Author: Lawrence Wright
Release Date: 2018-04-17
With humor and the biting insight of a native, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower explores the history, culture, and politics of Texas, while holding the stereotypes up for rigorous scrutiny. God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslims). The cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports. The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. And Wright's profound portrait of the state not only reflects our country back as it is, but as it was and as it might be.
Author: Elizabeth Crook
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2018-02-06
The poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who braves the dangers of the Texas frontier to avenge her mother's death "When I began to read this book its unique voice appealed to me immediately. Elizabeth Crook has written a beautiful novel with wonderful characters." --Robert Duvall "A small-scale masterwork, richly detailed and beautifully rendered." --S. C. Gwynne, New York Times bestselling author of Empire of the Summer Moon Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, whose final act is to save her daughter's life. Samantha and her half brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatized, her face horribly scarred. Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha's unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother's death. In their quest she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but relentless tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle. In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking saga of one steadfast girl's revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin's storytelling, it is also a timeless tale full of warmth and humor, and a testament to the enduring love that carries a sister and brother through a perilous adventure with all the dimensions of a legend.
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!
Author: Carol O'Keefe Wilson
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Release Date: 2014-02-15
In 1915 Governor James Ferguson began his term in Texas bolstered by a wave of voter enthusiasm and legislative cooperation so great that few Texans anticipated anything short of a successful administration. The inexperienced politician had overcome an underprivileged childhood through the sheer force of his intellect and hard work and had proven himself a capable leader . . . or so it seemed. He had beaten the odds imposed by his inexperience when he successfully launched a campaign based on two key elements: his appeal to the rural constituency and a temporary hiatus from the effects of the continuous Prohibition debate. In reality, Jim Ferguson had shrewdly sold a well-crafted image of himself to Texas voters, an image of pseudo-neutrality, astuteness, and prosperity that was almost entirely false. The new governor was “in over his head” from the moment he took office, carrying to that post a bevy of closely guarded secrets about his personal finances, his business acumen, his relationship with Texas brewers, and his volatile personality. Those secrets, once unraveled, gave clearance to an investigation of his affairs and ultimately led to charges brought against Governor Ferguson via impeachment. Refusing to acknowledge the judgment against him, Ferguson launched a crusade for regained power and vindication that encompassed more than two decades. In 1925 he reclaimed a level of political influence and doubled the Ferguson presence in Austin when he assisted his wife, Miriam, in a successful bid for the governorship. That bid had been based largely on a plea for exoneration, but it was soon obvious that the couple’s attempts to clear the family name did not include running a scandal-free administration. Merging a love of local history with the advantages of being a Bell County native and a seasoned auditor, Carol O’Keefe Wilson has gathered and dissected financial statements, documents in evidence, trial testimony, newspaper accounts, and other source material to expose a life story based largely on deceit. In the Governor’s Shadow unravels this complex tale, exposing the shocking depth of the Fergusons’ misconduct. Often using the Fergusons’ own words, Wilson weaves together the incontestable evidence that most of the claims that Jim Ferguson made during his life regarding his conduct, intentions, achievements, and abilities, were patently false. The existence and scope of that dishonestly was, without question, the very root of the controversy that will forever cloud the Ferguson legacy.
Author: Mando Rayo
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2017-04-01
Rooted in tradición mexicana and infused with Texas food culture, tacos are some of Texans’ all-time favorite foods. In The Tacos of Texas, the taco journalists Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece take us on a muy sabroso taco tour around the state as they discover the traditions, recipes, stories, and personalities behind puffy tacos in San Antonio, trompo tacos in Dallas, breakfast tacos in Austin, carnitas tacos in El Paso, fish tacos in Corpus Christi, barbacoa in the Rio Grande Valley, and much more. Starting with the basics—tortillas, fillings, and salsas—and how to make, order, and eat tacos, the authors highlight ten taco cities/regions of Texas. For each place, they describe what makes the tacos distinctive, name their top five places to eat, and listen to the locals tell their taco stories. They hear from restaurant owners, taqueros, abuelitas, chefs, and patrons—both well-known and everyday folks—who talk about their local taco history and culture while sharing authentic recipes and recommendations for the best taco purveyors. Whether you can’t imagine a day without tacos or you’re just learning your way around the trailers, trucks, and taqueros that make tacos happen, The Tacos of Texas is the indispensable guidebook, cookbook, and testimonio.
Author: Stephen Harrigan
Release Date: 2001-05-01
A huge, riveting, deeply imagined novel about the siege and fall of the Alamo, an event that formed the consciousness of Texas and that resonates through American history. With its vibrant, unexpected characters and its richness of authentic detail, The Gates of the Alamo is an unforgettable re-creation of a time, a place, and a heroic conflict. The time is 1835. At the center of a canvas crowded with Mexicans and Americans, with Karankawa and Comanche Indians, with settlers of many nationalities, stand three people whose fortunes quickly become our urgent concern: Edmund McGowan, a naturalist of towering courage and intellect, whose life's work is threatened by the war against Mexico and whose character is tested by his own dangerous pride; Mary Mott, a widowed innkeeper on the Texas coast, a determined and resourceful woman; and her sixteen-year-old son, Terrell, whose first shattering experience with love leads him instead to war, and into the crucible of the Alamo. As Edmund McGowan and Mary Mott take off in pursuit of Terrell and follow him into the fortress, the powerful but wary attraction between them deepens. And the reader is drawn with them into the harrowing days of the battle itself. Never before has the fall of the Alamo been portrayed with such immediacy. And for the first time the story is told not just from the perspective of the American defenders but from that of the Mexican attackers as well. We follow Blas Montoya, a sergeant in an elite sharpshooter company, as he fights to keep his men alive not only in the inferno of battle but also during the long forced march north from Mexico proper to Texas. And through the eyes of the ambitious mapmaker Telesforo Villasenor, we witness the cold deliberations of General Santa Anna. Filled with dramatic scenes, abounding in fictional and historical personalities -- among them James Bowie, David Crockett, and William Travis -- The Gates of the Alamo enfolds us in history, and through its remarkable and passionate storytelling allows us to participate at last in an American legend.
Author: Mary G. Ramos
Publisher: Compass American Guides
Release Date: 2004
Created by local writers and photographers, Compass American Guides are the ultimate insider's guides, providing in-depth coverage of the history, culture and character of America's most spectacular destinations. Compass Texas covers everything there is to see and do -- plus gorgeous full-color photographs; a wealth of archival images; topical essays and literary extracts; detailed color maps; and capsule reviews of hotels and restaurants. These insider guides are perfect for new and longtime residents as well as vacationers who want a deep understanding of Texas.
Author: Max Krochmal
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2016-10-07
This book is about the other Texas, not the state known for its cowboy conservatism, but a mid-twentieth-century hotbed of community organizing, liberal politics, and civil rights activism. Beginning in the 1930s, Max Krochmal tells the story of the decades-long struggle for democracy in Texas, when African American, Mexican American, and white labor and community activists gradually came together to empower the state's marginalized minorities. At the ballot box and in the streets, these diverse activists demanded not only integration but economic justice, labor rights, and real political power for all. Their efforts gave rise to the Democratic Coalition of the 1960s, a militant, multiracial alliance that would take on and eventually overthrow both Jim Crow and Juan Crow. Using rare archival sources and original oral history interviews, Krochmal reveals the often-overlooked democratic foundations and liberal tradition of one of our nation's most conservative states. Blue Texas remembers the many forgotten activists who, by crossing racial lines and building coalitions, democratized their cities and state to a degree that would have been unimaginable just a decade earlier--and it shows why their story still matters today.
Praise for Weird Texas: "If your taste extends to the odd side of traveling, [this is your ticket].” --Booklist "...lives up to its promise of providing an overview of weird things found in Texas.” --Austin American Statesman
Author: Michael Lind
Release Date: 2009-04-28
Genre: Political Science
Everyone knows that President George W. Bush is from Texas. But few of us know the role his home state plays in his presidency, and in our country. In this dual biography of man and state, Michael Lind confronts the chief crises of Bush's presidency--the economy, the Middle East, and religious fundamentalism--and traces their roots back to Texas, a state, Lind argues, that yields salient clues to the future course of our country.Widely praised as an iconoclastic and brilliant political observer, Lind, a fifth generation Texan, chronicles the ethnic clash that produced modern Texas, the well-known plundering of the state's natural resources at the hands of its elites, and finally the deep strain of "Old Testament religiosity" which, having originated in Texas, now reaches all over the globe in the form of Bush's foreign policy.In the tradition of Gary Wills's Reagan's America, Made in Texas provides a wholly original cultural history that should change the way we understand not just our president, but our country.
Author: Kenneth E. Hendrickson
Publisher: Texas A & M Univ Pr
Release Date: 1995-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
In this thorough and colorful study of the leaders of the Lone Star State, Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr., holds up a Texas-sized magnifying glass to take a candid look at the lives and accomplishments of the now deceased forty-two men and one woman who held the office of governor, or president of the Republic. Each governor's administration, from Houston to Connally, is arranged within twelve historical periods, from the early days of colonization, revolution, and early statehood through the Great Depression, two world wars, and, finally, midcentury. The author includes contextual information about each period's major political, social, and economic influences.