Texas governor and rising star in the Republican Party—one of the first prominent politicians to govern from a wheelchair since Franklin D. Roosevelt—Governor Greg Abbott pens his deeply personal and inspiring life story and proposes a plan to restore America to greatness in what Newt Gingrich calls a “bold and compelling” read.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott lost his ability to walk when a huge oak tree crashed down on his back, fracturing vertebrae into his spinal cord, leaving him forever paralyzed. At twenty-six years old, he felt that the future he had dreamed of was gone.
But he soon realized that our lives are not defined by our challenges, but by how we respond to them. He went on to overcome his paralytic limitations to become the longest-serving attorney general in Texas history and now governor, all while in a wheelchair.
Greg Abbott waged a record number of legal challenges against the federal government that has come unhinged from the Constitution. He also led legal battles to defend the Second Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, and religious liberty. He personally appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas Capitol Grounds—and won.
Through these fights he realized that his personal story held an important parallel to America’s current challenges. The Constitution that forms the foundation of our country has been broken, but the people of this nation remain determined to achieve American greatness. Abbott explains that it is up to us to restore America to its rightful luster and power in the world, emerging triumphant from our stumbles.
In Broken but Unbowed, Governor Abbott describes firsthand what it was like to be on the battlefield in the historic fights that have refined the Constitution and the lessons he’s learned along the way, offering solutions that will bring us back a government that lives up to the American Dream.
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About the Author
Governor Greg Abbott is a native Texan, born in Wichita Falls and raised in Duncanville. After graduating from the University of Texas with a B.B.A. in Finance, he received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. Shortly after graduating from law school, he was partly paralyzed when struck by a falling tree while jogging. Despite his life-changing accident, he went on to become a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Texas attorney general, and now governor of Texas. Governor Abbott is an avid sportsman and hunter. He and his wife, Cecilia, have been married for thirty-four years. She is a former schoolteacher and principal and the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. They live in Austin. Their daughter, Audrey, attends college.
Read an Excerpt
Ready to Run
That afternoon, after several hours of study, I shifted my focus from the thick law books to the treasured plane tickets, smiled, and shouted to Fred, “Let’s go jogging!”
This interruption was no shock to Fred, who was studying in his room. We often took a running break.
A few minutes later, we were out running on well-kept sidewalks that sliced through manicured lawns of an upscale neighborhood, west of downtown Houston.
From my days in Little League baseball to high school football, and an undefeated regular season in track, I had always loved to run. The challenge of running, and the physical exertion, always gave me a renewed vigor.
Whether it was athletics, mowing lawns in the summer, or hauling steel in a forge factory, I’d always felt a physical, mental, and emotional renewal from hard work. Believe me, running in the July heat in Houston was hard work.
It was a typical muggy afternoon, but windy and overcast. Fred and I headed down the sidewalk at a brisk pace. The burden of my studies began to fall off my shoulders with every stride.
We usually ran side by side, trading good-natured verbal jabs along the way. But whenever the route wasn’t wide enough, I found myself sprinting ahead. About ten minutes into our run, I noticed the sidewalk ahead was about to narrow. I moved in front of Fred.
The first shock was the sound—a loud explosion that sounded like a bomb had exploded about ten feet away. Reflexively, I turned my head to the right, where the sound originated. It was a tree. A big oak, well over fifty feet tall, with a trunk two or three feet wide—and an enormous crack at the base.
And the tree was falling exactly where I was running.
Think of the sense of panic you feel when you perceive imminent danger. That sudden sinking feeling in your stomach when your heart abruptly stops, then races rapidly. That moment of fright that makes your hair stand on end. Then multiply it times a hundred. That’s what I felt.
In a nanosecond, thoughts raced through my head.
If I stop or keep going straight, I’m gonna get clobbered, and I can’t go left because cars are parked there. Go right!
The next thing I knew, I was down. Flat on my back. The entire catastrophe—from the time I heard the sound until I hit the ground—lasted no more than a second.
The good news was that I was still conscious. The bad news was that I had not lost consciousness. The pain was immediate, excruciating, and unrelenting. I had broken bones in the past and had a concussion playing football. But this was altogether different.
The pain was magnified by my inability to breathe. I’d had the wind knocked out of me before but this was beyond comparison. Trying to take in air ripped me with stabbing pains. Any attempt to exhale was sheer torture. All I could muster were short, shallow gasps.
I didn’t know what had happened, but I could tell it was bad.
Table of Contents
1 One Second 1
2 The War of Independence 19
3 Unity of Faith 31
4 I Think We Can 51
5 President or King? 75
6 Power and Problems 95
7 Our Original Design 109
8 The Fix 121
9 Teeth in the Tenth 137
10 Secret Agency Law 155
11 Commerce Claws 173
12 Of Groceries and Governments 193
13 Judging Judges 211
Conclusion: HOW We Respond to Challenges 227
How We Can Respond Together 247
Appendix A Cornhusker Kickback Letter 249
Appendix B Nava-Martinez Order 255