Gary Taylor is a veteran award-winning journalist who has covered crime, courts and legal affairs for newspapers and magazines since 1969. His 2008 true crime memoir, Luggage by Kroger-the story of a true-life fatal attraction-won five national book awards. He lives in Houston, Texas.
I, the Peopleby Gary Taylor
The year was 1973. The State of Texas had just elected a new reform-minded governor and attorney general. And Houston's ABC-TV affiliate station at Channel 13 had just launched a new consumer-oriented investigative feature by hiring flamboyant former lawman
"The Chicken Ranch was the one, great festering, frustrating sore on the face of law enforcement in Texas."
The year was 1973. The State of Texas had just elected a new reform-minded governor and attorney general. And Houston's ABC-TV affiliate station at Channel 13 had just launched a new consumer-oriented investigative feature by hiring flamboyant former lawman Marvin Zindler to seize the spotlight. The roads from those disparate events crossed quickly in dramatic fashion to national acclaim in the Texas Hill Country village of La Grange, which had harbored the country's longest continually operating bordello-a little place known as the Chicken Ranch and beloved to generations of Texas school boys.
When Zindler's sensational TV expose forced the Chicken Ranch to close, it triggered a national controversy that raged for years, highlighted by the creation of a successful Broadway musical called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The movie version starred Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton in the fictionalized account that boiled the story down to a basic theme still used in its marketing pitch: "Texas madam Miss Mona and her sheriff boyfriend try to save her chicken ranch from a TV muckraker."
But lost amid the romanticized singing and the dancing and the nostalgic pining of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas lies an authentic true crime history yarn just as entertaining and as much a part of the Lone Star State's many fabled legends. In I, the People, veteran Houston journalist and author Gary Taylor recreates the real story behind the closing of the Chicken Ranch and explains the forces that unleashed TV icon Marvin Zindler upon the national scene.
Midwest Book Review: The famed film 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' had its roots in reality, but its charm wears thin when it has connections to organized crime. "I, the People: How Marvin Zindler Busted the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" is Gary Taylor's coverage of the story that tells of fellow journalist Marvin Zindler's personal crusade against the famous brothel the Chicken Ranch and the puppet strings of the Mafia behind it. For those who want the true story behind the story, "I, the People" is well worth considering.
POD People: You may have heard of the "Chicken Ranch," AKA "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," from the musical or the movie of the later name. Well, Gary Taylor, intrepid Texan journalist, has the real story. Taylor has a wonderful eye for character, and the Chicken Ranch story is full of them. This book is a fascinating look at characters from an era when Texas transitioned itself from the Wild West to civilization. I highly recommend I The People.
- CreateSpace Publishing
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)
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