Oklahoma Politics: A History
Scales James R

Oklahoma Politics: A History

  • Publish Date: 1982-11-15
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: James R Scales;Danney Goble

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This book is the only published history focused on government in the Sooner State. Beginning with the elections of the territorial era, the authors narrate a definitive account of state politics through the early 1960s. A final chapter traces the contours of contemporary public affairs, identifying the chief elements that shape today's politics.

Every major election in the state's history is included in the book, as well as biographical sketches of the state's foremost political figures. Further, the authors relate the recurrent controversies of the statehouse, where gubernatorial initiatives have often clashed with legislative ambitions. Appropriate attention is also given to the state's role in national affairs.

Although comprehensive in scope, Oklahoma Politics is more than a compendium of political data. The authors view the history of the commonwealth as something of a model for understanding the evolution of state politics in general during this century. Oklahoma fits that purpose ideally. Born amid the Progressive reformation of traditional state government, the state has been host to every major subsequent force in American state politics. Grassroots agrarian radicalism, a potent Ku Klux Klan, the turmoil of the Great Depression, the postWorld War II revolution in the federal relationship, the emergence of modern Republican conservatismall these have made Oklahoma a laboratory of political change.

Aware of the scholarly literature of political scientists and historians of other states, the authors have incorporated many of their findings to develop a new perspective from which to view Oklahoma's political history. Yet the color and excitement of state politics have not been lost in this careful analysis of how the system has evolved. The result is a book that speaks to those Oklahomansindeed, those Americanswho seek to understand how state politics works or, on occasion, why it does not.

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