Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas

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Overview

The only woman ever to represent Texas in the United States Senate, Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a trailblazer in the Lone Star State. Hutchison is just one of many women who have embodied what we've come to recognize as the spirit of Texas—rugged independence, fierce loyalty, and an unflappable entrepreneurial streak. In Unflinching Courage, Senator Hutchison tells the dynamic history of her home state through the lives of some of these pioneering women and their remarkable achievements, including ranchers, ...

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Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas

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Overview

The only woman ever to represent Texas in the United States Senate, Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a trailblazer in the Lone Star State. Hutchison is just one of many women who have embodied what we've come to recognize as the spirit of Texas—rugged independence, fierce loyalty, and an unflappable entrepreneurial streak. In Unflinching Courage, Senator Hutchison tells the dynamic history of her home state through the lives of some of these pioneering women and their remarkable achievements, including ranchers, entrepreneurs, prospectors, stateswomen, and others who valiantly held their ground in the face of unimaginable violence and shaped the proud state into what it is today.

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Editorial Reviews

Dale L. Walker
“A series of brightly written biographies of an extraordinary gallery of pioneering women, many of whom are unknown even to the most history-minded of Texans. …The lesser-known shapers of Texas are presented in as full and interesting detail as the more celebrated.”
Publishers Weekly
Former U.S. Senator Hutchison (American Heroines) was the first woman to represent Texas in the Senate, and she’s admirably devoted her authorial career to writing women back into the historical record. Taking a local history approach that incorporates her family’s Texas roots, Hutchison emphasizes in her newest the independent spirit of Texans who rose up against Mexican rule and who carved out a living from the rugged landscape. She writes a doggedly chronological story, stretching from Anna Mary Taylor (the author’s great-great-grandmother), a young bride in Nacogdoches in 1831 most known for her gardening; to Oveta Culp Hobby, a politically influential journalist who headed the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in the early 1940s. There is no discernible criteria for Hutchison’s choices of pioneering women, though the majority of them are from the early 19th century and include Susanna Dickinson, one of a handful of women who survived the Alamo; and Rachel Parker Plummer, who was captured and brutally beaten by Comanche Indians. Unfortunately, these individual stories lack depth, cohesion, and nuance. Most of the historical context is presented in chunks separate from the lives of the women, which only calls attention to how they are still viewed as outsiders in mainstream history. Texas women await their historical due. Agent: Robert B. Barnett, Williams & Connolly LLP. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Senator Hutchison (Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers, 2008, etc.) brings stories of her state's unsung heroines to light. The author writes of women who, in the early 19th century, followed their husbands to settle in Texas with its promise of cheap land and prosperity. Generally well educated and from genteel backgrounds, these pioneers had the courage and resilience to endure wars, primitive living conditions, diseases and grueling labor. It was all too common for women, such as Emily Austin Bryan Perry, sister of Stephen F. Austin ("the Father of Texas"), to survive the deaths of more than one husband and several children. Hutchison's roots go back to her great-great grandfather Charles S. Taylor, a key figure in the state's fight for independence from Mexico in 1836. During ensuing conflicts, her great-great grandmother was among the women who packed their families in wagons and headed east, fleeing the Mexican army in what was called the "Runaway Scrape." Like many others, her three daughters died along the way. Readers will also learn about Margaret Houston, who suffered from melancholy, disliked politics and tended her eight children, mostly alone, while Sam Houston was away managing affairs of the state; Rachel Parker Plummer, who was kidnapped by a Comanche tribe and rescued, forever scarred by the ordeal; and Sarah Cockrell, the "mother of Dallas." The book is laden with historical facts, and some readers may wish for more fluid storytelling, but Hutchison ably sets down a record of these remarkable women's lives. For readers who want to learn more, she provides a comprehensive bibliography. Though regional in nature, the hardships and contributions of these pioneers reflect those of women across the country. A valuable resource for the archives of Texas and women's history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062130716
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 779,583
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1990 she was elected Texas state treasurer, and in 1993 she was the first woman elected to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. In 2006 she was elected chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, becoming one of the top four leaders of Senate Republicans and the only woman. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Ray, and their daughter and son, Bailey and Houston.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    When we think of the building of our country it is always the men who are thought of. This book tells of the strength and courage of the women who lived during that era and worked as hard as the men. Some of them had to take over a large ranch after the death of their husbands which was not easy for a woman. They had to provide for their families as widows.Having lived in Texas for the past two years many of the people and places have significance to me. Many of the cities, towns and villages are named for the people in the book. And the fight with Santa Ana for independence from Mexico is described very well, is exciting and I felt as though I was there. I enjoyed the book and recommend it highly. I will always treasure the history of Texas and my time living in the Lone Star State.

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