Friday, June 29, 2012

As Texas Gail Collins

Last night journalist and author Gail Collins spoke to a full, full house at a program put on by the public library. This was part of her book tour for As Texas Goes...How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.

Collins had some funny things to say about Texans, their politics, their education system, their influence, and just their general crankiness. There are 26 million people living in this huge state that has the second highest birthrate in America. Utah is first. The population has an enormous sense of self-identity and still clings to the idea that before it was a state Texas was a republic for nine years. And they are still riding on the sentiment of the soldiers at the Alamo: Victory or die.

Collins is a very engaging speaker. She is short and her head barely made it over the top of the podium. She spoke for about 45 minutes and then took questions from the audience. She has an explosive laugh and says she loves writing for the New York Times op-ed page twice a week and doesn't plan on going anywhere soon.

This is not her first book. She has two books out about the women: When Things Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (2009) and America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (2007). She also wrote a biography of President William Henry Harrison as part of the American Presidents Series (2012). Another of her books is Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity and American Politics (updated 2007).

I had no idea she was so prolific. I think the first two listed above will go on my To Be Read list.

I did not feel the urge to buy the book. As a matter of fact, I kept wondering how she could stand to constantly immerse herself in the malfeasance and misadventures of those in the political scene. I wouldn't be able to take it.

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