A New York Times Notable Book
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
An NPR Best Book of the Year
God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It 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.
Wright (The Terror Years), a Pulitzer winner and New Yorker staff writer, takes an unflinching look at Texas the state where he has spent most of his life in all its grandeur and contradictions. A clear-sighted and often witty reporter, Wright highlights the state's past and present political figures (among them Lyndon Johnson, both Bush presidents, Ann Richards, and Ted Cruz); entrenched belief in low taxes and minimal regulation; booming economy of oil and technology exports; and track record of subpar social services and legislative accomplishments (redistricting, open carry and concealed carry gun laws). Wright also showcases three of the state's fastest-growing cities: Houston, the only major U.S. metropolis without zoning laws; Dallas, with its history of reinvention after John F. Kennedy's assassination and currently hot market for commercial construction; and Austin, with its high rate of start-up companies and its citizenry devoted to "quirky passions." Interspersed throughout are the author's personal reflections on growing up in Texas and on why he continues to live there. The demographics of this vast and diverse state suggest it's far more progressive than its representatives, and its population is increasing at an astonishing rate. Wright's large-scale portrait, which reveals how Texas is only growing in influence,is comprehensive, insightful, and compulsively entertaining.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not a book for snowflakes or the bubble crowd
I suspect the poor reviews here bought the book because they liked the title. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find Mr. Wright’s other work and references on the net. He is a capable author with little patience for the Jade Helm arm of the Republican Party.
Wright tried to be introspective and optimistic in his evaluation of Texas being a reflection of the larger US and their strengths, problems and future. If you don’t know much about Texas, like politics and are interested in the directions of things, this is for you.
God save Texas
Obviously a liberals view of Texas. I only hope the author moves out of Texas and his book keeps other liberals from moving here. Native Texans continue to be proud of their heritage.
Partisan history is annoying
As an amateur historian and native Texan, I was excited to pick up this book. I feel like this book missed the mark in a couple of ways. One, it didn’t give the reader many new perspectives or insights about Texas history I didn’t already know, other than the author’s political leanings. Which brings me to my second problem with this work. I totally understand the author’s opinion will inevitably be representative in his or her work, but this is next level bias. The author is clearly left of the political center, which doesn’t normally bother me, but the persistent attack on all things conservative, became tired and ultimately distracting to the content.