“Gail Collins is the funniest serious political commentator in America. Reading As Texas Goes… is pure pleasure from page one.” —Rachel Maddow
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year (Nonfiction)
As Texas Goes . . . provides a trenchant yet often hilarious look into American politics and the disproportional influence of Texas, which has become the model for not just the Tea Party but also the Republican Party. Now with an expanded introduction and a new concluding chapter that will assess the influence of the Texas way of thinking on the 2012 election, Collins shows how the presidential race devolved into a clash between the so-called “empty places” and the crowded places that became a central theme in her book. The expanded edition will also feature more examples of the Texas style, such as Governor Rick Perry’s nearsighted refusal to accept federal Medicaid funding as well as the proposed ban on teaching “critical thinking” in the classroom. As Texas Goes . . . will prove to be even more relevant to American politics by the dawn of a new political era in January 2013.
Gail Collins explores the ways that Texas has influenced the direction of national politics, education policy, and the economy during the past 50 years. From failing schools and problematic sexual education curriculums to banking and housing scandals, she illustrates how the Lone Star State has led the United States astray. Collins's most compelling feat is capturing the mentality that seems to propel much of Texas (and to varying degrees, conservative) politics. As a narrator, Collins turns in a workmanlike performance, her tone shifting between the objective, judgmental, and critical. On the whole, she keeps the production engaging, but does falter in one major way: a certain degree of disdain and condemnation permeates her voice, particularly when she makes jokes or quotes officials. While this may not be as palpable in the print edition, her narration often feels snide and is thus potentially off-putting to listeners who might have been convinced by the evidence and not the attitude. A Liveright hardcover.