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Texas Mass Market Paperback – June 12, 1987

176 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Michener's latest combination of mam moth research, history, and fiction ex udes all the color, courage, villainy, vi olence, and independent spirit expect ed from the Lone Star state. The book's organizing principle is a governor's task force created to study the state. It is composed of stereotypical Texans: oil man, rancher, genteel descendant of Southern aristocracy, Chicano, etc. Their ancestors are Texasevery one an adventurer, from a Spanish mission ary to Scots-Irish and Germans hungry for land and freedom, to a minister sent to civilize Comanches, to Mexican ban dits and Texas Rangers. Interspersed among these sagas are task force meet ings in various Texas cities to study lo cal geography and natural historya far more accessible approach than pre vious Michener tomes that lump them in heavy opening chapters. Purists may object to the overabundance of dramat ic incidents, but they make exciting reading. Highly recommended. Cyn thia Johnson Wheall er, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“A book about oil and water, rangers and outlaws, frontier and settlement, money and power . . . [James A. Michener] manages to make history vivid.”The Boston Globe
“A sweeping panorama . . . [Michener] grapples earnestly with the Texas character in a way that Texas’s own writers often don’t.”The Washington Post Book World
“Vast, sprawling, and eclectic in population and geography, the state has just the sort of larger-than-life history that lends itself to Mr. Michener’s taste for multigenerational epics.”The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1344 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; 1st edition (June 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449210928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449210925
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By kone TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 7, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Author James A. Michener has conceived and written an epic novel about the state we now know as Texas. Using his characteristic writing style of starting at the very beginning (in this case, with Coronado looking for the 7 cities of Cibola) and then developing the story generation after generation through his many rich and interesting characters. Michener tells the complete story of Texas, from its beginnings to the present. The reader learns how Texas was first "settled" by Spanish priests who came to bring salvation to the natives, what animals first roamed its lands (He devotes part of a chapter to the armadillo and it is very interesting reading!), what the native "Indians" were like and how they survivied in this sometimes harsh environment, how the Americans took the land from Mexico in the Spanish-American war, the Alamo and what really happened there, how the discovery of oil changed the state from a huge open-range cattle pasture to an economic giant, and finally, it tells the story of the multi-ethnic people of Texas, and this perhaps is Michener's strength in story-telling.

Yes, the novel is a long one - over 1,000 pages, but it is still an absorbing page-turner. Each chapter is a mini-novel in itself and tells the story of a particular generation of people in Texas' development. Michener has a knack of creating and developing characters that are both interesting and believable and this is his greatest strength as a writer. The reader comes to care about these fictious charcters as though they are living breathing realities, and in a sense, the charcters are "real", as Michener's painstaking research enabled him to form his charcters based on historical personages.

"Texas" is a marvelous book, and for those that are into long sweeping novels, this is a book for you.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Thomas VINE VOICE on April 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read most of Michener's work, and I rate Texas among the big three, not only in size but in quality. (The other two are Centennial and Chesapeake). I particularly like the way Michener presents the entire history of Texas, and yet focuses on the key aspects of change that make this region so interesting. We see how cotton, cattle, oil, barbed wire, football, etc have changed the very culture of the people of Texas. Each long chapter is another window from which we can see the evolution of the landscape and the people. We see the hearty characters that made Texas what it is today and examine the very heart of the issues which shape the modern day Texan. For all of this, it is a novel, with the sweeping epic qualities of Gone With the Wind or Michener's other great works. Don't let the size stop you. The novel is as big as the state itself, and worth every minute of the ride.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Howard on December 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This has to be one of James Michener's greatest achievements. If this isn't his best book, it is one of his best. At 1322 pages you would think that would be enough, but with all of the topics JM touches I actually found myself wanting more.
Mercifully this one does not start with the formation of the earth's crust. Instead, JM jumps into the action and begins a saga that lasts almost 500 years. From the Indians, to the Spanish Friars, to the Alamo, gunslingers, frontiersmen, immigrants, cattleman, entrepreneurs, Texas Rangers, real estate barons, King Cotton, oil men, and football. This only scratches the surface.
JM follows the lives of several families from their immigration to Texas and the lives they cut out for themselves while there. Beyond fascinating. I highly recommend this book. Don't let the size of it scare you off because if is a fast read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on February 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Michener's books are long and all of us who are fans know this, but this one is probably the longest one. It does get a bit tedious at times, but the book is very good and it's worth persevering with it. I don't know what our reader from Denmark was thinking, but the book is certainly not dreadful. I found the history of this state totally fascinating, and it felt like I was there when Texas was just coming into being I felt like one of those intrepid settlers that were responsible for making Texas a state. I would like to visit this state sometime because it has a great history. The story was good and the characters strong. I especially liked the story about the Alamo. This almost mythic battle comes alive in the book. America you have a lot to be proud of in this state.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By bookkook on July 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is surely one of the most pleasant ways to learn the vast history of Texas, a most unusual place as the author notes. The attention to historical detail and the clear distinction between fact and fiction are meticulous, which was the author's trademark judging from other books.

Regarding the fictional component,it appears that in pursuit of packing in the large history, the story became very long, too long in my opinion. I would have preferred fewer characters in a more compact story. Not surprisingly, the sheer number of characters made it hard to develop them evenly. Some of them simply disappear, or surface much later in the book in a one sentence update.

I recommend this book for readers that view books as an opportunity personal development as well as entertainment - readers that prefer entertainment only will likely find the length too daunting. I am in the former group and I felt very productive as a reader, learning basic Texas history while relaxing with a nice story.
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