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An insider's history of Texas that examines the people, politics, and events which have shaped the Lone Star State, from prehistory to the modern day Here is an up-to-the-moment history of the Lone Star State, together with an insider's look at the people, politics, and events that have shaped Texas from the beginning right up to our days. Never before has the story been t An insider's history of Texas that examines the people, politics, and events which have shaped the Lone Star State, from prehistory to the modern day Here is an up-to-the-moment history of the Lone Star State, together with an insider's look at the people, politics, and events that have shaped Texas from the beginning right up to our days. Never before has the story been told with more vitality and immediacy. Fehrenbach re-creates the Texas saga from prehistory to the Spanish and French invasions to the heyday of the cotton and cattle empires. He dramatically describes the emergence of Texas as a republic, the vote for secession before the Civil War, and the state's readmission to the Union after the War. In the twentieth century oil would emerge as an important economic resource and social change would come. But Texas would remain unmistakably Texas, because Texans "have been made different by the crucible of history; they think and act in different ways, according to the history that shaped their hearts and minds."


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An insider's history of Texas that examines the people, politics, and events which have shaped the Lone Star State, from prehistory to the modern day Here is an up-to-the-moment history of the Lone Star State, together with an insider's look at the people, politics, and events that have shaped Texas from the beginning right up to our days. Never before has the story been t An insider's history of Texas that examines the people, politics, and events which have shaped the Lone Star State, from prehistory to the modern day Here is an up-to-the-moment history of the Lone Star State, together with an insider's look at the people, politics, and events that have shaped Texas from the beginning right up to our days. Never before has the story been told with more vitality and immediacy. Fehrenbach re-creates the Texas saga from prehistory to the Spanish and French invasions to the heyday of the cotton and cattle empires. He dramatically describes the emergence of Texas as a republic, the vote for secession before the Civil War, and the state's readmission to the Union after the War. In the twentieth century oil would emerge as an important economic resource and social change would come. But Texas would remain unmistakably Texas, because Texans "have been made different by the crucible of history; they think and act in different ways, according to the history that shaped their hearts and minds."

30 review for Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Like Michener's novels, T.R. Fehrenbach starts at the beginning. I mean the beginning. As in the Ice Age. This makes Lone Star a broad, ambitious history, but also saps its strength towards the end. Up to and through the Civil War, there is a lot of great detail, fascinating personages, and rollicking stories. Then we get to the last couple hundred pages dealing with Texas in the 20th century and we get broad strokes, no personalities, and vague racism. (The book was originally written in 1968, Like Michener's novels, T.R. Fehrenbach starts at the beginning. I mean the beginning. As in the Ice Age. This makes Lone Star a broad, ambitious history, but also saps its strength towards the end. Up to and through the Civil War, there is a lot of great detail, fascinating personages, and rollicking stories. Then we get to the last couple hundred pages dealing with Texas in the 20th century and we get broad strokes, no personalities, and vague racism. (The book was originally written in 1968, but updated in 2000. As far as I can tell, the only thing that was updated was a mention that George W. Bush became president Whohoo!). I liked Lone Star a great deal, but my joy is duly tempered. The greatness of the first half just barely supports the sub-par second half. As the author admits, Texas history up till the Civil War is a great adventure. Once the Civil War and Reconstruction rolls around, the moral atmosphere becomes cloudy. It's less easy to view segregation and Indian hunting through the prism of adventure. This book's great attribute is the skill of its writer. Fehrenbach has never gotten the acclaim of a Shelby Foote (perhaps because he never appeared on a kick-butt documentary), but he shares a lot of Foote's abilities. He is a great writer. Take a load of this passage: The land, the climate, the sense of endlessness yet constant change made all who came there hospitable, patriotic, violent, and brave. In the Indian it produced mysticism, as he wailed his death songs to the earth, the cold moon, and sun. In the Hispanic breast it made a communion with Nature, a poetry, a willingness to ride the broad vistas, pause under moss-hung oaks, and be. The Anglo had no eye for beauty, less feel for rock-ribbed soil. Yet the land was too big even for big men to develop and destroy. He fenced it, damned it, threw his cattle over it in prodigal hordes; he farmed it, and in drought and shattering hail and cold, cursed Nature and Nature's God. Yet all these acts were in their own way acts of love. The Anglo-Saxon laced his soil with his own and other men's blood; it would take his bones, and monstrous artifacts, and still remain. The sun would remain, while men must die. The moon would rise again, while civilizations fell. In the end would be the earth. Texas, under any name, would go on forever. It's high-blown, overly generalized, and clearly ethnocentric. It's also interesting, powerful, vigorous. Or take this brief, weighted description of William Travis, the young lawyer-turned soldier who commanded the Alamo: Buck Travis was one of those most fortunate of men; on the grim stone walls of the Alamo he had found his time and place. He was between twenty-five and twenty-seven years of age. Lone Star traces Texas from the dinosaurs, through the Texas Revolution, its short-lived status as a Republic, and its history as an independent-minded state. I loved the writing. I loved how he made certain characters come alive: Travis, Sam Houston, Texas Ranger Jack Hays. I quibble a little with the historical facts. For instance, Fehrenbach clings to the old chestnut that the Alamo was defended by 180 men, a figure that comes from San Antonio's alcalde, who counted bodies inside the fort. This number doesn't count those who attempted to escape, and were cut down by Ramirez y Sesma's lancers (in total, it seems there were some 250 defenders). Also, Fehrenbach relates some truly unbelievable casualty figures. He relates numerous battles where the Texas Rangers met with the Comanche, and the Comanche end up losing 30 dead or 60 dead warriors. Come on! Be critical of your sources. For instance, there is one Ranger attack on a village of 60 families with 125 warriors. Two warriors per family? Really? Indian demographics have never allowed for such a thing. Nor for the ability to sustain the kind of losses that Fehrenbach reports, undoubtedly relating verbatim the wide-eyed reports of the Rangers (and could there be a worse witness than a man under the duress of battle who also happens to be virulently racist and have a vested interest in inflating the casualty lists?) Another big problem I had was the treatment of blacks and Mexicans throughout the book. It's not overtly racist; indeed, Fehrenbach does seem to try for fairness in a 60's sort of way. However, there is constant patronization of these groups, especially blacks. I read these passages without anger, calmed by the presidency of Barack Obama and hopes for a post-racial, enlightened America. Still, some of the crap Fehrenbach is peddling - about how integration is against human nature - is ignorant garbage no matter what era you're in. For instance, at one point, Fehrenbach chides the Federal government and the Supreme Court for its "dangerous experimentation." At this point, I nearly quit. That's what you call integration? I'm sorry, for a second there, I thought that laws forcing employees to pay their workers, allowing people the right to vote and own property, and to enter public buildings, were a good and noble thing. You know, basic human and legal rights. I guess I was wrong. They were dangerous experiments. Okay, so maybe these parts made me a little angry. They are incredibly ignorant. I'll chalk it up to the period in which this book was originally written. On the whole, this is a good story well told. I think of Texas as a sort of American Jerusalem. It is the place you can go where your sins will be forgiven and you can begin anew. The Anglo men who originally swarmed over its borders were failures: they ran from broken marriages, lost loves, failed businesses, lost elections. They were men like Travis, a modest lawyer looking for greatness; or Houston, who'd lost his chance for the presidency after his wife left him; or Crockett, who dared challenge Andy Jackson and lost his place in Congress. By any measure, these were middle aged losers who found, inconceivably, a second chance to reach for the stars. Texas gave them a chance for success, for immortality. The State embodies the American ethos that the smallest among us can reach great heights; that it is not who you are, but what you might become; and that while you are alive, there's still a second chance out there. Or a third. Or a fourth.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    Book Challenge Category: A Book With More Than 800 Pages I love Texas. I love the land and the people. But, it is also important to face the uncomfortable parts of our history-- honestly and forthrightly. But this book is not one to do this. I love the descriptions and personalizations of Austin and Houston. And the level of detail in this book gives so much more context than my Texas History books in school. But, I have no patience for sympathy towards slavery, demonization of Native people, and Book Challenge Category: A Book With More Than 800 Pages I love Texas. I love the land and the people. But, it is also important to face the uncomfortable parts of our history-- honestly and forthrightly. But this book is not one to do this. I love the descriptions and personalizations of Austin and Houston. And the level of detail in this book gives so much more context than my Texas History books in school. But, I have no patience for sympathy towards slavery, demonization of Native people, and I can not abide "The War Between The States" (as opposed to the Civil War). So, this book made me realize how much I don't know about the history of my beloved state-- but I need to find a better volume.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    It only took me about 4 1/2 months, but I finally finished this mammoth book. At 750+ pages, sometimes I felt like I was reading War and Peace, but it hardly ever lagged, and was persistently well-written and informative. Having moved to Texas a few years ago, this book answered many questions that I once had about this state and its inhabitants. Questions such as: • Where did all of these street and city names come from? (Austin, Houston, Travis, Lamar, San Jacinto, etc.) • Why are we supposed to It only took me about 4 1/2 months, but I finally finished this mammoth book. At 750+ pages, sometimes I felt like I was reading War and Peace, but it hardly ever lagged, and was persistently well-written and informative. Having moved to Texas a few years ago, this book answered many questions that I once had about this state and its inhabitants. Questions such as: • Where did all of these street and city names come from? (Austin, Houston, Travis, Lamar, San Jacinto, etc.) • Why are we supposed to remember the Alamo? (Answer: William Travis was a badass) • Texas fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, right? How did that go? (Spoiler: not so well) • Who were the Texas Rangers? (Spoiler: no mention of Chuck Norris in this book) • All that Wild West, cowboys-and-Indians shootout stuff is just myth, right? (Answer: no, and you wouldn't have lasted two minutes there, you lily-livered horse thief) • What happened to the Indians? (Answer: the story of the Comanches will make you rethink everything you hold sacred) • What's the deal with all that Texas Pride? (Answer: veni vidi vici, suckers) • Why do people keep voting for Rick Perry? (Admittedly, still somewhat of a mystery to me) I had one small complaint about the book, which is probably due to my status as a non-native Texan living in the year 2011. To Fehrenbach's credit, he doesn't fall victim to historical presentism by passing too much judgment on the ethics of Texas's past. But I feel that the author crosses a line at a certain point when he begins to talk of these controversial practices and events (for example, slavery and Indian extermination) as not only understandable, but "logical" (he uses this word) responses to the situations and needs of the time. It's one thing to understand it, but quite another to endorse it. The author does force you to imagine yourself in the same situation as these early Texans: If you were living on the frontier, at constant threat from either wars with Mexico on one side or Indian attacks on the other and you had been brought up in a culture that believed it was morally and racially superior (as many cultures do), wouldn't you have acted in the same way? It's difficult to pass too much judgment when you think about it in this light (even though they were still wrong). Fehrenbach definitely has a more realistic and pragmatic approach to history than I'm used to reading, and at times, it made me a little uncomfortable (a good thing, I believe). All in all, an entertaining and informative read. Well worth it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Lone Star is seven hundred sixty-seven pages of fascinating stories about Texas. It’s all here---the original peoples, the Spanish explorers, the Mexican settlers, the American settlers, the wars, and Texas as part of Mexico, Texas as an independent nation, and Texas as part of the United States. As I read along, I kept thinking how much reading these stories explains a lot about the way Texas is now---the conflicts on the border today mirroring conflicts on the border many years ago, the desire Lone Star is seven hundred sixty-seven pages of fascinating stories about Texas. It’s all here---the original peoples, the Spanish explorers, the Mexican settlers, the American settlers, the wars, and Texas as part of Mexico, Texas as an independent nation, and Texas as part of the United States. As I read along, I kept thinking how much reading these stories explains a lot about the way Texas is now---the conflicts on the border today mirroring conflicts on the border many years ago, the desire of Texans to be independent of a central government, the way the rainfall on the land has shaped the agriculture and ranching of the state. A compelling read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    William

    This is another book that I received as a secret Santa gift that I would not have picked out for myself. And boy what a fantastic choice it was. Lone Star is a sweeping history of Texas, originally published in 1968 and then updated for a re-release in 2000. It covers the entire range of human occupation of the land, starting with the original arrival of early man during the last ice age and proceeding through the end of the 20th century. (My edition is 725 pages long.) A book of this length and s This is another book that I received as a secret Santa gift that I would not have picked out for myself. And boy what a fantastic choice it was. Lone Star is a sweeping history of Texas, originally published in 1968 and then updated for a re-release in 2000. It covers the entire range of human occupation of the land, starting with the original arrival of early man during the last ice age and proceeding through the end of the 20th century. (My edition is 725 pages long.) A book of this length and scope could easily suffer from an overwhelming amount of detail or a dry academic style trudging linearly through the decades (or both). True, the book contains thousands of names and dates that I won't pretend to remember, but it does an excellent job alternating between narrating those specific historical events and pulling the camera back for a wider view of history. The details are always put in a broader context. The writing is also just plain engaging. Fehrenbach has a knack for story-telling, and he fills the narrative with personality. The style seems intentionally patterned in some ways on Gibbon's Decline and Fall. Here, for example, are a couple paragraphs on the migration patterns of hunter-farmers: They divided their time among hunting, fishing, and backbreaking work, and like the pure hunter, they were crowded by more industrious neighbors. When the Indians were gone, and the country settled up, with newer, richer settlers rising all around, this class tended to sell out or move out, heading on. These men were adventurous, restless, and in terms of organized society, shiftless; but they were stubbornly proud and Calvinistic for all of that. They were freedom-loving. They scorned to work for wages or to be tenant to another man. In fact, they probably worked harder and gained less with the rifle than they might have done with the plow, and they held themselves to be equal with any man. Again and again, the hunter-settler packed up his few belongings, his grubby children, and his gaunt woman and wandered on. He rarely changed his condition but merely repeated his former life. He carried certain dreams, and certainly a certain heartbreak, with him where he went. He tended to despise the successful gentry, the lawyers, the merchants, and their airs. This man, like the trapper before him, was a true pioneer; he helped break a savage land, but he paid a savage price. His kind made up the mass of poor whites on the Southwestern frontier. The prose is a little purple (e.g., "grubby children" and "gaunt woman"), but it makes reading this much history really entertaining. The other refreshing aspect of this history is that, because it was originally written in 1968, to my ear it seems delightfully free of modern politically-correct ax-grinding. Fehrenbach describes the savagery of the way the Texans persecuted the Indian tribes, but he also provides the gruesome details of the treatment the other way; he describes not only the racism of the Southern whites but also the challenges that came with post-Civil War emancipation of the slaves. From what I can tell, Fehrenbach has directly addressed topics that modern historians would either tip-toe around or only mention after extensive self-flagellation. As a result, the book contains passages like: The morality of this opening border warfare was meaningless, because morality could only be defined within a culture, never across two cultures. The moral, upstanding Comanche who lived by the laws and gods of his tribe enjoyed heaping live coals on a staked-out white man’s genitals; a moral Mexican, for a fancied insult, would slip his knife into an Anglo back. The moral Texan, who lived in peace and amity with his fellows, would bash an Indian infant's head against a tree, or gut-shoot a “greaser” if he blinked. Relations between disparate cultures were to be determined, as always, by the relative strength and weakness of each, and by the dynamic or regressive nature displayed by Anglos, Indians, and Mexicans. Relations could not be governed by individual, internal ethics or morals any more than history had been determined by such parameters in the past. The great change the frontier Texan made from the Anglo-American mainstream in these years was the real, if unarticulated, understanding that his enemies were "different." I'm not even informed enough to have opinions about whether Fehrenbach is correct with his descriptions; it is just nice to read coverage of challenging periods in American history with writing that is straight-forward and without a bunch of awkward modern throat-clearing. If I have one small criticism of the book, it is that the coverage of the 20th century feels rushed after all the time spent on the 18th and 19th centuries. As soon as the narrative arrives at 1900, it just hurries through a decade at a time of factual history (with some statistics about Texas's growth lumped in) before abruptly ending. That is perhaps to be expected given when the book was originally written, but I am surprised the year 2000 revision didn't further flesh out at least the first half of the 20th century. It may have been more elegant to conclude after the reconstruction era. Regardless, I really enjoyed this book and would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in Texas history.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Debkaliuk

    Enjoyed the book thoroughly. Great way to quench my sudden thirst for Texas history and general interest in US history. Author brings together global and local perspectives, tackles the complete history of the region, down to late 20th century; small details of day-to-day lives, high-level impact on US (incl. Americas, world) history and politics, describes the spirit, mind and thinking of Texans, all in a well balanced (to my taste) mix of 'interesting' and 'comprehensive'. Took a while to get th Enjoyed the book thoroughly. Great way to quench my sudden thirst for Texas history and general interest in US history. Author brings together global and local perspectives, tackles the complete history of the region, down to late 20th century; small details of day-to-day lives, high-level impact on US (incl. Americas, world) history and politics, describes the spirit, mind and thinking of Texans, all in a well balanced (to my taste) mix of 'interesting' and 'comprehensive'. Took a while to get through the book, but only because of how little time I manage to allocate for reading lately. Was not considering abandoning this volume at any time. Key thing I took from the book is better understanding of Americans in general, and Texans in particular. Great experience start to finish.

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Connolly

    A good history of Texas but was lacking in a few areas. It mentioned the history of what happened to minority Texans at the hands of Angelo Texans (usually bad things) but did not tell the history of these minority Texans themselves. I would have loved to have read more of the what the African American, Mexican and Indian Texans were doing and feeling rather than just what was happening to them at the hands of other Texans. Also it focuses more on Old Texas history rather than modern history. It A good history of Texas but was lacking in a few areas. It mentioned the history of what happened to minority Texans at the hands of Angelo Texans (usually bad things) but did not tell the history of these minority Texans themselves. I would have loved to have read more of the what the African American, Mexican and Indian Texans were doing and feeling rather than just what was happening to them at the hands of other Texans. Also it focuses more on Old Texas history rather than modern history. It’s not the book to read if you’re curious about the most recent 50 years of Texas history. I wanted to know more how Texas culture (Cowboys, country music, small town football) has developed in Texas in recent times but there was very little of that. Still glad I read it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Learn the fascinating history of Texas.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    Read the 2000 version. I had this book on the shelf for a long time, but finally got around to reading it. Relearned a few things long forgotten from 7th grade history and picked up some new facts. For this book, you can tell it was written by someone from Texas and the South. The American Civil War is always referred to as the War Between the States. His focus centers on the land and the role of land in Texas. Fehrenbach doesn't take the approach that Texas is the greatest land on earth, nor do Read the 2000 version. I had this book on the shelf for a long time, but finally got around to reading it. Relearned a few things long forgotten from 7th grade history and picked up some new facts. For this book, you can tell it was written by someone from Texas and the South. The American Civil War is always referred to as the War Between the States. His focus centers on the land and the role of land in Texas. Fehrenbach doesn't take the approach that Texas is the greatest land on earth, nor does he slam the state and those who have lived in it for its flaws. The population of Texas, from the tribes who first settled Texas (Karwankawas, Comanches, etc) to the Spanish/Mexicans/ and Americans, has always been tied to the land. Whether it was for political purposes or farming, owning the land and tending all associated with Texas drives the actions of the state. The mindset of the people centers on land and resources. Much of his time is spent on the pre-1900 parts of Texas history, as nations and tribes fought over the land. Once 1900 rolls around, Texas is not really the "frontier" and its history moves into the realm of that of a settled establishment. This is not a quick read, but this is a good read for someone who wants an in-depth perspective on Texas history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jo Stafford

    I did not find Lone Star an easy book to read. This had nothing to do with its length and everything to do with Fehrenbach's frequent editorializing and his attitudes towards Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexicans. I understand that Texas is unique but I tired of reading that there was so much about the state and its frontier conditions that Easterners did not comprehend. Fehrenbach's racial terminology leaves a lot to be desired. I kept reminding myself that the book was first publish I did not find Lone Star an easy book to read. This had nothing to do with its length and everything to do with Fehrenbach's frequent editorializing and his attitudes towards Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexicans. I understand that Texas is unique but I tired of reading that there was so much about the state and its frontier conditions that Easterners did not comprehend. Fehrenbach's racial terminology leaves a lot to be desired. I kept reminding myself that the book was first published in 1968 but, even so, his references to "wild Indians" and "howling Indians" grated. There's a great deal of stereotyping, too, about the "Mexican soul". And I disagree with his view that Reconstruction was unnecessary. I'm giving it two stars because I did actually learn a lot about Texas history, but there were several times when I found the author's opinions and biases so unpalatable that I almost abandoned the volume.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ayne Ray

    It can be argued that Austin is to Texas what Lawrence is to Kansas (for all my Kansas brethren, you know what I mean), and I’ll admit that I had many stereotypical ideas about Texas before I moved to its capitol city. But I’ve found it to be a truly unique state with a fascinating history, and Texans have a rather singularly deep appreciation for the sense of place and identity the state stamps upon its citizens. So forget what you think you know, and take a look at Texas with a pair of fresh e It can be argued that Austin is to Texas what Lawrence is to Kansas (for all my Kansas brethren, you know what I mean), and I’ll admit that I had many stereotypical ideas about Texas before I moved to its capitol city. But I’ve found it to be a truly unique state with a fascinating history, and Texans have a rather singularly deep appreciation for the sense of place and identity the state stamps upon its citizens. So forget what you think you know, and take a look at Texas with a pair of fresh eyes; what you’ll find is a state with a rich and varied cultural tapestry that is unlike any other. While I consider myself a Midwesterner more than simply a Kansan or a Texan (although there’s a little Southern in there as well, thanks to North Carolina), I’ve learned to love this place and can’t imagine calling anywhere but Austin home. Hook ‘em!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dac Crossley

    Lone Star is an excellent history of the state of Texas. Fehrenbach was born in San Benito - has to know what he is talking about! He has written a dozen or so historical works, and was head of the Texas History Commission (I forget the exact title of the organization). I read this book on my iPad. This is the 1968 edition, revised in 2002. Wish he would revise it again - he must be in his mid-eighties. I will keep it on my iPad because I'm sure to refer to it from time to time. If you're going to Lone Star is an excellent history of the state of Texas. Fehrenbach was born in San Benito - has to know what he is talking about! He has written a dozen or so historical works, and was head of the Texas History Commission (I forget the exact title of the organization). I read this book on my iPad. This is the 1968 edition, revised in 2002. Wish he would revise it again - he must be in his mid-eighties. I will keep it on my iPad because I'm sure to refer to it from time to time. If you're going to buy a history of Texas - this is the one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    James

    As big and brutal as the land it's about, 'Lone Star' is a comprehensive, poetic history. Ferenbach shows centuries of violence, opines why they were inevitable and why many of the greatest of Texans were the most violent. No one comes off well, from the First Nations to the assorted Europeans who either betrayed them, failed them, or fell in war with them. Did I say 'brutal?' This book is worth reading, but not quick. Don't let the dated racial terminology throw you off. Read, review think for y As big and brutal as the land it's about, 'Lone Star' is a comprehensive, poetic history. Ferenbach shows centuries of violence, opines why they were inevitable and why many of the greatest of Texans were the most violent. No one comes off well, from the First Nations to the assorted Europeans who either betrayed them, failed them, or fell in war with them. Did I say 'brutal?' This book is worth reading, but not quick. Don't let the dated racial terminology throw you off. Read, review think for yourself. But if you want a comprehensive history of Texas, this should be your first stop.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Yikes! Seriously in-depth history of Texas. It took me like a year to read through the mission period, alone. Still, once you've slogged your way through a bit, you realize exactly how amazing Texas is. Umm, sorry to thse of you who think Texas is less than amazing. Read this, and maybe it will change your mind. Yikes! Seriously in-depth history of Texas. It took me like a year to read through the mission period, alone. Still, once you've slogged your way through a bit, you realize exactly how amazing Texas is. Umm, sorry to thse of you who think Texas is less than amazing. Read this, and maybe it will change your mind.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Holm

    I have lived in Texas most of my life and finally this book explained it to me. Fehrenbach not only tells the history of Texas but explains the character of Texas and Texans. This book should be the textbook in public school Texas History classes. He is partial to Texans being one himself, but he is very thorough and even-handed. An excellent book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Overall this is a solid history of Texas, written by one of the major Texas historians, and certainly worthwhile for anyone interested in the subject. It is highly readable, but I found that I could go back and forth from it, read lots of things at the same time. The history I will endorse, but what is interesting to write about is his take on Texans, and Anglo-Americans, vis a vis American Indians, Mexicans and Latinos, and African-Americans. He has one line that utterly struck me - "The turn of Overall this is a solid history of Texas, written by one of the major Texas historians, and certainly worthwhile for anyone interested in the subject. It is highly readable, but I found that I could go back and forth from it, read lots of things at the same time. The history I will endorse, but what is interesting to write about is his take on Texans, and Anglo-Americans, vis a vis American Indians, Mexicans and Latinos, and African-Americans. He has one line that utterly struck me - "The turn of the century notion of the melting pot was still in vogue, but obviously was not working, all the vast masses were no longer being Anglo-Americanized." I have what could be described as northern European heritage - German, Irish, English, Norwegian, and Scotch Irish - but certainly solidly "white", and among the results of the melting pot. More recently, though, the melting pot isn't melting, partly because of a a much greater acknowledgement of immigrant cultures, which are not "white" (typically a little to a lot browner, or more Asiatic), and partly, as Fehrenbach points out, because the whites simply would not accept that anything from those peoples would melt. I think he gets it right that the whites could not contemplate American Indian culture or mores, and that their actions were completely justified by their own standards - also true on the other side. Where I think he is limited, however, is that he considers that Texans are in fact white Anglos (and for that matter, male), with no perception on the author's part that perhaps the African Americans there and Mexicans who are increasingly arriving have as much right to be considered Texans as anyone, and that the definition should be re-conceived. This book was originally written in 1968, and updated in 2000, and I found it fascinating that it notes that the educational system of Texas in the modern age remained fixed to the land, and did not "as Governor John Connolly fruitlessly warned, prepare Texans to compete in an increasingly conceptual and technical industrial society in the greater nation". This was presumably written in 1968, and it is interesting to see that 50 years later in 2018 that Dallas, although a finalist, was not selected to be one of Amazon's second headquarter sites - while it promised to step up its computer, etc., programs at Texas universities to produce a stronger cadre of potential employees, the sites that were selected by Amazon were in places where this investment had already taken place. (The Dallas Morning News covered this closely, and while a lot of Texans apparently felt that the decision was based on political outlook, the paper was advocating that the state recognize that it needed more STEM focus on its university offerings, and support this, even if there was not an immediate recognizable payoff.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dacy Briggs

    Finally (!) finished with this most epic book of the history of “Texas and the Texans”, after about 3 1/2 months of reading. Fehrenbach’s descriptions of cultures colliding and the mayhem due to the fact is the big takeaway from this book about Texas. He then proceeds to bring about every single detail of said culture until he is blue in the face. So, you get to learn about the beginning, like very beginning of Texas land formations from before Paleo-Indians arrived to 1968 when Fehrenbach’s boo Finally (!) finished with this most epic book of the history of “Texas and the Texans”, after about 3 1/2 months of reading. Fehrenbach’s descriptions of cultures colliding and the mayhem due to the fact is the big takeaway from this book about Texas. He then proceeds to bring about every single detail of said culture until he is blue in the face. So, you get to learn about the beginning, like very beginning of Texas land formations from before Paleo-Indians arrived to 1968 when Fehrenbach’s book came out. (He defends President Lyndon Johnson fervently, making me think that Johnson became hated in Texas due to Vietnam and the eventual abandoning of the Democrat party by Texas during Johnson’s time in office and that LBJ was a very hot-button issue in Texas at the time) And literally every little detail in between. The details got to be a bit much, but I really enjoyed reading and learning more about my beloved home state.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Dawson

    To post an honest, precise review would take up to two pages, minimum Yep, that’s how good this work is. Mr. Fehrenbach starts with the early history of North America and take it up the 60’s. Even though that seems like a monumental task, he doesn’t it seamlessly. This book should be a level 3 or 4 course at a college. I was always under the impression that after 1836, Texas was a united state. Not even close! This state was the most convoluted, fractured, to be state, in the union. The politic To post an honest, precise review would take up to two pages, minimum Yep, that’s how good this work is. Mr. Fehrenbach starts with the early history of North America and take it up the 60’s. Even though that seems like a monumental task, he doesn’t it seamlessly. This book should be a level 3 or 4 course at a college. I was always under the impression that after 1836, Texas was a united state. Not even close! This state was the most convoluted, fractured, to be state, in the union. The political parties were to say the least, a mess. The only drawback to this excellent work, is the last sixty or so pages. Too much rehashing of topics already covered. Still, that does not diminish this excellent work. Five Stars!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Much of the Texas History I never learned in 4th and 7th grade state history classes, can’t give it less than 5 years as a Texan, but sometimes the story line felt like it had to skip ahead and then back in time in order to follow a specific character or part of history... the chronology is difficult to follow with multiple story lines, but it was probably just a factor of going through an audio book vs. hard cover... which probably would have taken me all year to get through! One of the best pa Much of the Texas History I never learned in 4th and 7th grade state history classes, can’t give it less than 5 years as a Texan, but sometimes the story line felt like it had to skip ahead and then back in time in order to follow a specific character or part of history... the chronology is difficult to follow with multiple story lines, but it was probably just a factor of going through an audio book vs. hard cover... which probably would have taken me all year to get through! One of the best parts is when he makes the point that Texas is the only independent country that became a state!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cris

    This book is about a lot more than Texas. Fehrenbach tells a history of colonization in North America from about 1500 onward. The emphasis on Texas is interesting because it was a boundary area where Spanish, Anglo-Celtic, and Amerind cultures fought it out (not being a history buff, this book gave me a much better understanding of terms like Amerind and Anglo-Celtic). All the races had strengths, made mistakes, and had the great courage required to live on a frontier. All the people lived in an This book is about a lot more than Texas. Fehrenbach tells a history of colonization in North America from about 1500 onward. The emphasis on Texas is interesting because it was a boundary area where Spanish, Anglo-Celtic, and Amerind cultures fought it out (not being a history buff, this book gave me a much better understanding of terms like Amerind and Anglo-Celtic). All the races had strengths, made mistakes, and had the great courage required to live on a frontier. All the people lived in an environment where decisions were often made based on how to kill or avoid being killed. In my mind, the phrase "Remember the Alamo" has been replaced by "Remember Texas"--rather than remembering a single battle, this book fills in a story that took place over centuries.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris M

    Dated but THE history of Texas to 1969 While the authors racial terminology and attitudes can at times sound off or objectionable to the modern ear, his history is excellent an deeply researched. The author’s the prose is profound and melodies, and the scope of the book gives just enough detail to give the reader a good sense of the profoundly unique place that is Texas and the men and women who from its prehistory made it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda Nichols

    I had read this book many years ago, but found an updated edition on audio. I really do wish that the people who publish audio books would make an effort to help their readers pronounce foreign language names. This reader just massacred the Spanish and French names, which are quite a few since this is, after all, a history of Texas. The book, however, is excellent, and I highly recommend it if you want to learn about Texas.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jan Notzon

    Wow. This is as thorough a treatment as I could imagine. What I particularly appreciated was the socio-psychological and cultural analysis of what made the people who colonized and eventually settled, not just the state, but all of the contiguous United States. And what characteristics of Spanish culture made them unable to do the same before them. Mr. Fehrenbach tells the story exceptionally well with a depth that is quite easily comprehensible and truly enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anyo Wow. This is as thorough a treatment as I could imagine. What I particularly appreciated was the socio-psychological and cultural analysis of what made the people who colonized and eventually settled, not just the state, but all of the contiguous United States. And what characteristics of Spanish culture made them unable to do the same before them. Mr. Fehrenbach tells the story exceptionally well with a depth that is quite easily comprehensible and truly enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the uniqueness of Texas and of the American people.

  24. 4 out of 5

    kevin stone

    Exhaustive detail An amazing fact filled history of the region and state of Texas. T.R. Ferhenbach schools us on the intimate details of the great Lone Star State. Well written and enjoyable. He brings the historical characters to believable reality. Be prepared, however. This is history in it's rawest format. If you're not prepared to dig deep, T.R.'s not for you. A very good book. I highly recommend it. Exhaustive detail An amazing fact filled history of the region and state of Texas. T.R. Ferhenbach schools us on the intimate details of the great Lone Star State. Well written and enjoyable. He brings the historical characters to believable reality. Be prepared, however. This is history in it's rawest format. If you're not prepared to dig deep, T.R.'s not for you. A very good book. I highly recommend it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Houston

    Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State! Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great! While I am aware Texas isn't perfect, I'm very thankful to call it home and to be a 7th Generation Texan. While James Power wasn't the most influential Texan, I'm proud to call him family. Very interesting history of my unique state. Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State! Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great! While I am aware Texas isn't perfect, I'm very thankful to call it home and to be a 7th Generation Texan. While James Power wasn't the most influential Texan, I'm proud to call him family. Very interesting history of my unique state.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charles Hall III

    Comprehensive. From pre-human to nearly current, Fehrenbach covers Texas completely. This is a good book, and written with clear affinity for the Texas mystique and ethos; a must read for any Texan.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Lots of good history about Texas, but a lot of racism as well. Lots of referring to black people as "negroes" and by the n-word as well as referring to Native Americans as "barbarians" and saying that black people in Texas were "racist". Otherwise, a good historical overview of Texas. Lots of good history about Texas, but a lot of racism as well. Lots of referring to black people as "negroes" and by the n-word as well as referring to Native Americans as "barbarians" and saying that black people in Texas were "racist". Otherwise, a good historical overview of Texas.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pat Rolston

    This is the definitive history of Texas done in a manner befitting the expansive time and terrain. TR writes in entertaining and colorful fashion putting over 50,000 years in context. The history of not only Texas, but also the nation is much enhanced as a result of this magisterial work.

  29. 5 out of 5

    C Settles

    Excellent history of Texas. Should be a required reading for any student of Texas history. Particularly interesting were the sections on the early settling of Texas, the Texas Rangers and Texas involvement in the Civil War.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Pretty good, but very lengthy. I should have probably started with a shorter volume before jumping in here, but this was definitely enjoyable. Really fascinating to hear Texas’ history through the Civil War

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