Robert E. Biles has taught college students about Texas politics in Texas, Colombia, and Ecuador and to students in the free world and in Texas prisons. He is Professor and former chair of Political Science at Sam Houston State University. He received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and has published four books and 25 scholarly articles. He has served as a professional staff member for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a member of the local school board, county political party chair, county election supervisor, state board member of a citizen's lobbying group, member of advisory committees to the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education and Texas State Board for Educator Certification, and secretary and president of the Women's Caucus of the Southwestern Social Science Association. He has received four Fulbright grants to teach and do research in Latin America. He has received his university's top award for research, his college's award for teaching, and the first university Faculty Senate award for administration. For the last three years, he has been a volunteer coach for the Sam Houston State softball team. He is married with four grown children.
Preface. About the Authors. Introduction: Models of Politics and Critical Thinking. Three Maps, One State: Models for Understanding Texas Politics. Critical Thinking. Getting Informed. Notes. Additional Reading. 1. The History, Culture, and Economy of Texas. 2. Federalism and the Texas Constitution. 3. Political Parties and Elections. 4. Interest Groups in Texas Politics. 5. The Legislature. 6. The Governor. 7. The Executive Branch. 8. The Judiciary. 9. Local Governments. 10. Texas Taxes and Revenue. 11. The Texas Budget and Public Policy. 12. Texas Politics and the Future. Index.