Suggested Reading List
Gates of the Alamo (historically accurate novel)
Author: Stephen Harrigan
Description: 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.
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Author: S. C. Gwynne
Description: S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanc
As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda
Author: Gail Collins
Description: Not until she visited Texas, that proud state of big oil and bigger ambitions, did Gail Collins, the best-selling author and columnist for the New York Times, realize that she had missed the one place that mattered most in America’s political landscape. Through its vigorous support of banking deregulation, lax environmental standards, and draconian tax cuts, through its fierce championing of states rights, gun ownership, and, of course, sexual abstinence, Texas, with Governor Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions, has become the bellwether of a far-reaching national movement that continues to have profound social and economic consequences for us all. Like it or not, as Texas goes, so goes the nation.
Gone to Texas, a History of the Lone Star State
Author: Randolph Campbell
Description: Gone to Texas engagingly tells the story of the Lone Star State, from the arrival of humans in the Panhandle more than 10,000 years ago to the opening of the twenty-first century. Focusing on the state's successive waves of immigrants, the book offers an inclusive view of the vast array of Texans who, often in conflict with each other and always in a struggle with the land, created a history and an idea of Texas.
Author: James L. Haley
Description: In the decades preceding the Civil War, few figures in the United States were as influential or as controversial as Sam Houston. In Sam Houston, Drawn from personal papers never before available as well as the papers of others in Houston’s circle, this biography will delight anyone intrigued by Sam Houston, Texas history, Civil War history, or America’s tradition of rugged individualism.
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: The Most Revealing Portrait of a President and Presidential Power Ever Written
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Description: Widely praised and enormously popular, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream is a work of biography like few others. With uncanny insight and a richly engrossing style, the author renders LBJ in all his vibrant, conflicted humanity.
El Mesquite: A Story of the Early Spanish Settlements Between the Nueces and the Rio Grande
Author: Elena Zamora O'Shea
Description: The open country of Texas between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande was sparsely settled through the nineteenth century, and most of the settlers who did live there had Hispanic names that until recently were rarely admitted into the pages of Texas history. In 1935, however, a descendant of one of the old Spanish land-grant families in the region-a woman, no less-found an ingenious way to publish the history of her region at a time when neither Tejanos nor women had much voice. She told the story from the perspective of an ancient mesquite tree, under whose branches much South Texas history had passed.
The Spanish Acequias of San Antonio
Author: Waynne Cox
Description: This is the first book on the remarkable 50-mile Spanish-era acequia system that supplied water to early San Antonio. It is believed to have been the most extensive such network within the present-day United States. One of the acequias, serving lands near Mission Espada, remains in use.
Crown Jewel of Texas, the Story of the San Antonio River
Author: Lewis Fisher
Description: Crown Jewel of Texas: The story of San Antonio's River is a detailed and fascinating account of how the town tried to manage the periodic and devastating flooding of the San Antonio River. That management effort took about a hundred years but finally resulted in the beautiful and astonishing river walk.
On the Border, an Environmental History of San Antonio
Author: Char Miller
Description: This collection of eleven essays, edited by Char Miller, examines the environmental history of San Antonio, drawing upon an interdisciplinary array of authors and insights to highlight the evolving relationship between the city's residents and the South Texas landscape, showing the citizens and the environment have shaped each other.
Friedrichsburg: Colony of the German Furstenverein
Author: Friedrich Armand Strubberg and James C. Kearney
Texas People, Texas Places
Author: Lonn Taylor
Description: Texas People, Texas Places again explores the very best of Texas geography, Texas history, and Texas personalities. In a state so famous for its pride, Taylor manages to write an exceptionally honest, witty, and wise book about Texas past and Texas present. This book is a story of men and women and places that have made this state great. From a small-town radio host to tight-fisted West Texas ranchers, and even to Taylor’s own family members, Taylor’s subjects paint a profound and dynamic picture.
From a Limestone Ledge: Some Essays and Other Ruminations about Country Life in Texas
Author: John Graves
Description: Some of the most sensible, genial prose west of the Mississippi. A kind of sequel to Hard Scrabble-recounting more about his twenty years of quiet combat with the forces of nature.
Texas, My Texas: Musings of the Rambling Boy
Author: Lonn Taylor
Description: In a collection of essays about Texas gathered from his West Texas newspaper column, Lonn Taylor traverses the very best of Texas geography, Texas history, and Texas personalities. In a state so famous for its pride, Taylor manages to write a very honest, witty, and wise book about Texas past and Texas present.