God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Paperback)

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God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State By Lawrence Wright Cover Image

God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Ah, my original home state! Texas is a place that invokes in many people's minds a kind of mythology, lore, and cultural sensibility that's as outsized as the state itself. God Save Texas is a look at the people, regions, and cultures of Texas that illustrate a place that's not as monolithic as we think, and how the idea of Texas is as much a truthful exaggeration as it is a microcosm of the rest of the country.

— From Jim

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower—and a Texas native—takes us on a journey through the most controversial state in America. • “Beautifully written…. Essential reading [for] anyone who wants to understand how one state changed the trajectory of the country.” —NPR

Texas is a red state, but the cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king, but Texas now leads California in technology exports. Low taxes and minimal regulation have produced extraordinary growth, but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. 

Bringing together the historical and the contemporary, the political and the personal, Texas native Lawrence Wright gives us a colorful, wide-ranging portrait of a state that not only reflects our country as it is, but as it may become—and shows how the battle for Texas’s soul encompasses us all.
LAWRENCE WRIGHT is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a playwright, and a screenwriter. He is the best-selling author of the novel, The End of October, and ten books of nonfiction, including Going Clear, God Save Texas, and The Looming Tower, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.
A New York Times Notable Book • An NPR Best Book of the Year

“Beautifully written. . . . Essential reading [for] anyone who wants to understand how one state changed the trajectory of the country.” —NPR

“Compelling. . . . Timely. . . . There is a sleeping giant in Texas, and Wright captures the frustration and the hope that reverberate across the state each time it stirs.” —The Washington Post

“Superb. . . . An elegant mixture of autobiography and long-form journalism.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“Terrific. . . . Valuable and often provocative. . . . Wright’s words could speak for both Texas and America.” —The Dallas Morning News

“Vivid . . . Affectionate and genial . . . Capture[s] the full range of Texas in all its shame and glory . . . An illuminating primer for outsiders who may not live there but have a surfeit of opinions about those who do . . . It’s a testament to Wright’s formidable storytelling skills that a reader will encounter plenty of information without ever feeling lost.”The New York Times

“Important, timely, and riveting. . . . Wright, a lifelong Texan and acclaimed author, knows his way around the state’s contradictions, from its wild borderlands to its craziest legislators.” New York

“A godsend . . . . Brilliant analysis. . . . Wright’s treatment flows impressionistically from one topic to the next . . .  introducing myriad characters in a cascade of crystalline sketches.” Newsday

“The most entertaining and edifying nonfiction book I’ve read so far this year . . . [Wright] is a rare beast: an elegant writer and a fearless reporter, with a sense of humor as dry as the plains of west Texas.” Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times

“At once a piece of journalism, a love letter to a place and a memoir.. . . [Wright] writes about his state with the fervor, knowledge, and ambivalence that comes from deep-seated familiarity.” The Wall Street Journal

“Wright’s affectionate, eye-opening, and, at times, rueful love letter to his native state . . . This is Texas in all its fascinating outrageousness.” The Christian Science Monitor

“The reader comes away with an idea that the state is a place of competing melodies: a bit of Austin country, a few measures of Roy Orbison, a riff from Buddy Holley and, for [Wright], maybe a stanza of ‘Home on the Range.’” The Boston Globe

“Wright tames his sprawling subject matter with concise sentences and laser-precise word choice . . . Gives readers a front-row seat to the battle within the Texas GOP between business-oriented conservatives, led by House Speaker Joe Straus, and the social-conservative wing headed up by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.” Houston Chronicle

 “Both celebratory and melancholy. . . . The grand scale of Texas, and the sheer range of its places and people—Houston to El Paso, the Panhandle to the Valley—is inevitably compelling to any writer, and Wright is happy just trying to get his arms around it all.” Austin Chronicle