God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State
The title invites defiance: God Save Texas. But rather than sound sacrilegious, Lawrence Wright’s book shows Texas is saving itself. This formal and informal history includes enough information and humor in each chapter for each to be a book in its own right.
Wright, often accompanied physically or intellectually by novelist and friend Stephen Harrigan, begins his investigative jaunt at the gigantic only-in-Texas highway road stop, then scours the state for everything that gives it a unique edge. Besides the lighthearted entertainment, the book supplies sobering analyses of the economic rise initially prompted by oil discovery, the population explosion, and the periodic mayhem that weaves itself through the saga of Texas.
To pinpoint a particular place where politics mingles with assorted Texas characteristics, Houston comes out ahead of even Austin with its renowned music scene and further notable distinctions like the shenanigans at the State Capitol. Houston, since General Sam gave the city his name, now claims one in four citizens who are foreign-born, boasts the world’s largest medical center, and is home to a generation of diverse new astronauts as well as several politicians of various persuasions. But even when vilifying political miscreants, the overall tone of God Save Texas is more mischievous than vicious.
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