Monday, June 27, 2011

The Strange Career of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield

In 2006, the University of Texas Press published my first book, "White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001." To celebrate that book's fifth anniversary, I am serializing "White Metropolis." In this passage, I describe the importance of Cyrus Scofield, an evangelical doomsday preacher who rose to prominence in Dallas in the early 20th century and changed how many Gentiles perceive Jews in the United States.

As a man born north of the Mason-Dixon line who fought in the Confederate Army and then served as pastor at a church associated with a mostly Northern membership, no prominent Dallas figure better embodies elite efforts to forge political unity between Dallas residents of Northern and Southern origin in the post-Civil War period than Cyrus Ingerson Scofield.

A man of shaky theological credentials, Scofield nevertheless emerged as the city's most important cultural innovator. Scofield not only paved the way to regional reconciliation in Dallas. With his multi-million selling Scofield Reference Bible, he transformed relations between fundamentalist Christians and Jews throughout the United States while providing a reactionary counter-balance to the Populist and Progressive movements dominating political debates in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Born about 50 miles southwest of Detroit, Michigan on August 19, 1843, Scofield moved to live near two older sisters and a brother-in-law in Lebanon, Tennessee, 30 miles east of Nashville, in early 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the 17-year-old joined the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment for a one-year hitch, entering and leaving the Confederate Army as a private. After the war, Scofield married Leontine Cerre, the youngest daughter of a prominent French Catholic family in St. Louis.

Earning a law license, his new family connections helped him land employment in a Kansas firm headed by John J. Ingalls, later elected United States Senator. Riding Ingalls' coattails, Scofield won two one-year terms to the Kansas State legislature and, through Ingalls' patronage, earned appointment as a United States District Attorney in 1873. Scandal plagued Scofield and he resigned as district attorney in December 1873 after only six months on the job. Kansas newspapers charged that Scofield accepted bribes from railroads, stole political contributions meant for Ingalls, and secured bank promissory notes by forging signatures.

His wife Leontine filed for divorce. Scofield said he soon thereafter converted to Christianity under the influence of James Brooks, a believer in a dispensationalist theology that emphasized the prophetic nature of the Bible and taught that a literal Second Coming of Christ loomed in the immediate future. Scofield won a post as acting YMCA secretary in St. Louis before being invited to serve as pastor of the struggling First Congregational Church in Dallas in October 1882. Though Scofield received only spotty theological training, he became one of the most influential preachers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Congregationalist Church was a tiny flock that rode into Dallas with the post-railroad 1870s immigration wave. Eleven of the 17 original members claimed Northern origin. The Dallas Congregationalists first organized in 1876, but suffered from a serious public relations problem as their denomination was associated with the famous Northern, pre-war abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher.

Even though Scofield was not yet ordained, the Congregationalists enthusiastically gave the Confederate veteran a chance at the pulpit. As word of his wartime record spread, Scofield acquired social standing. He pled for North-South reconciliation and on one Memorial Day in Dallas, a Confederate veterans group and the Grand Army of the Republic separately invited him to speak. Scofield addressed both groups simultaneously and received an enthusiastic response.

His Confederate credentials established, Scofield built a growing church, winning followers through door-to door evangelism. Always conscious of image, Scofield further enhanced his status by claiming the title "Dr. Scofield, D.D. [doctor of divinity]" in the early 1890s, although there no record of an advanced degree from any college of university at his church's archives. Scofield drew one of the most powerful families in Dallas, the Dealeys, to his congregation.

In 1885, the A.H. Belo Corporation, owners of the Galveston News, opened the Dallas Morning News. The Morning News quickly bought the Dallas Herald and became the dominant newspaper in the city. The News' business manager, George Bannerman Dealey, identified himself as a Presbyterian most of his life, but other Dealeys, including his father (also named George), Carrie, and Samuel Dealey, filled the pews of the First Congregational Church, serving as officers and fundraisers. Scofield's persuasiveness, plus his friendship with wealthy members, spurred the church's growth. Membership grew from 16 resident members his first year as pastor to 465 12 years later.

Scofield grounded his theology in "pre-millennial dispensationalism," the core of which is that "the course of history, and the sequence of events that will herald the end of the world, are foretold in the Bible." The Scriptures, Scofield said, divide time into seven "dispensations," marked by some change in God's method of dealing with mankind. For instance, under the "Man Innocent" dispensation during which Adam and Eve lived in Edenic bliss, they failed to follow the commandment to "abstain from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil," and were expelled from paradise. "Each of the Dispensations may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment — marking his utter failure," Scofield wrote.

The modern period, Scofield argued, represents the "Church Age," the sixth and penultimate stage of history. The Christian church, evangelizing since Jesus' return to heaven nearly 2,000 years earlier, has failed to save the human race from sin. End-time events would begin when Jesus "raptures" his church, whisking the saved into the clouds so they might escape the horrors of the coming "Tribulation."

Jews would return to Palestine to establish a modern state of Israel, Scofield predicted. The Gentile nations of the Earth would unite under an Antichrist, a world dictator determined to defeat God's plan for salvation by destroying the Jews. Under the reign of the Antichrist, Scofield promised, millions will die and the Earth will suffer vast ecological devastation. The Antichrist's armies will gather in the Middle East to complete annihilation of the Jewish nation, but before this happens, 144,000 surviving Jews will convert to Christianity. Jesus and his raptured followers will miraculously return to save these converts and destroy the "princes of the Earth" in a final battle of Armageddon. Christ will then begin an earthly reign of 1,000 years, followed by a final Judgement Day and the creation of a new Heaven and Earth.

In Dallas, anxieties generated by social dislocation made Scofieldism particularly attractive. Dispensationalism neatly divided the world into those aligned with Christ and those in thrall to the anti-Christ. This Manichean viewpoint heightened a sense of identity for Scofield's flock just at a time when the chronic fears wrought by industrialism — unemployment, inflation and recession — aggravated anxieties and alienation.

In spite of Scofield's theological conservatism, his sermons reflected the terrors of the industrial age. "Business is organized on a vast scale; the unit counts for nothing — the mass for everything," he observed in one sermon. "The hours of the day are not enough for toil, business burns up the nights as well. God's rest day is ruthlessly appropriated; men are worn out, burnt out rather, and left behind without thought or mercy." Scofieldism spread as it offered both empathy for the working class and support for elite values.

Scofield built largely on the work of predecessors such as early 19th century theologian John Darby, but he was dispensationalism's most successful popularizer. His influence extended far beyond Dallas and the South, reshaping Protestant fundamentalism, its relationship to progressive political reform, and its attitude toward Jews.

His dispensationalist reading of prophecy reached a broad audience through his masterwork, the Scofield Reference Bible. Published in 1909, the Scofield Bible supplemented the King James translation with explanatory footnotes and suggested cross-references for related verses. Although annotated English-language Bibles date back to the seventeenth century, no version of the Bible so completely entwined the editor's doctrinal interpretations with the Biblical text, a technique which made Scofield's theological pronouncements appear as part and parcel of Holy Writ. Scofield's Bible, which replaced archaic phrases with more modern English, became one of the twentieth century’s most popular versions and saved its publisher, Oxford University Press, from bankruptcy during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Scofield Bible may have exceeded 10 million copies sold before the release of a revision in 1967. The revision sold another 2.5 million copies by 1990. A religion scholar characterized the Scofield Bible as "perhaps the most important single document in all fundamentalist literature." Middle class Baptist and Presbyterian congregations became, as historian Paul Boyer puts it, "bastions of pre-millennialism."

In many fundamentalist Protestant congregations, ministers found themselves measured by a Scofield yardstick and found their careers threatened if they ventured too far from this new orthodoxy. The Dallas Theological Seminary became a center of dispensationalist teaching, with graduate Hal Lindsey writing the non-fiction best-seller of the 1970s, the Scofield-inspired The Late Great Planet Earth which registered 28 million in sales by 1990.

Scofield saw the march of history not as a tale of progress but as a long slide into faithlessness and degeneration. History would end, "not as some would have us believe, by the gradual process of evolution, lifting the race higher and higher . . . but in sudden and awful ruin . . ." Preaching in an age of middle class Progressivism, Scofield urged his followers to place no faith in politics. "The true mission of the church is not the reformation of society," he declared. "What Christ did not do, the Apostles did not do. Not one of them was a reformer."

To put faith in political activism was to lack faith in God. "When Christ was on earth all the social problems — slavery, intemperance, prostitution, unequal distribution of wealth, oppression of the weak by the strong — were at their worst," Scofield argued. "To cure them He put into the world one message — the gospel, one means — regeneration, one agency — the Holy Spirit in the church." Genuine, permanent reform could come only with the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth. All else was satanic delusion. Scofield compared human civilization to the Titanic, the famed vessel that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912. " . . . [W]e're all on a doomed ship; but that God and his mercy had brought a life boat alongside that would hold us all," Scofield said.

Scofieldism served the political and racial status quo admirably. As an industrial order rose in Dallas, Scofieldism blunted class conflict, urging the poor to wait for justice in the sweet bye-and-bye. At a time when Dallasites feared the political mobilization of dissenters, working class whites and blacks, Scofield offered a theology that was implicitly anti-democratic.

The Antichrist, Scofield argued, would achieve power through his persuasive guile, deceiving the masses into supporting his rule. Democracy and a free, but morally corrupt press, would become vehicles through which the Antichrist would reign. In contrast, dispensationalists celebrate Christ's millennium rule as "absolute in its authority and power . ." In his Scofield Reference Bible, the Dallas minister referred sarcastically to "popular will, fickle and easily moulded." Constitutional liberties, in any case, could not free anyone from the slavery of sin.

Scofieldism's rejection of political activism also signaled a rejection of the social experimentation of the Reconstruction Era. In terms of racial ideology, Scofield largely reflected conventional white attitudes. Men, he said, were born into an "invisible net" created, in part, by "race predisposition [and] . . . race habit . . ." The Scofield Reference Bible implied that blacks were the descendents of Noah's son Ham, cursed after the flood for disrespecting his father. From Ham, Scofield wrote, descended an "inferior and servile posterity."

Black subordination was a fulfillment of Ham's curse, an interpretation Scofield echoed. Scofield laughed at the efforts of whites like Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, a pre-war abolitionist, who made an "annual attempt to enact a law to abolish the distinction made by God Almighty between black and white." Black social inferiority was the will of God, Scofield apparently believed.

If Scofield reinforced white attitudes towards African Americans, his biggest innovation came with his views on Jews. Here, the conservative Scofield was truly revolutionary. Scofield worked to replace traditional Christian anti-Semitism with an aggressive philo-Semitism. Scofield's worldview gave modern Jews a pivotal role in God's plan of salvation and even conceded Jews a path to salvation outside of Christianity. In so doing, Scofield paved a way for Jews to be seen as white in a city where whiteness was the necessary political prerequisite for economic success and political influence

This innovation came when immigration made Jews more visible within Dallas' population, with many leaders such as the Sangers and the Marcus family playing integral roles as part of the city's rising merchant class. These Jewish "Merchant Princes," as one author described them, brought to Dallas a global view of trade that would further expand the city's economy. Dallas' new Jewish merchant class soon became too valuable to keep on the fringes. Dallas leaders wrestled with longstanding Gentile fears of Jews to find a way to enfold them in the banner of whiteness.

By the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Jewish whiteness emerged as one of the central racial controversies in the North. The relatively small number of African Americans north of the Mason-Dixon line and the Northern political surrender on Reconstruction meant that, for a time, black-white relations receded in importance to Northern white elites. Jews, however, represented part of a mass wave of Southern and Eastern European immigrants whose language, religion and culture represented a challenge to Anglo Protestant hegemony. Ivy League professors, New England political patricians like Henry Cabot Lodge and much of the Northern press declared that Jews, accused carriers of the socialist virus also ironically blamed for lowering Gentile wages, were intellectually inferior, had congenitally untrustworthy characters and were inherently incapable of upholding democratic institutions.

Though the verdict among Northern Anglo elites was by no means unanimous, many declared Jews members of a distinct "Oriental" race incapable of assimilation. Jews received much less focus in the South, not only because fewer Jews lived there, but also because the implementation of Jim Crow laws seemingly divided the region into two clearly-marked black and white categories. Unlike the North, until later in the twentieth century there seemed to be no population deemed in-between the white/black polarities.

Many Southern Jews decided that, given the onerous liabilities of blackness, no sane alternative to claiming a white identity existed. Many Jews achieved probationary whiteness by serving in the Confederate Army or by practicing or defending segregation. Most Southern Jews who disapproved of anti-black racism kept quiet. Not all Southern Jews played this game, with some vocally supporting African American civil rights. In any case, whether they were collaborators with or opponents to their Southern Gentile peers on racial issues, Jews eventually would face questions about their whiteness in the South as growing Jewish immigration became entwined with the controversy over Southern industrialization.

By the time European Jews first encountered Anglo Gentiles in Texas, Christians there had constructed a split image of the Jewish community. The "good Jews" of the Old Testament who brought the Ten Commandments to the world vied for prominence in Christian imagination with the "bad Jews" who crucified Jesus and grubbed for money. In an 1853 edition, the Austin State Gazette reprinted an editorial from the Congressional Journal that asked how Jews survived in a hostile world.

Amid their sufferings, the editorial warned, Jews became an invincible force. "In money power the Jews hold in their hands the destiny of kingdoms and empires, whose governments become bankrupt and their sovereigns turn beggars at a Hebrew's nod," the writer commented. Texas anti-Semites mixing the fear of alleged Jewish power with awe at what appeared to be the divine favor Jews enjoyed. Jews, the editorial concluded, were a "race so indomitable, so imperishable" that they "must have been raised up and preserved for some grand purpose."

Dallas Jews stood on a precipice, not sure if their Gentile neighbors saw them as the monotheistic Old Testament heroes slaying Philistines or the mythical Christ-killers. From the time the first Jewish resident settled in Dallas, dry goods warehouse owner Alexander Simon in the 1850s, the city's Jewish community presented themselves as the "Good Jews" of the Bible. Jewish immigrants freely used the term "Hebrew," to evoke memories of heroic Old Testament patriarchs, in naming their civic organizations such as the Dallas Hebrew Benevolent Association, founded in 1872, or the Young Men's Hebrew Association, an answer to the Young Men's Christian Organization, formed in 1879.

Dallas Jews embraced cultural assimilation to win acceptance. German Jews like the Sangers adopted the more Westernized Reform Movement of Judaism, which bridged considerable distance between the two cultures. Classical Reform Judaism defines Jews as members of a common religion, not of a race or nationality, thus mitigating separatism. At Dallas' Congregation Emanu-El, Reform Jews followed Southern Protestant patterns of religious practice. The temple resembled a church, services incorporated English and the term "minister" was used interchangeably with "rabbi." Such religious assimilation characterized American Judaism from the time of the American Revolution. American Jews rarely spoke Hebrew and, as a result, across North America services often strikingly resembled Protestant gatherings. Dallas only represents an extreme.

However assimilated, Dallas Jews did not seek invisibility but made their mark as joiners. At the start of the 1870s, all 17 of the city's Jewish males enrolled as volunteer firefighters. When yellow fever struck Texas in 1873, the city's growing Jewish community raised $1,000 to help the epidemic's victims in Shreveport. "They open their purses and give to the extent of their means, never inquiring whether their contributions are destined for the relief of Jew or Gentile . . ." the Dallas Herald marveled. Dallas Jews were rewarded for their civic-mindedness by winning a broad level of acceptance. Although Jews constituted less than five percent of the city's population, five Jews, all from the merchant class, were elected aldermen between 1873 and 1905.

Jewish weddings in Dallas became front-page news, Gentile writers bubbling with adjectives to capture the elegant flavor. The Dallas Daily Herald described a reception for Dallas merchant E.M. Kahn and his new bride as "one of the grandest and most brilliant" society events with "nothing undone to make it a magnificent success," the hall "brilliantly lighted" and "the whole scene conspiring to render an effect as beautiful and charming as fairy land."

Wealthy nineteenth century Jewish society mirrored the fantasy cosmopolitan future desired for Dallas by Gentile elites. The "good Jew" of Dallas — always loyal, generous, and supportive of the local leadership's policies and priorities — would be welcome as long as he conformed to narrow, stereotyped expectations. Jews were accepted, not as part of the Anglo-Saxon ruling bloc, but only as closely related cousins of the Master Race.

Jews assimilated not only culturally but also politically. It didn't hurt the Sanger family that brothers Issac, Lehman and Philip had served in the Confederate Army. Yet, even while supporting the South in its defense of slavery, Jews remained oddities to the Christian community, a comic people separated by anachronistic custom.

T.R. Burnett, in his poem "Story of a Ham," distributed at the 1888 State Fair in Dallas, depicted a fictional "single lonely Jew," Jacob Joses, as "true to Dixie and to Moses." In spite of being "full of zeal" and "always true" to the Confederate colors, "Jewy Jake" remains an outsider who "maintains his Jewish fashions/And will not eat all kinds of rations." After getting lost, a hungry Jake happens upon a smokehouse. "And through a handy crack e-spying,/A luscious ham he saw there lying," Burnett, fascinated by Jewish difference, continues in his clumsy verse. Jake the Jew nearly succumbs to unfaithfulness, almost violating his dietary code. "He tried to think of Moses' law/But had a cramping in his craw: O ham, thou almost (mouth a twisten')/ Persuadest me to be a Christian!" Jake's observance of Old Testament edict marks him as impractical and superstitious, an outsider not quite white in spite of his wearing the Confederate gray.

Many Christians thought that only those who accepted Jesus as the son of God would reach heaven. Jewish rejection of Christ's messianic role left these ancient promoters of monotheism as heathen outsiders. Here, Cyrus Scofield played his most important role in helping Jews acquire higher racial status. Scofield, like other Christians, saw Jews as separate from the white community, but felt this made them a "little nation which has ever had the strongest marks of race distinction and race peculiarity."

This segregation, he argued, resulted from a divinely inspired unique Jewish role in history. "Their history alone is told in Old Testament narrative and prophecy — other peoples being mentioned only as they touch the Jew," Scofield wrote. Jews acted as "a trouble to the Gentile, yet witnessing to them; cast out by them, but miraculously preserved . . . " Anti-Semitism, to Scofield, was a sin and the prelude to divine retribution. "When [God] . . . comes back, it is first of all for their [Jews'] deliverance; then, for the judgment of the Gentiles according to their treatment of Israel," Scofield said. "I tell you, dear friends, it is a very serious thing to mistreat a Jew . . . Wherever a Jew goes he is a blessing or a curse, just according to the way he is received."

Scofield directly challenged conservative Christianity's claim to represent the only path to salvation. Scofield claimed that Jews held a unique compact with God and could reach heaven without acceptance of Jesus as savior, a revolutionary doctrine for a Christian fundamentalist. He also suggested Jews would play a pivotal role in the End Times. The conversion of 144,000 Jews before the Battle of Armageddon would be a miraculous sign of God's power, a necessary precursor to the Second Coming. Ultimately, the fate of Heaven and Earth depended on Jews.

Yet, for all his philo-Semitism, Scofield dehumanized Jews as completely as did anti-Semites. Individual Jews — whether of mixed-heritage, secular, atheist, non-observing, Reform, Orthodox, or converted to Christianity — all collapse into a single identity and shared fate. The world's future depends on their "national conversion," meaning that there is no place for the Jewish religion in the indefinite future. As historian Paul Boyer notes, "at the heart of dispensationalism lies the assumption that Jews are essentially and eternally different. The view of 'the Jew' is not necessarily hostile, but he is always separate . . ."

In Scofield's prophetic scenario, the segregation between Christians and Jews remains through eternity. After the creation of a new Heaven and Earth, Christians go to Heaven to be with Jesus, Scofield said. Jews rule the New Earth for eternity. God's promise to Abraham in the Book of Genesis that his descendants, as numerous as the stars, would inherit Palestine, was interpreted by Scofield to be a literal, eternal divine pledge. "Israel's distinction, glory and destiny, will always be earthly," Scofield wrote. ". . . [After this dispensation}, there will of necessity be a division." Scofield attributed to Jews the central role in the human drama, but that assignment meant that Jews ultimately could not be part of the larger human family.

Scofield had departed from the First Congregational Church by the time of his death in Douglaston, Long Island July 24, 1921. In spite of his relocation to the North, three memorial services were held for Scofield in Dallas on November 27, 1921. "[T]he thought comes to me that he was greater than we realized," George Dealey said at one service. The day after the memorial services, the Sanger Brothers Department Store, owned by one of Dallas' most established and successful Jewish families, ran a full-page advertisement promoting sales of twelve models and styles of the Scofield Bible. On May 16, 1923, the elders of the First Congregational Church in Dallas voted to change the congregation's name to Scofield Memorial Church, a name that remains to this day.

Scofield changed the way many Protestants read the Bible, yet his transformation of Dallas race relations remained uncommented upon at his memorial services. Scofield burst upon post-Civil War Dallas at a time of explosive changes in the city's racial ideology. The post-war period opened with John Reagan's suggestion of partial white disenfranchisement as a means of both avoiding universal black suffrage and of limiting the political power of unreliable poor whites. Poor whites reacted to this perceived loss of status with a bloody campaign aimed at returning blacks to the lowest rung of Texas society and frightening their white, Northern-born allies into silence or self-imposed exile.

This attempt became less viable with the railroad's arrival in 1870s Dallas. With the railroad came an unprecedented flood of white immigrants who could not fit easily inside the majority Southern-born Protestant ruling bloc. Catholic, Jewish and Northern immigrants played a crucial role in the city's dramatic economic expansion in the 1870s and 1880s. City leaders desired to make Dallas more attractive to these immigrants and pursued regional reconciliation. Elites no longer divided Christian whites into "Northern" and "Southern" camps, but declared that all shared an Anglo-Saxon heritage, marked by battlefield valor. Meanwhile, Dallas elites like Scofield turned anti-Semitic stereotypes upside down, portraying Jews as favored spokesmen for God on Earth.

Jews achieved whiteness to a degree impossible for later groups on the racial margins. The uncertainty of whiteness, however, would prove to be a dilemma. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Jewish "merchant princes" played major roles in erecting the city's emerging capitalist order. In so doing, they entered into conflict with other Jews who helped lead the city's nascent labor movement, often promoting an anti-capitalist, socialist ideology. Even as Jews gained partial whiteness, the pressures of capitalism meant that working class Gentiles would increasingly lose theirs, a reversal of fortune that by the 1920s would help fuel the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

At the same time, working class Gentile whites and Jews would both soon learn that whiteness gained can become whiteness lost. To some Dallas Gentile elites, Jewish workers would remain Semitic aliens, carrying the non-Anglo Saxon toxin of socialism. Jewish elites would find themselves suspected as disloyal by the Gentiles and attacked by leftists within their community. Scofield had argued for the separateness of Jews after the millennium, but the city's Jewish community would remain outsiders in this world. For Dallas Jews, separate would not mean equal.

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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