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‘EAR, NEWS, AND THROAT’
‘Lone Star: A History of Texas and theTexans’ A REALLY GREAT STORY
I’ve lived in Texas for seven years but, for a long time, knew next to nothing about its history. To be fair, I think most people learn about their state history when they’re in elementary school. Ask me about Virginia, where I grew up, and I bet I can still conjure up some historical fun facts. Ryan Holiday, one of my favorite authors, sends out an email once a month with a list of book recommendations. When I saw a book about Texas history on that list a few months ago, I decided it was time to learn a bit more about this great state.
So far, it’s been a really good read. Fehrenbach was a historian, but he wrote like a novelist. The early history of Texas is filled with action and adventure, and Fehrenbach really managed to capture the excitement.
As the book begins to reach the events that created Texas as we know it today, you start to see some familiar names. A lot of the big cities in Texas are named after important historical figures who shaped the state. For example, Austin is named for Stephen Austin, the first North American who settled in Texas and started the first colony, and Houston gets its name from Sam Houston, who led the army that defeated Mexican troops during the Texas Revolution in 1836. Even the smaller towns and locations are named for historical events, like early settlements or famous battles. Recently, when new patients have come in to see me, I’ve been getting a kick out of reading their forms, seeing what town they’re from, and now knowing about some major event that happened in that area in the 1800s. It really makes me feel like I’m part of this state now. If you’re looking for some summer reading, I highly recommend “Lone Star.” Texas is a great state with a fascinating history. Fehrenbach did a great job collecting that history into one book.
The book Holiday recommended is “Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans” by T.R. Fehrenbach. This massive book is almost 800 pages long and covers all of Texas history up until it was published in 1968, though it was updated slightly in 2000.
When I say all of Texas history, I do mean all of it. Fehrenbach starts with the region’s prehistoric days, when the T. rex was marching around. He goes on to cover the
various Native Tribes who lived in this area, as well as the French and Spanish invasions, Mexico declaring its independence from Spain,
and Texas declaring its independence from Mexico. At the time of writing, I just got to the Texas Revolution and the founding of the Republic of Texas.
“A lot of the big cities in Texas are named after important historical figures who shaped the state.”
It’s not a boring, dense textbook; it flows well and is enjoyable to read. History is a story, after all, and it turns out that Texas has a pretty great story to tell.
–Dr. Seth Evans
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