Dallas
A History of "Big D"
Texana
5.5 x 8.5, 80 pp.
20 illus
Pub Date: 09/01/1997
Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series
  paper
Price:        $9.95

978-0-87611-163-5

Published by Texas State Historical Assn

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Dallas

A History of "Big D"

By Michael V. Hazel

Dallas first grabbed the national imagination in 1936 when it hosted the Texas Centennial Exposition. Since then, the fascination with “Big D” has seldom flagged. If the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 cast a pall over the city, the success of the Dallas Cowboys and the popularity of the television series “Dallas” revived the image of a glitzy, hustling metropolis at the center of the Sunbelt.

In this concise overview, Hazel examines the city's roots as a frontier market town, its development as a regional transportation center, and its growing pains as it entered the twentieth century. Ku Klux Klan dominance in the 1920s is chronicled, as well as the half-century of control by an elite group of businessmen. The narrative concludes with a look at today's city, struggling with issues of diversity.

The author pays special attention to the role of ethnic groups in shaping Dallas: the French colonists of the 1850s; the German, Swiss, and Italian immigrants of the 1870s and 1880s; the Mexican Americans of the early twentieth century; and the Southeast Asians of recent decades. He also examines the role of African Americans, who came with the first Anglos and struggled for more than a century to gain equality.

Dallas: A History of Big D is based on pioneer letters and reminiscences, as well as the research of recent years. Written in a popular style, it will appeal to scholars and general readers curious about how Dallas grew to become the nation's eighth largest city.

MICHAEL V. HAZEL is a Dallas native who currently teaches Dallas history at SMU. He is also archivist for the A. H. Belo Corporation and the editor of Legacies, a regional history journal.

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