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Publishers WeeklyUntil her death in 2007, Molly Ivins was a staple of the op-ed page, aiming her arrow at favorite targets like George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and the circus of Southern-particularly Texan-politics. The Texas daughter of an oil executive and major player in Houston society, Ivins enjoyed an early, privileged view of Texas deal making and the rise of modern Republicanism. Her subsequent career was a full-fledged rebellion, beginning with her father's conservatism, and culminating in a rejection of both "objective" (read: neutered) journalism and the oil-rich Republican machine. Ivins's insight couldn't be timelier, and the lines she crossed on behalf of women and journalists are overdue for celebration. She was also a fascinating and private person who charmed with her Southern character and was rumored to have had a number of high-profile affairs. An ideal investigation would get into these deep, dark corners, the way Ivins herself would have, but this biography is based on select personal papers and positive recollections, written by close admirers: Minutalglio is a Texas journalism professor, Smith was a long-time researcher for Ivins. Though they fail to explain what truly motivated Ivins's relentless crusade, or the deep tradition of American opposition behind her seemingly-anomalous Texas liberalism, this book should please fans and win Ivins new ones.
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