How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics

Overview


Bill Hobby has spent most of his life in and around Texas government, including a record eighteen years as the state's lieutenant governor. His candid recollections about his days in office, as well as his take on what state government should and should not do are part of How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics, published by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

"Nostalgia is not my purpose," Hobby writes in the book's preface. "But I do hope to convey something of my admiration for the ...

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Overview


Bill Hobby has spent most of his life in and around Texas government, including a record eighteen years as the state's lieutenant governor. His candid recollections about his days in office, as well as his take on what state government should and should not do are part of How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics, published by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

"Nostalgia is not my purpose," Hobby writes in the book's preface. "But I do hope to convey something of my admiration for the people that I had the honor to work with, the spirit of the times, and a sense of how things actually worked--at least in the legislative process." His no-holds-barred opinions about everything from partisan politics to efforts to rewrite the Texas Constitution to government wiretaps and the war on drugs are included, as are his memories of working with Texas politicians Ben Ramsey, Dolph Briscoe, Bill Clements, and Ann Richards.

Hobby's years as lieutenant governor coincided with Texas's transition from a state dependent on oil and agriculture to one with a more diversified economy strengthened by the technology and health care industries. Through it all, Hobby emphasized the need for Texas to make education a priority. He enjoyed the nuts and bolts of the legislative process, especially appropriations and redistricting. "To help people, government has to work," he says. "Make the system work."

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Editorial Reviews

Dolph Briscoe

"Bill Hobby has been a history maker as well as a witness to history. I am grateful that he has preserved his memories and that he has now made them available to us all."--Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe
H. W. Brands

"No one knows more about Texas politics than Bill Hobby, and few people tell better stories. In How Things Really Work, this Texas legend is at his perceptive, funny, and provocative best."--Historian H. W. Brands
From the Publisher

"Bill Hobby has been a history maker as well as a witness to history. I am grateful that he has preserved his memories and that he has now made them available to us all."--Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe

"No one knows more about Texas politics than Bill Hobby, and few people tell better stories. In How Things Really Work, this Texas legend is at his perceptive, funny, and provocative best."--Historian H. W. Brands

H. W. Brands

"No one knows more about Texas politics than Bill Hobby, and few people tell better stories. In How Things Really Work, this Texas legend is at his perceptive, funny, and provocative best."--Historian H. W. Brands

Dolph Briscoe

"Bill Hobby has been a history maker as well as a witness to history. I am grateful that he has preserved his memories and that he has now made them available to us all."--Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976669746
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2010
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


BILL HOBBY served eighteen years as lieutenant governor of Texas. He has taught at the LBJ School for Public Affairs and served as chancellor of the University of Houston System.

Former reporter and Hobby chief of staff SARALEE TIEDE is director of communications at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Editor's Preface Dolph Briscoe Briscoe, Dolph

Author's Preface Don Carleton Carleton, Don

Acknowledgments Bill Hobby Hobby, Bill

Introduction Bill Hobby Hobby, Bill

1 Ancestors Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 1

2 Will Hobby Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 3

3 Oveta Culp Hobby Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 14

4 School Days Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 20

5 In the Navy Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 22

6 Remembering LBJ Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 26

7 Newspaper Days Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 35

8 Running for Lieutenant Governor and Other Political Stories Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 49

9 How the Texas Senate Works Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 61

10 The Constitution of 1876: Still Standing Despite My Best Efforts Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 73

11 Kinder, Gentler Days Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 77

12 Artesia Hall Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 89

13 Dãj£ Vu All Over Again Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 97

14 No Pass, No Play Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 102

15 The Capitol Makeover Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 108

16 From Third World to World Power: A State in Transition Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 115

17 The Privatization of Public Higher Education Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 121

18 Boom and Bust Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 126

19 The Dreaded Two-Thirds Rule and the Killer Bees Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 133

20 Family Feuds Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 139

21 Texas Prisons and the War on Drugs Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 148

22 The Poor We Always Have with Us Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 154

23 The Legislative Redistricting Board Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 162

24 Ten Years in Academia Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 164

25 The Commission on a Representative Student Body Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 174

26 The Census Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 178

27 The National Rifle Association Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 183

28 The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 186

29 Hobby for President Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 193

30 Just Vote No Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 195

31 Parting Thoughts Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 198

Appendix The Threads of History Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 201

Index Saralee Tiede Tiede, Saralee 207

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