You Will Never Be One of Us
A Teacher, a Texas Town, and the Rural Roots of Radical Conservatism
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
232 Pages | 6 x 9 | 5 b&w illus., 1 map
By 1975 Hereford, a quiet farming town in the Texas Panhandle, had become “majority minority,” and Woodward’s students were mostly the children of Mexican and Mexican American workers at local agribusinesses. Most townspeople viewed the ACLU as they did Woodward’s long hair and politics: as threatening a radical liberal takeover—and a reckoning for the town’s white power structure. Locals were presented with a choice: either support school officials who sought to rid themselves of a liberal troublemaker, or side with an idealistic young man whose constitutional rights might have been violated. In Timothy Bowman’s deft telling, Woodward’s story exposes the sources and depths of rural America's political culture during the latter half of the twentieth century and the lengths to which small-town conservatives would go to defend it.
In defining a distinctive rural, middle-American “Panhandle conservatism,” You Will Never Be One of Us extends the study of the conservative movement beyond the suburbs of the Sunbelt and expands our understanding of a continuing, perhaps deepening, rift in American political culture.
“Timothy Bowman expands and often upends existing histories by locating the early culture wars not in coastal campuses and think tanks but in Hereford, a small town in the Texas Panhandle. The themes of controversy and speech, patriotism and protest, outrage and offense, that are the political oxygen of the early twenty-first century all appear here, near fully formed, in the High Plains of 1974.”—Jason Mellard, author of Progressive Country: How the 1970s Transformed the Texan in Popular Culture