizen activists in Poageâ€™s congressional district, affirming the significance of grassroots engagement even during an era usually associated with centralization.
Robert Harold Duke's careful analysis in LBJ and Grassroots Federalism alsoÂ offers a unique insight into a transformational period when the federal government broke down barriers and opened doors to the engagement of African Americans and Mexican Americans in community planning processes and social policy.