Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy

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Texas pride, like everything else in the state, is larger than life. So, too, perhaps, are the state’s challenges. Lone Star Tarnished approaches public policy in the nation’s most populous "red state" from historical, comparative, and critical perspectives. The historical perspective provides the scope for asking how various policy domains have developed in Texas history, regularly reaching back to the state’s founding and with substantial data for the period 1950 to the present. In each chapter, Cal Jillson compares Texas public policy choices and results with those of other states and the United States in general. Finally, the critical perspective allows us to question the balance of benefits and costs attendant to what is often referred to as "the Texas way" or "the Texas model."

Jillson delves deeply into seven substantive policy chapters, covering the most important policy areas in which state governments are active. Through his lively and lucid prose, students are well equipped to analyze how Texas has done and is doing compared to selected states and the national average over time and today. Readers will also come away with the necessary tools to assess the many claims of Texas’s exceptionalism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is a tremendous resource for helping students and the general public engage at a substantive level with many of the major policy issues and challenges in Texas today. The concise survey of the historical development of government and policy, combined with data and analysis, make this book essential for any class on Texas Government. It is also a "must read" for citizens of this State who are concerned about the challenges ahead and how we debate the role of government in addressing them."Eric V. Morrow, Tarleton State University

"Textbooks tend to gloss over the imperfections that are in our system of government. Just as we grow up and come to terms with our own faults and issues, adjusting to become mature and rational, the Texas state government has gone through a maturation period to become what we encounter today. In order to fully understand who we are, we must understand where we have come from. Lone Star Tarnished ​reminds us that our government is a reflection of who we are. In order to grow we have to remember our experiences from the past (good or bad), evaluate where we are today, and determine what we want to achieve in the future. This book will help students to dig deeper into understanding our unique form of state government and hopefully encourage them to participate in the political process."John Carnes, Jr.   Ed.S., Lone Star College-Kingwood

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415808774
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/8/2012
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,486,934
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Cal Jillson is Professor in the department of political science at Southern Methodist University.

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Great State of Texas? 1. The Texas Way 2. Texas: The Myth vs. The Reality 3. Demographic Change and Its Implications Part II: The Reality Thus Far 4. Jobs, Income, and Wealth in Texas 5. Public Education in Texas 6. Health and Human Services in Texas 7. Crime and Punishment in Texas 8. Good Roads, Highways, and Transportation in Texas 9. Energy and the Environment in Texas Part III: The Coming Reality 10. The Way Forward

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