Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude, and yet, according to journalist and Texan Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas. In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business.
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There are historical episodes, such as the siege of the Alamo, that Texans like to remember. And then there are those that we don’t. Among the latter is the 1980s. At the beginning of the decade, the state was flush with oil money, and, for the first time in its history, as rich, seemingly, as the rest of America. Richer, apparently: The OPEC embargo that had devastated the national economy during the 1970s had had the opposite effect in Texas, where soaring oil prices fueled a decade of growth and ambitious acquisition.
On April 5, conservatives around the nation, beleaguered and bleary-eyed after months of Donald Trump’s rampaging through the 2016 presidential primary season, received some comforting news: Wisconsin Republicans had dealt Trump a decisive defeat in the state’s primary that day, awarding most of their delegates to his leading competitor, Texas senator Ted Cruz.
The former Texas governor fights to keep his presidential bid alive.