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Texas: A Compact History Paperback – February 6, 2007


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Texas: A Compact History + The Making Of A Civil Rights Leader (Hispanic Civil Rights) + As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: State House Press (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193333715X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933337159
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Compact History' ought to be required reading for anyone who questions why this state and its people truly are unique." -- Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel

"a fabulous book for anyone studying the United States and Texas. . . . McDonald's book gives enough details without getting bogged down in minutia." -- Eclectic Homeschool Online

"While most Texans think bigger is better, in the case of McDonald's book, that isn't necessarily the case. -- BookBeat

About the Author

ARCHIE P. McDONALD is the author of numerous books dealing with various aspects of Texas history, including Back Then: Simple Pleasures and Everyday Heroes (State House Press, 2005)

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Customer Reviews

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I encourage anyone who is interested in catching a glimpse of the making of Texas to read this book.
Carey Kitts
Those are small things to be sure, but basic facts like those make you question the accuracy and thoroughness of the research performed before writing the book.
Brandon Travis
A phrase in bold marks the main topic being discussed every few paragraphs, allowing for quick and easy browsing of highlighted historical events.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Travis on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book in general is okay, but the author apparently had no one to edit the book for him. On page 16, NASA is called the "National Air and Space Agency" (it's the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Later in the book (around p.225), NASA is called the "National Space and Aeronautics Administration", which doesn't even make sense (NSAA?).

Those are small things to be sure, but basic facts like those make you question the accuracy and thoroughness of the research performed before writing the book. Also, as another reviewer has mentioned, the author repeatedly uses words that grammatically make no sense (euphony instead of euphemism is just one of probably five examples I can think of).

The book is a quick read and is filled with basic facts that give the reader a general understanding of the history of Texas, but I suspect there are better texts than this one that accomplish that feat.
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Format: Paperback
Texas: A Compact History condenses hundreds of years of Texas history into a no-nonsense chronological narrative. A phrase in bold marks the main topic being discussed every few paragraphs, allowing for quick and easy browsing of highlighted historical events. An index rounds out this easy-to-follow guide, especially ideal for browsing prior to traveling to Texas for business or pleasure. "The elimination of the buffalo produced two significant results in Texas. It forced the Indians to remain on reservations to obtain food and it opened th plains for the spread of cattle raising." Enthusiastically recommended for anyone who wants to quickly familiarize themselves with Texas history.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Volokh on March 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is appropriate for, perhaps, a junior high school or high school student. The language is very basic, the historical analysis is very superficial, the formatting is sometimes sloppy (one of the poems placed as epigraphs to each chapter is supposed to be in two columns, but the columns run together, which makes the poem incomprehensible), and there are embarrassing typos ("functions" for "fluctuations," "euphony" for "euphemism," etc.).

The book has two virtues. First, I'm not aware of any information that's actually false, so at least you can learn the basic facts of Texas history from this book. (But take this with a grain of salt, because I barely know any Texas history!) Second, at 230 pages, it's very short and can be read in a day or two. (That second factor was the reason I bought the book.) But for my next book on Texas history, I'm going to try Campbell's "Gone to Texas," which is twice as long but has excellent reviews.
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Format: Paperback
Exactly as it states, a superficial history of the state. Compact in the extreme. But must there be so many errors? Misspellings, facts out of place, and the like. For instance, p. 173, the lyrics to "Waiting for a Train" are mis-arranged. The base map for most of the maps have lines denoting elevation that confuse the hell out of you, see, for instance, p. 139, where the escarpment lines look like railroad lines. And this, p. 224: "Gore had slightly more popular votes, Bush more electoral votes and the U.S. Supreme Court intervened to prevent a complete recount of votes in Florida..." Well, no. The Supreme Court "rules," it doesn't unilaterally "intervene." And the Court didn't "prevent a complete recount of votes in Florida," it stopped a recount in three select heavily Democratic counties cherry-picked by Gore that were counting crazily to get Gore more votes. Aside from this, this book might serve well as a text for middle-schoolers, or even fifth graders, and as a quick read for a non-Texan it is informative, but all in all, for me, it was a cursory disappointment. It could use images, better maps, an editor, a selected bibliography or bibliographic essay, and a proper index.
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By Ronda Kahlar on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Compact book of History. Gives you just enough to see and know and the rest is up to the reader to explore. Perfect tool in creating a 4th grade Texas journal and workbook for my homeschooler.
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By Janice K Hurst on January 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book that helped me review Texas History. This book does that. What it doesn't do is "wow" me. The print is small and it is very boringly factual. Give me the facts, but a little humor and humanness would help.
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