Lawrence Wright is a writer for The New Yorker and the author of other books. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has lived in Austin for several decades. This is his portrait of Texas, a state that he clearly loves, but also a state that he is concerned about.
The book is an interesting mixture of culture, history and politics. The subtitle gives you a feel for the book: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State.
There are chapters on Houston, on Dallas, and on Austin. There are chapters on culture and on politics. There is a chapter on the three presidents who hailed from Texas, on the battle over immigrants and crossing the Rio Grande border, on musicians who have come from Texas, and on the Marfa/Big Bend area.
The book rambles a bit, but in an interesting way. I ranges on everything from Buc-ee’s to George Mitchell to Roy Orbison, and all kinds of things in between. The book is quite interesting, though his more liberal political views get tiring at times when he focuses on politics. Generally, the first half of the book is much more interesting than the second half. But he is quite knowledgeable and a good writer. Overall, an interesting portrait of Texas.