A New York Times Notable Book National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist An NPR Best Book of the Year God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state, but the cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king, but Texas now leads California in technology exports. Low taxes and minimal regulation have produced extraordinary growth, but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. Bringing together the historical and the contemporary, the political and the personal, Texas native Lawrence Wright gives us a colorful, wide-ranging portrait of a state that not only reflects our country as it is, but as it may become—and shows how the battle for Texas’s soul encompasses us all.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 'This is a funny, pointed love letter to Texas, at once elegiac and clear-eyed' Ben Macintyre, The Times From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. Texas is a Republican 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 Muslim adherents in the United States). The cities are Democrat and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports and has an economy only somewhat smaller than Australia's. Lawrence Wright has written an enchanting book about what is often seen as an unenchanting place. Having spent most of his life there, while remaining deeply aware of its oddities, Wright is as charmed by Texan foibles and landscapes as he is appalled by its politics and brutality. With its economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation producing both extraordinary growth and striking income disparities, Texas, Wright shows, looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. This profound portrait of the state, completed just as Texas battled to rebuild after the devastating storms of summer 2017, not only reflects the United States back as it is, but as it was and as it might be. As much the home of Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson as of J.R., Ross Perot and the Bush family, as filled with magical scenery as with desolate oil-fields and strip-malls, Texas is a bellwether, super-sized mass of contradictions: a life-long study.
Release on 2008-02-01 | by Dave McNeely,Jim Henderson
God Bless Texas
Author: Dave McNeely,Jim Henderson
Pubpsher: University of Texas Press
Renowned for his fierce devotion to the people of Texas—as well as his equally fierce rages and unpredictable temper—Bob Bullock was the most powerful political figure in Texas at the end of the twentieth century. First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1956, Bullock held several key statewide posts before capturing the lieutenant governor's office in 1990. Though nominally the state's number two official, Bullock in fact became Texas's top power broker, wielding tremendous influence over the legislative agenda and state budget through the 1990s while also mentoring and supporting a future president—George W. Bush. In this lively, yet thoroughly researched biography, award-winning journalists Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson craft a well-rounded portrait of Bob Bullock, underscoring both his political adroitness and his personal demons. They trace Bullock's rise through state government as Assistant Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Comptroller, and Lieutenant Governor, showing how he increased the power of every office he held. The authors spotlight Bullock's substantial achievements, which included hiring an unprecedented number of women and minorities, instituting a performance review to increase the efficiency of state agencies, restructuring the public school funding system, and creating the state's first water conservation and management plan.
In The Texas Miracle, author John Marshall offers a detailed examination of the largest political fraud in Texas since the Sharpstown scandal in the early 1970s. An extension of his earlier book, Playing Possum, he expands on the information surrounding a massive land deal. Marshall offers a political look at what took place in Texas. In 2006, the Staubach Company advised the Brazos River Authority to begin charging a fair market rate at Possum Kingdom Lake to the people who had built their weekend homes around the shoreline. At that time, the average lake lot was three-quarters of an acre and the average rental rate was $76 per month. In 2007, Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and a handful of Texas legislators attempted to force the Brazos River Authority to sell the shoreline of Possum Kingdom Lake to the wealthy weekenders at a discount. This effort was opposed by Republicans, Democrats, and bureaucrats alike, and it met a humiliating defeat. Two years later, the weekenders and the politicians enlisted the services of the River Card. The Texas Miracle tells that tale.
A page-turning thriller that warned of the risk of a global virus
Author: Lawrence Wright
Pubpsher: Random House
A DEADLY VIRUS. QUARANTINE. A WORLD IN LOCKDOWN. THE THRILLER THAT PREDICTED IT ALL. THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Flies thrillingly, eerily close to reality' Guardian 'This page-turner... is riveting and spookily anticipates much that has unfolded in reality' Sunday Times A race-against-time thriller, as one man must find the origin and cure for a new killer virus that has brought the world to its knees. At an internment camp in Indonesia, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with a mysterious fever. When Dr Henry Parsons - microbiologist and epidemiologist - travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. As international tensions rise and governments enforce unprecedented measures, Henry finds himself in a race against time to track the source and find a cure – before it’s too late . . . *** 'Eerily prescient. Too bad our leaders lack his foresight.' The New York Times 'Featuring accounts of past plagues and pandemics, descriptions of pathogens and how they work, and dark notes about global warming, the book produces deep shudders . . . A disturbing, eerily timed novel.' Kirkus Reviews 'A compelling read up to the last sentence. Wright has come up with a story worthy of Michael Crichton. In an eerily calm, matter-of-fact way, and backed by meticulous research, he imagines what the world would actually be like in the grip of a devastating new virus.' Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone WHAT READERS ARE SAYING: 'If you have a desire to really understand what is going on in the world right now, this is a novel that you cannot afford to miss!' 'Well-written and fast-paced. Most of all utterly, scarily, believable.' 'I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH, and actually much of what I learned has informed my understanding of our current coronavirus pandemic.' 'Very well written and researched, and an all-around fascinating story'
Sociologist Stephen Klineberg presents fascinating and groundbreaking research that shows how the city of Houston has emerged as a microcosm for America’s future—based on an unprecedented thirty-eight-year study of its changing economic, demographic, and cultural landscapes. Houston, Texas, long thought of as a traditionally blue-collar black/white southern city, has transformed into one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse metro areas in the nation, surpassing even New York by some measures. With a diversifying economy and large numbers of both highly-skilled technical jobs in engineering and medicine and low-skilled minimum-wage jobs in construction, restaurant work, and personal services, Houston has become a magnet for the new divergent streams of immigration that are transforming America in the 21st century. And thanks to an annual systematic survey conducted over the past thirty-eight years, the ongoing changes in attitudes, beliefs, and life experiences have been measured and studied, creating a compelling data-driven map of the challenges and opportunities that are facing Houston and the rest of the country. In Prophetic City, we’ll meet some of the new Americans, including a family who moved to Houston from Mexico in the early 1980s and is still trying to find work that pays more than poverty wages. There’s a young man born to highly-educated Indian parents in an affluent Houston suburb who grows up to become a doctor in the world’s largest medical complex, as well as a white man who struggles with being prematurely pushed out of the workforce when his company downsizes. This timely and groundbreaking book tracks the progress of an American city like never before. Houston is at the center of the rapid changes that have redefined the nature of American society itself in the new century. Houston is where, for better or worse, we can see the American future emerging.
One part Columbine, one part God Save Texas, Joe Holley's riveting, compassionate book examines the 2017 mass shooting at a church in a small Texas town, revealing the struggles and triumphs of these fellow Texans long after the satellite news trucks have gone. Sutherland Springs was the last place anyone would have expected to be victimized by our modern-day scourge of mass shootings. Founded in the 1850s along historic Cibolo Creek, the tiny community, named for the designated physician during the siege of the Alamo, was once a vibrant destination for wealthy tourists looking to soak up the "cures" of its namesake mineral springs. By November 5, 2017, however, the day a former Air Force enlistee opened fire in the town's First Baptist Church, killing twenty-six people, Sutherland Springs was a shadow of its former self. Twenty-six people died that Sunday morning, in the worst mass shooting in a place of worship in American history. Holley, who roams the Lone Star State as the "Native Texan" columnist for the Houston Chronicle and earned a Pulitzer- Prize nomination for his editorials about guns, spent more than a year embedded in the community. Long after most journalists had left, he stayed with his fellow Texans, getting to know a close-knit group of people - victims, heroes, and survivors. Marked by both a deep faith in God and in guns, Holley shows how they work to come to terms with their loss and to rebuild shattered lives. He also uses the Sutherland Springs' unique history and its decades-long decline as a prism for understanding how an act of unspeakable violence reflects the complicated realities of Texas and America in the twenty-first century.
The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War
Author: S. C. Gwynne
From the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell comes “a masterwork of history” (Lawrence Wright, author of God Save Texas), the spellbinding, epic account of the last year of the Civil War. The fourth and final year of the Civil War offers one of the most compelling narratives and one of history’s great turning points. Now, Pulitzer Prize finalist S.C. Gwynne breathes new life into the epic battle between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant; the advent of 180,000 black soldiers in the Union army; William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea; the rise of Clara Barton; the election of 1864 (which Lincoln nearly lost); the wild and violent guerrilla war in Missouri; and the dramatic final events of the war, including Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and the murder of Abraham Lincoln. “A must-read for Civil War enthusiasts” (Publishers Weekly), Hymns of the Republic offers many surprising angles and insights. Robert E. Lee, known as a great general and Southern hero, is presented here as a man dealing with frustration, failure, and loss. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his prowess as a field commander, but in the final year of the war he largely fails at that. His most amazing accomplishments actually began the moment he stopped fighting. William Tecumseh Sherman, Gwynne argues, was a lousy general, but probably the single most brilliant man in the war. We also meet a different Clara Barton, one of the greatest and most compelling characters, who redefined the idea of medical care in wartime. And proper attention is paid to the role played by large numbers of black union soldiers—most of them former slaves. Popular history at its best, Hymns of the Republic reveals the creation that arose from destruction in this “engrossing…riveting” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) read.