THE TEXAS COUNTRY EDITOR: H. M. Baggarly Takes a Grass-Roots Look at the National Scene by Eugene W.- Ed. Jones

THE TEXAS COUNTRY EDITOR: H. M. Baggarly Takes a Grass-Roots Look at the National Scene

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Baggarly is the editor of a small-town Texas paper The Tulia Herald (4,500 subscribers) for which he has written a political column for sixteen years. The present book is about Presidential politics during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Baggarly is apparently quite a maverick in West Texas, since his opinions are far from those popularly associated with the folks behind the Birch curtain. Among his bad guesses in this collection of columns was his prognostication that Senator Taft and not General Eisenhower would be the Republican Presidential candidate in 1952. Baggarly, a devout Christian and admirer of Billy Graham, employs Biblical invective against nearby Amarillo and especially Dallas, ""the political Sodom of our nation."" These are centers of extremist hatred, crackpot ""Christian"" crusaders, ex-army generals ""who fly their flags upside down"" and so-called patriotic societies. He scores their bigotry, jingoism and public expressions of hatred as causing the Kennedy assassination. Dallas schoolchildren actually cheered the news of the murder, as did schoolchildren in Amarillo, in an area dominated by the Birch Society. Texas is full of xenophobic millionaires who buy newspapers and radio stations to spout their ideas. Baggarly is a personal friend of President Johnson's, having known him since he was a state senator, and is warm toward his policies. He is a sensible, honest man who expresses opinions in print that are literally dangerous to his life. For this he deserves high praise.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1966
Publisher: World