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As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda | [Gail Collins]

As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda

In one of the most timely political books in years, Gail Collins declares that "what happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas anymore." Gail Collins's fascination with Texas began rather abruptly in that distant spring of 2009 when she heard Governor Rick Perry - back to the wall, boots to the ground - address a Tea Party rally full of passionate Texans who seemed to be interested in seceding from the Union. "How long had this been going on?" she wondered, on behalf of the rest of the nation. "Was it something that we said?"
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Publisher's Summary

In one of the most timely political books in years, Gail Collins declares that "what happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas anymore."

Gail Collins's fascination with Texas began rather abruptly in that distant spring of 2009 when she heard Governor Rick Perry - back to the wall, boots to the ground - address a Tea Party rally full of passionate Texans who seemed to be interested in seceding from the Union. "How long had this been going on?" she wondered, on behalf of the rest of the nation. "Was it something that we said?"

The more she looked at Texas, the more she realized it was at the heart of the American political story. The Tea Party had Texas roots, with its passion for states' rights and sense of persecution by an overreaching Washington. But Texas also seemed to be running the federal government it despised. Through its vigorous support of banking deregulation, which began with the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and ended calamitously with the Wall Street crash of 2008, Texas' boot prints were deep.

In education, Texas had managed both to be the model for the wildly influential No Child Left Behind law and to provide some of the loudest political voices calling for the law to be trashed. In energy, Texas was the heart of the drill-baby-drill movement and the war against the whole concept of global warming.

Collins brilliantly frames this national movement through the outsized behavior and inimitable swagger of some of Texas' most colorful and influential political figures, from former House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who got into politics when the EPA banned his favorite fire ant repellent, to Perry himself, who when confronted with the fact that his state had the country's third-highest teen pregnancy rate, defended its abstinence-only sex education policy by doggedly asserting, "I'm just going to tell you from my own personal life. Abstinence works."

Digging beneath the veneer of cowboy hats, oil derricks, and Alamo cries, Collins has produced a profoundly original work demonstrating that much of what ails America was first birthed in Texas.

Like it or not, as Texas goes, so goes the nation.

©2012 Gail Collins (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Gail Collins is the funniest serious political commentator in America. Reading As Texas Goes... is pure pleasure from page one." (Rachel Maddow)

"There's no funnier writer about politics than Gail Collins, and in Texas she's found the perfect canvas. The state's record at producing some of the nuttiest characters ever to enter American public life is matched only by its recent prowess in infecting the other forty-nine states with those politicians' most crackpot policy ideas. Collins serves up hilarity and horror in equal measure and leaves you rooting for Rick Perry to make good on his threat to lead Texas out of the Union." (Frank Rich)

"Here is the WPA guide to the follies of our time. Gail Collins walks us through a vast and formerly prosperous land that has lost itself in delusions of its own magnificence; that has set itself ablaze with a crusade against learning; that has grown dizzy with free-market fantasies that no amount of real-world failure seems able to correct. Yes, Texas is a hell of a place to be a corporation, but for humans it's a different story." (Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter with Kansas?)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (65 )
5 star
 (23)
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3.7 (58 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12
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    "Wonderful book but should be read by someone else."

    I love Gail Collins’ columns in the New York Times, and this book would have maintained her famous sharp wit if someone else had narrated it. But here is a case when the author, in my opinion, shouldn’t have narrated the book. Some of her funniest points are made by quoting the Texans she discusses, in the same way that Molly Ivens was funny with such descriptions, but Molly narrated better. Despite this disappointment, it is full of interesting and thought provoking information about the influence of Texas politics on the whole country.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane M Florida 09-10-12
    Jane M Florida 09-10-12

    Jane M

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    "Brilliant story"
    What did you love best about As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda?

    This is a scary story but brilliantly written.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this nearly all in one sitting.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendell SPARKS, NV, United States 07-13-12
    Wendell SPARKS, NV, United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Ever feel like Texas had it coming? Well it came."
    What made the experience of listening to As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda the most enjoyable?

    Anyone who has ever had to deal with the Texas culture, the unwarranted arrogance and absurdities that goes with it will certainly appreciate the wit and humor that Gail Collins brings to the subject.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Gail Collins’s performances?

    Only if Ms. Collins sticks to writting and leaves the narration to the professionals. While some may find her "dead pan performance" suitable to the narrative I found insufferable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Although there is a serious and dark side to this book there is also much that is a real giggle.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Eagle River, AK, USA 07-06-12
    Christopher Eagle River, AK, USA 07-06-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Entertaining Political Poke"

    I have a daughter going to college in Texas this fall. Thought I would pick up a book to learn a little about the Texas culture. I got a little of what I was looking for. It started out fun with an perspective of the Alamo and the politics of wide open spaces. It took a strong left turn as it went on. Gail Collins was an easy listen, however I think to give one state with a group of of characters credit for so much change is a bit of a leap. I think you could probably write the same book about about characters in some Eastern states and one state along the great lakes that begins with I. Still a fun listen for those who aren't offended by listening to the left agenda.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Margolis Houston, TX 06-19-12
    Shannon Margolis Houston, TX 06-19-12 Member Since 2006

    Shan M

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whew! It's Texas, and not me..."
    If you could sum up As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda in three words, what would they be?

    Informative
    cohesive
    partisin


    What did you like best about this story?

    As a Texas outsider (even though I came to live here in grade school 30+ years ago), I was thrilled someone had decided to examine and explain(expose) the Texas mystique.


    What does Gail Collins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Gail collins is able to maintain a dead pan performance that suits her comedic style perfectly. There is also an almost bored quality to her narration that helps keep the narrative from being too emoitionally raw, and keeps the hysteria to a minimum.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Petaluma, CA, United States 06-23-12
    Jeffrey Petaluma, CA, United States 06-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "She is madder than she is funny.WOW!"

    Mrs. Collins likes to set up straw men and then laugh at how smart she is as she knocks them down (she’s so happy with herself). For anyone that has been paying any attention to politics over the last 10 years can see how hard she works to make Texas (and Republicans) look bad. She said nothing new in this book about Texas, and she could have written the same things about California, New York or Massachusetts. All in all, it is not a very funny book and the repeated attempts at hummer fall flat. Save your money.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William HOUSTON, TX, United States 11-25-12
    William HOUSTON, TX, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2006
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not even wrong"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Rachel Maddow fans and liberal elites in desperate need of someone else to look down on.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Nicholas Wapshott - Keynes Hayak


    Would you be willing to try another one of Gail Collins’s performances?

    Never


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda?

    Her incessant invocation of "Don't Mess with Texas", which was never a political statement, rather a simple admonishment not to trash Texas highways.


    Any additional comments?

    Snarky, unfunny, largely inaccurate, and a complete waste of bandwidth.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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