Spare Time in Texas: Recreation and History in the Lone Star State

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Overview

What do Texans' pastimes and recreations say about their characters? Looking at Texas history from a new angle, David McComb starts from the premise that how people spend their leisure time may well reveal more about their true natures and interests than the work they do or their family connections. In this innovative book, McComb traces the history of various types of recreation in Texas, gathering significant insights into the characters of Texans from the pleasures they have pursued.

Reflecting the frontier origins of Texas, McComb starts with the recreations that were most popular with men in a crude, still-developing society-drinking, gambling, and whoring. He goes on to show how, as Texas became more civilized, so did its diversions. He describes how Texans have connected with nature in parks and zoos; watched football and baseball in great stadiums such as the Astrodome and the Cotton Bowl; discovered the pleasure of reading in public and university libraries; and enjoyed radio, TV, movies, and live theater in places such as Houston's Alley Theatre.

This recreational history reveals that Texans are open-minded and generous, that they respect the land, oppose prostitution but indulge in gambling and drinking, support racial and gender rights, love zoos, champion libraries, take pride in theatrical productions, and adore sports.

About the Author:
David G. McComb grew up in Houston and is an emeritus professor of history at Colorado State University

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 The Licit and the Illicit 7

2 Parks and Other Public Spaces 39

3 The Great Stadiums 71

4 The Pleasure of Libraries 99

5 Theater and the Electric Revolution 129

Images of Recreation 153

6 Conclusions and Afterthoughts 251

Notes 255

A Bibliographic Note 277

Index 281

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