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God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
Texas is a humungo state and there are many reasons to both love and hate it, but you cannot deny the oversize influence it has on America. Wright has written a seamless and fascinating cultural and political travelogue of sorts of his native state, going back and forth into history and out, discussing issues such as Texana, snakes, school shootings, oil and energy, and the sausage making legislature. Not to mention the cowboy culture. One reviewer said God Save Texas is both an "apologia and an indictment." True, but to put it more plainly, it's a hell of a book!
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.
About the Author
Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of nine previous books of nonfiction, including In the New World, The Looming Tower, Going Clear, Thirteen Days in September, and The Terror Years, and one novel, God’s Favorite. His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower (now a series on Hulu). He is also a playwright and screenwriter. He is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas.
“Beautifully written. . . . Essential reading [for] anyone who wants to understand how one state changed the trajectory of the country.” —NPR
“Compelling. . . . Timely. . . . There is a sleeping giant in Texas, and Wright captures the frustration and the hope that reverberate across the state each time it stirs.” —The Washington Post
“Superb. . . . An elegant mixture of autobiography and long-form journalism.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Terrific. . . . Valuable and often provocative. . . . Wright’s words could speak for both Texas and America.” —The Dallas Morning News
“Vivid . . . Affectionate and genial . . . Capture[s] the full range of Texas in all its shame and glory . . . An illuminating primer for outsiders who may not live there but have a surfeit of opinions about those who do . . . It’s a testament to Wright’s formidable storytelling skills that a reader will encounter plenty of information without ever feeling lost.” —The New York Times
“Important, timely, and riveting. . . . Wright, a lifelong Texan and acclaimed author, knows his way around the state’s contradictions, from its wild borderlands to its craziest legislators.” —New York
“A godsend . . . . Brilliant analysis. . . . Wright’s treatment flows impressionistically from one topic to the next . . . introducing myriad characters in a cascade of crystalline sketches.” —Newsday
“The most entertaining and edifying nonfiction book I’ve read so far this year . . . [Wright] is a rare beast: an elegant writer and a fearless reporter, with a sense of humor as dry as the plains of west Texas.” —Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times
“At once a piece of journalism, a love letter to a place and a memoir.. . . [Wright] writes about his state with the fervor, knowledge, and ambivalence that comes from deep-seated familiarity.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Wright’s affectionate, eye-opening, and, at times, rueful love letter to his native state . . . This is Texas in all its fascinating outrageousness.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“The reader comes away with an idea that the state is a place of competing melodies: a bit of Austin country, a few measures of Roy Orbison, a riff from Buddy Holley and, for [Wright], maybe a stanza of ‘Home on the Range.’” —The Boston Globe
“Wright tames his sprawling subject matter with concise sentences and laser-precise word choice . . . Gives readers a front-row seat to the battle within the Texas GOP between business-oriented conservatives, led by House Speaker Joe Straus, and the social-conservative wing headed up by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.” —Houston Chronicle
“Both celebratory and melancholy. . . . The grand scale of Texas, and the sheer range of its places and people—Houston to El Paso, the Panhandle to the Valley—is inevitably compelling to any writer, and Wright is happy just trying to get his arms around it all.” —Austin Chronicle