The City in Texas: A History

Hardcover | February 15, 2015

byDavid G. Mccomb

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Texans love the idea of wide-open spaces and, before World War II, the majority of the state’s people did live and work on the land. Between 1940 and 1950, however, the balance shifted from rural to urban, and today 88 percent of Texans live in cities and embrace the amenities of urban culture. The rise of Texas cities is a fascinating story that has not been previously told. Yet it is essential for understanding both the state’s history and its contemporary character.

In The City in Texas, acclaimed historian David G. McComb chronicles the evolution of urban Texas from the Spanish Conquest to the present. Writing in lively, sometimes humorous and provocative prose, he describes how commerce and politics were the early engines of city growth, followed by post–Civil War cattle shipping, oil discovery, lumbering, and military needs. McComb emphasizes that the most transformative agent in city development was the railroad. This technology—accompanied by telegraphs that accelerated the spread of information and mechanical clocks that altered concepts of time—revolutionized transportation, enforced corporate organization, dictated town location, organized space and architecture, and influenced thought. McComb also thoroughly explores the post–World War II growth of San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston as incubators for businesses, educational and cultural institutions, and health care centers.

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Texans love the idea of wide-open spaces and, before World War II, the majority of the state’s people did live and work on the land. Between 1940 and 1950, however, the balance shifted from rural to urban, and today 88 percent of Texans live in cities and embrace the amenities of urban culture. The rise of Texas cities is a fascinating...

David G. McComb taught United States history, world history, sports history, and the history of technology at Colorado State University, where he retired as a professor emeritus in 2002. He has published fourteen books, including the award-winning Galveston: A History; Texas, a Modern History; and Spare Time in Texas: Recreation and Hi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.28 × 1.06 inPublished:February 15, 2015Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292767463

ISBN - 13:9780292767461

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Theories, Definitions, HistoriansPart One: First Things1. The Lay of the Land2. The Influence of the Native Americans3. The Towns of the Spanish Empire in Texas4. The Coming of the Americans5. The Towns of the Texas RevolutionPart Two: The Dirt Road Frontier, 1836–19006. Major Events7. The Dirt Road8. Migration: Gone to Texas9. The Evolution of San Antonio10. The German Towns of Texas11. The Coastal Ports12. The River Ports13. The Political Towns14. The Military Towns15. The Railroad Towns16. The Lumber Towns17. The End of the Dirt Road FrontierPart Three: The Amenities of City Life, 1900–195018. The Rural to Urban Shift19. The Great Galveston Storm20. Spindletop and Beaumont21. The Oil Towns22. The Elite Rule of the Cities23. The World War I Era24. The Entrancement of the City25. The Great Depression26. World War II27. The Immediate Postwar YearsPart Four: Great Texas Cities, 1950–201228. Population and Urban Expansion29. Suburbs and Subdivisions30. Segregation and Integration31. The Hispanic Identity32. John F. Kennedy and Dallas33. The Voting Rights Act and the Cities34. Land Transportation35. Airlines and Airports36. Urban Excellence in Texas37. Houston, a Renaissance City38. The Infrastructure for Excellence39. The City and the State: A ConundrumNotesSuggestions for Further ReadingIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is the only comprehensive synthesis of the urban history of Texas that I'm aware of. Commanding the deep experiences of a lifetime of study of Texas and its cities, McComb combines an interesting narrative with a compelling analysis of the Lone Star State’s urban places. His book will help a broad array of readers to understand that urban history, often dealt with as an afterthought when it comes to Texas, is fundamental to an understanding of the state’s development." - Robert Wooster, Regents Professor of History, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi