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Get a Preview of Gail Collins' New Book on Texas …

by Jerome Weeks 5 Jun 2012 3:37 PM

… in The New York Review of Books. The new book by the popular NYTimes columnist/humorist — As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda — was released yesterday.


In addition to her regular — and amusing — New York Times political columns, Collins has written a history of recent feminism (When Everything Changed) and a history of political gossip (Scorpion Tongues). But, as she explains in the prologue to As Texas Goes …, she became fascinated by Our Great State in 2009 when she watched Governor Rick Perry rally his troops by shouting angrily about never yielding to oppression and incorrectly declaring Texas could secede from the Union.

And all this sound and fury was about the financial stimulus package.

So she’s done some research and written it up, putting herself in Molly Ivins territory. (Not just because she’s writing about Texas. Her new book has only gotten two Amazon reviews, but one of them has already elicited essay-length counter-arguments.) If you don’t want to shell out the $17.13 the book costs on Amazon, you can always dip your toe in by reading her seventh chapter, which appears in the latest edition of The New York Review of Books.

It’s about our highly rational, universally admired school-textbook selection process: “How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us.”