Synopses & Reviews
Not until she visited Texas, that proud state of big oil and bigger ambitions, did Gail Collins, the best-selling author and columnist for the , realize that she had missed the one place that mattered most in America's political landscape. Raised in Ohio, Collins had previously seen the American fundamental divide as a war between the Republican heartland and its two liberal coasts. But the real story, she came to see, was in Texas, where Bush, Cheney, Rove, & Perry had created a conservative political agenda that is now sweeping the country and defining our national identity. Through its vigorous support of banking deregulation, lax environmental standards, and draconian tax cuts, through its fierce championing of states rights, gun ownership, and, of course, sexual abstinence, Texas, with Governor Rick Perry's presidential ambitions, has become the bellwether of a far-reaching national movement that continues to have profound social and economic consequences for us all. Like it or not, as Texas goes, so goes the nation.
"The outsized influence of the union's largest state is decried in this by turns amused and appalled study of Texas's government and its discontents. New York Times columnist Collins (When Everything Changed) revels in the state's 10-gallon self-regard, Alamo-inspired cult of suicidal last stands, and eccentric right-wing pols. But the upshot of all that, she argues, is a disastrous model of public policy that inspired the Republican Party's national platform: a rickety economic boom based on insecure, poverty-level jobs and massive state incentives to corporations; financial deregulation that led to banking meltdowns; a raft of ill-advised education nostrums, from the prototype of the No Child Left Behind Act to abstinence-only sex-ed programs and textbook guidelines that frown on evolution; skimpy public services, high rates of poverty and inequality, and low rates of health coverage and graduation. Collins's book is really an indictment of what she calls America's 'empty-places' creed the rural conservative populism that favors small government, low taxes, and lax regulation through a takedown of its colorful epicenter. Much like the late Texas dissident Molly Ivins, she slathers plenty of wry humor onto a critique that stings like a red-hot brand. Agent: Alice Martell. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In one of the most explosive and timely political books in years, Gail Collins declares that "what happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas anymore."
About the Author
Gail Collins, the best-selling author of When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, is a national columnist for the New York Times. She lives in New York City.