Texas is blood and violence, right? It is cowboys and longhorns, the Alamo and the Astrodome, wheeling and dealing and bragging, right?
Right. And also wrong, says the author of this book, Joe B. Frantz.
This is the story of how a myth began, with the Texas Revolution against Mexico, cattle drives, and "hyperactive" Texas Rangers, and became embodied in larger-than-life figures, from Sam Houston to "Speaker Sam" Rayburn, from the explorer La Salle to L. B. J. It is also the story of a state larger than its myth, a Confederate state that contained enclaves of pro-Union German-Americans, a football-loving state that produced musicians of the sensitivity of Scott Joplin and Van Cliburn, a western state that also is Southern, Mexican, and Spanish in its influences.