I am a native South Texan, so part of my enjoyment for this book was the local flavor. With that disclaimer out of the way, I am going to ask my wife (a native New Yorker) to read this book. Then, I know, she will finally understand this culture. I have never come across a piece of prose that so poignantly describes what it means to be connected to the places and people of the Texas borderlands. The authors do an amazing job of capturing the Texas mystique. In the case of South Texas, what they capture of the deep ethnic identify shared by that special mixture of people from Mexican and European roots. The story has an ethos both deep and disturbingly dark. The world of Joaquin Jackson during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s was a mean place filled with mean and sometimes sadistic people. It was a world where One Ranger really could make a difference. A riveting read. I hope he shares more of these classic tales in the future.
I agree with other reviewers who have quipped OK if you have patience. By midway through the book it was drudgery to keep going. I hung in there and in the end, found it to be only barely worth my time. My biggest disappointment was that this is a book about Oppie's political trials and tribulations; not about science. Even in retrospect I find it astounding that someone can write such a detailed account of Oppenheimer's life and say so little about the heart of the man's life...which was science. What you do get in full measure is intricate descriptions of who was meeting whom during which FBI wiretap and who testified against whom to save their owns skins. Thus, this was a book about personalities; not about the world-changing events that marked Oppie's life. A non-scientist with an interest in the McCarthy era may well enjoy this book thoroughly. But I, alas, did not.
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