Format Hardcover
Publication Date 11/04/14
ISBN 9781605986265
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 352

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Lone Star Nation

How Texas Will Transform America

Richard Parker

A provocative and eye-opening look at the most explosive and controversial state in America, where everything is bigger, bolder—and shaping our nation's future in surprising ways

To most Americans, Texas has been that love-it-or-hate it slice of the country that has sparked controversy, bred presidents, and fomented turmoil from the American Civil War to George W. Bush.  But that Texas is changing—and it will change America itself. Richard Parker takes the reader on a tour across today's booming Texas, an evolving landscape that is densely urban, overwhelmingly Hispanic, exceedingly powerful in the global economy, and increasingly liberal.  This Texas will have to ensure upward mobility, reinvigorate democratic rights, and confront climate change—just to continue its historic economic boom.  This is not the Texas of George W. Bush or Rick Perry. Instead, this is a Texas that will remake the American experience in the twenty-first century—as California did in the twentieth—with surprising economic, political, and social consequences.  Along the way, Parker analyzes the powerful, interviews the insightful, and tells the story of everyday people because, after all, one in ten Americans in this century will call Texas something else: Home.  

Richard Parker is an award-winning journalist who writes about political, economic, technological and social change. His work appears in the Op-Ed and Sunday Review sections of the New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review and other major newspapers. He lives in the Texas hill country outside Austin.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“A beautiful new book. The limitations of Texas’s attempt to combine being somewhere and being successful are apparent in Parker’s gripping story, and suggest that there is still space for new places to attempt new ways to combine place and possibility.” The Daily Beast
“Richard Parker has undertaken a large and daunting task to wrangle the various components of Texas, from its brawling history to its lightning-fast social change, and produce a single vision of what Texas means to America today.  I am pleased to say that he has succeeded admirably.  By combining sharp economic, political, and social commentary, he has told a compelling and highly readable tale.” S. C. Gwynne, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON and REBEL YELL
“This is where you’ll learn how a centrist-oriented Texas could help turn the U.S. into ‘the world’s first Hispanic superpower.’” Texas Monthly
“Richard Parker returned to his native Texas to discover a profoundly changed world.  If you think you know Texas, be prepared to be surprised, enlightened, and entertained by what he has to say.” Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling THE SEARCHERS: The Making of an American Legend
“Texas in the 21st century remains a powerful brand. …  Parker [is] an affable tour guide. His take-home message, that the problems and opportunities in Texas are the nation’s writ large, is reminiscent of an old quip from Molly Ivins. Texas, she used to say, is just like anyplace else in America, only more so.” ” New York Times Book Review
“Parker has crunched the numbers and has come up with a state that’s large and in charge in the future — economically and in population. All the major players (Governor-elect Greg Abbott) and places (Keep Austin Weird) are featured, along with photos of the changing landscape.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“With his keen observations and spritely prose, Richard Parker shows he can bring a reporter’s sensibility to any topic—from the famed counterculture of Austin to a sharp piece of presidential campaign analysis and even a richly woven Civil War battle story. Parker lathers his pieces with detail and immediate facts, exuding the persuasive voice of someone who knows what he’s talking about.” Chad Lorenz Slate
“Parker knows the state as well as anybody writing here, and better than most.” Texas Observer