Customer Reviews


33 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondering which Texas history to buy?
It really depends on what you like, but I think this is the best of the lot. Better than Fehrenbach. Better than Haley. A word of warning about all Texas histories: They tend to subordinate everything to politics. This one does a better job than the others concerning Texas' rich cultural history, but the major emphases are still what you'd expect. Spanish...
Published on May 14, 2007 by Jon L. Albee

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 4 books in one and none of the good.
As a native Texan woefully weak in Texas history I recently decided to begin the journey. `Gone to Texas' was a problematic start. The book begins as a vibrant historical journey and slowly transitions to a verbose encyclopedic roll call of political players. I'm left with the impression the intent of the book was the mundane and emotionless cataloging of political...
Published on July 26, 2012 by James Guthrie


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondering which Texas history to buy?, May 14, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State (Paperback)
It really depends on what you like, but I think this is the best of the lot. Better than Fehrenbach. Better than Haley. A word of warning about all Texas histories: They tend to subordinate everything to politics. This one does a better job than the others concerning Texas' rich cultural history, but the major emphases are still what you'd expect. Spanish settlement. Texas Revolution. Civil War. Development of the Oil Empire and its relation to state politics. I really hope someday we get a good comprehensive cultural history of the state, but until then this one will have to do. And it does quite well.

This book is very well written and researched, with a nice balance of biography, demographics and narrative. I'd say it's probably a bit more scholarly than popular, but the writing is still easily accessible. Buy this one if you're serious about Texas history.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a resource for Texas history..., May 25, 2005
In Randolph B. Campbell's Gone To Texas he discusses every aspect of Texas's society, political nature, economy, etc. He starts out during the first arrival of humans in the area and ends with George W. Bush as governor of the state. The reading is quick and easy, passing from one topic to the next with ease. It does not feel like you are reading a textbook. It feels as if you are reading an intriguing tale about the people and events that affected the growth of Texas into what it is today.

It is impressive in its scope and depth. Only reading through it once, I have learned a vast amount about Texas's fight for independence from Mexico, the role Texans had in the numerous United States wars, the political atmosphere of Texas (being mainly a one party state) after the Civil War, and the many political and non-political figures that shaped the personality of the state. Anything you need to know about Texas is in this book and I would highly recommend it to Texas enthusiasts and history buffs. Everyone enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written summary, August 10, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Concise and well written. It could have had more maps, but almost all histories have this fault. Campbell is a better writer than many other historians, but in places he does reflect a modern prejudice or failure to understand the thinking of the times about which he writes.

Writing of slavery, he says, "Planters did not have their capital 'tied up,' as some like to say, in slaves. Slave property could be liquidated easily. But planters had no economic or financial reason to do so." Well, some "like to say" this because it is relevant to a different question: not the question of what individual planters could do, but what they could do as a class if the slavery system were suddenly ended. In that event, planters would not at all have been able to easily liquidate slave property, and they knew that. Thus ending slavery peacefully would have had to overcome this financial problem, though not necessarily to everybody's perfect satisfaction. Solutions were possible, but the slave-holding class claimed that the system could continue unchanged indefinitely. Ultimately, because of polarization and failure to compromise, slavery was ended in the worst manner possible, through civil war.

I sometimes wonder whether history writers of our time are sufficiently knowledgable of religious formation in their historical period. Campbell writes, of a certain freedman, that he was "well versed in the survival skills learned in bondage" and "had served as the supervisor of registrars in his district, traveling at night for safety and acting, he wrote, 'as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.'" But this particular freedman likely knew, not just "survival skills learned in bondage," but also the Gospels. Many readers nowadays would not recognize the quoted phrase as coming directly from Matthew 10:16. Mentioning the Gospel source would have fit into the sentence but was omitted, and I was left wondering whether Campbell himself knew the source.

Despite my criticisms of this book, it does deserve the five-star rating and is a good introduction to the subject. The attentive reader of this book would come to understand what a large subject Texas history is, but ought to feel a need for further reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SCORE!, April 25, 2004
By 
AK Gauthier (OK United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I must admit I checked this book out from the Library three times prior to purchasing it. This is one of those books that you can pick up and read anytime any where and choose the topic you want to research. The author has done a superb job of making the information interesting and full of facts AT THE SAME TIME! Imagine that....readable and informative. I really enjoy having this book in my library and telling people all the new things I have learned about History. I have not yet finished the book, I am really savoring every morsel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the best books on comprehensive Texas history, November 27, 2006
This was the textbook for my Texas history class in college, and it was one of the few texts I kept for my own use. For history buffs and especially for those interested in Texas' unique history, this is a great book to have on your shelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition on Texas history, December 11, 2004
By 
J. Sam Moore Jr. (El Paso, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Mike Campbell's comprehensive one volume work on Texas history deserves a place on the bookshelves in every Texas library and home. All Texans, whether native born or newcomers, will add to their knowledge of Texas history after a reading of this fine book. The book recently received the Award of Merit given by The Philosophical Society of Texas for a book published on Texas.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest look at the history of the Great State, September 13, 2006
This review is from: Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State (Paperback)
Campbell's one-volume history is a celebration and also an honest treatment of the Lone Star State's history. While it won't satisfy those who see Texas History as one long string of triumphs, "Gone to Texas" will surely take its rightful place as a book that "told it how it was," rather than how we'd like to see it.

Like John Ferling's treatment of the American Revolution in "A Leap in the Dark," Randolph Campbell retells Texas history in narrative form, and the volume reads like a great big story. The prose is easy to comprehend without feeling condescending or oversimplified, and the reader is guided by numerous maps and illustrations. Campbell inserts a dash of wit (without becoming cynical) throughout, keeping things from becoming too serious!

While I'm not widely read in this field, Campbell's history seems both authoritative and easily read...a delightful celebration, in all its triumphs and failings, of the Lone Star State.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 4 books in one and none of the good., July 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State (Paperback)
As a native Texan woefully weak in Texas history I recently decided to begin the journey. `Gone to Texas' was a problematic start. The book begins as a vibrant historical journey and slowly transitions to a verbose encyclopedic roll call of political players. I'm left with the impression the intent of the book was the mundane and emotionless cataloging of political players in 20th century Texas with the beginning of the book serving as filler.

I use the phrase `political players' because the true politics and issues affecting the Texas of the day are seldom discussed. I've read more engaging editions of political who's-who. I found myself skimming through the later third of the book to end the horror.

The first third of the book is good. Not outstanding, not excellent, but serviceable. I did learn much and have a good starting point for specific areas I'd like to further investigate.

The middle third is a mix of the ends. I found it odd there is no discussion of any natural disasters that befell Texas, from tornados to hurricanes and more. The Kennedy assassination garners only a paragraph or two. There was nothing on the musical and entertainment history of Texas. Not even Buddy Holly. Other than a cursory mention of the Dallas Cowboys there is nothing on football, much less high school football.

And while I wasn't looking for the history of my hometown a glaring omission is any real focus on the development, growth and significance of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to the state. Only population growth and racial makeup of late 19th and 20th Century Texas cities are covered in detail. Any significant local or regional Texan fails to make the cut of `Gone to Texas'.

The majority of Texans highlighted are those that contributed to the story of the United States.
This approach leads to an inordinate amount of time spent discussing the United States and world affairs. Obviously the three are related but in an attempt to familiarize the reader with these factors the focus of the book randomly shifts, within chapters and sometimes pages. When a reader gets to the point of the book where Texas joins the Union this issue begins and is exacerbated from there.

Is it Texas geographical history? American history? World history? Is it about `the guys that managed to get elected to congress in Texas' history?

Yes. And it isn't good at any of them.

This book is terribly mistitled. There is little discussion about the people who went to Texas, what they did when they got there and what became of them. In the preview of the book it talks about all the people pulling out and writing 'gone to texas' on their doors or windows. The preview is the last place you'll hear about that happening, was a selling point of the book for me, and the assertion is at best a half-truth, at worst an out right propaganda lie to sell the book.

I have no respect for books that promise to deliver one thing and then patently ignore one of the prime selling points.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone to Texas, April 11, 2009
This review is from: Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State (Paperback)
Extremely interesting read. Covers the history of Texas from antiquity to the present. Goes into considerable detail without becoming boring or bogging down in knowledge.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lone Star History, March 9, 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State (Paperback)
Texas has as colorful a history as any state in the Union. As Randolph Campbell asserts in this look back at the state's past, Texas has been attracting immigrants for centuries and continues to do so today. Campbell notes that while people in the Southeast in the 1830s and 1840s may have literally inscribed "Gone to Texas" or "GTT" on homesteads that they were about to abandon, many, many millions more have done so figuratively. Since 1983 I have been glad that my father was in the latter group--my family left Michigan and 30 years ago today I set foot in the Lone Star State for the first time ever as a new resident.

"Gone to Texas" starts in prehistoric times and chronicles the social, military, political, and economic history of Texas through the early years of the twenty-first century. For the first few centuries after Europeans first explored the area, Texas was Spanish, and Campbell's description of that period is great. Other countries and peoples began to covet the area, and the book describes the Anglo settlement after Texas became Mexican--the author ably examines the Texas Revolution and some of the myths surrounding it. The book's look at Texas during the years that it was independent and during the Civil War is also especially good.

Texas began to grow especially rapidly after the Civil War, quickly becoming one of the most important states in the Union. Campbell remembers what each of the governors, some of whom were pretty colorful characters, accomplished after Reconstruction, and recalls all of the vital events of the state's history in the twentieth century, including oil booms and busts, industrialization, the development of the education system, participation in the World Wars, desegregation, continued migration of people from other parts of the country, economic diversification, and the rise of the Republican Party.

Campbell closes by offering his opinion on what makes Texas distinct from the rest of the country. The book includes excellent maps, pictures, and illustrations, and the two appendices give population information since 1850 and list the governors of Texas going back to Spanish times. "Gone to Texas" is marred only in one place by annoying political commentary about the lack of a state income tax, and is an outstanding recollection of the people and events that have made the Lone Star State what it is today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State
Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State by Randolph B. Campbell (Paperback - February 12, 2004)
Used & New from: $8.18
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.