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Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  281 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Here is an up-to-the-moment history of the Lone Star State, together with an insider's look at the people, politics, and events that have shaped Texas from the beginning right up to our days. Never before has the story been told with more vitality and immediacy. Fehrenbach re-creates the Texas saga from prehistory to the Spanish and French invasions to the heyday of the co ...more
Paperback, 792 pages
Published April 7th 2000 by Da Capo Press (first published 1968)
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Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. GwynneThree Roads to the Alamo by William C. DavisGoodbye to a River by John GravesLone Star by T.R. FehrenbachThe Captured by Scott Zesch
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4th out of 41 books — 17 voters
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102nd out of 140 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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Like Michener's novels, T.R. Fehrenbach starts at the beginning. I mean the beginning. As in the Ice Age. This makes Lone Star a broad, ambitious history, but also saps its strength towards the end. Up to and through the Civil War, there is a lot of great detail, fascinating personages, and rollicking stories. Then we get to the last couple hundred pages dealing with Texas in the 20th century and we get broad strokes, no personalities, and vague racism. (The book was originally written in 1968, ...more
It only took me about 4 1/2 months, but I finally finished this mammoth book. At 750+ pages, sometimes I felt like I was reading War and Peace, but it hardly ever lagged, and was persistently well-written and informative.

Having moved to Texas a few years ago, this book answered many questions that I once had about this state and its inhabitants. Questions such as:

• Where did all of these street and city names come from? (Austin, Houston, Travis, Lamar, San Jacinto, etc.)
• Why are we supposed to
Scott Martin
Read the 2000 version. I had this book on the shelf for a long time, but finally got around to reading it. Relearned a few things long forgotten from 7th grade history and picked up some new facts. For this book, you can tell it was written by someone from Texas and the South. The American Civil War is always referred to as the War Between the States. His focus centers on the land and the role of land in Texas. Fehrenbach doesn't take the approach that Texas is the greatest land on earth, nor do ...more
Ayne Ray
It can be argued that Austin is to Texas what Lawrence is to Kansas (for all my Kansas brethren, you know what I mean), and I’ll admit that I had many stereotypical ideas about Texas before I moved to its capitol city. But I’ve found it to be a truly unique state with a fascinating history, and Texans have a rather singularly deep appreciation for the sense of place and identity the state stamps upon its citizens. So forget what you think you know, and take a look at Texas with a pair of fresh e ...more
Dac Crossley
Lone Star is an excellent history of the state of Texas. Fehrenbach was born in San Benito - has to know what he is talking about! He has written a dozen or so historical works, and was head of the Texas History Commission (I forget the exact title of the organization).

I read this book on my iPad. This is the 1968 edition, revised in 2002. Wish he would revise it again - he must be in his mid-eighties. I will keep it on my iPad because I'm sure to refer to it from time to time.

If you're going to
Harvey Smith
I thoroughly enjoyed this comprehensive historical perspective of Texas, and the Texans. It started with ancient times when Amerinds came to settle the area, and ended with modern times.

Texas is a state unlike any other perhaps. They have a history of their own, one born of actively living on an unfriendly Indian frontier for generations.

Lots of informative explanations of how Mexicans migrated to the state, and didn't assimilate. That explains why today many Mexicans who have lived in Texas fo
Glen Robinson
I bought this book because after emigrating to Texas 15 years ago, I thought it was time to find out more about the state's history. I have always been fascinated with its early years and especially the settler's relationship with the Comanches. The book is hefty--almost 800 pages--and covers a lot, but doesn't cover everything. It didn't mention the hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900, and says nothing about Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. It does--to my joy--talk about the Battle of ...more
With so many friends I've come to know living in the great state of Texas I wanted to learn a bit more. Of course no children's-sized version would do for this head-strong girl, I dove right in. I approached this book knowing I just wanted to learn some new things about Texas. In no way did I expect to remember all the information I'd read.

I actually enjoyed this book, despite my sometimes grumbling about how long it was taking me (ended up being 7 months!) or something about the history I didn'
If you are new to Texas, or maybe not so new (it's been 15 years since moving to Austin from Chicago), this book can rid you of a great deal of naivete. Some things every Texan really should know:

Where and when did Native Americans begin using horses?
Empressarios such as Stephen F. Austin, who were they and what was their purpose?
What European country (other than Spain) had/has a dominant cultural influence in San Antonio and the Hill Country?
What popular sentiments caused Texas to secede from
Reading this book is like listening to your favorite football team or baseball team's radio broadcast. If you are not bothered by the "homer" perspective of the broadcaster it is great. A little more objective perspective may be nice if you are not a fan of that team.
TR Fehrenbach is a Texas homer. So if you have lived your whole life in Texas and love the state like it if heaven on earth you will love this book.
May 27, 2015 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: history
Lone Star is a densely detailed history of Texas up to the late 20th century. Fehrenbach begins with native peoples before the arrival of the Spanish. He spends most of the book in the 19th century circling back and forth among national and state concerns and realities connecting well how majority attitudes and politics developed in the state in often striking juxtaposition to the nation. His presentation of the 20th century is sketchy with only broad strokes but perhaps he was too close to this ...more
Mark Myers
Very good survey history of Texas. Surveys usually tend to be dry and due to their broad nature only give a superficial history at best. Fehrenbach does a good job of keeping it interesting by delving into specific stories at points to highlight an era. He does tend to gloss over major events, the Alamo, San Jacinto, etc. in favor of "previous writers have given good coverage" or "much has been written previously" but that's the nature of a survey. All in all a good general book about Texas hist ...more
I have lived in Texas most of my life and finally this book explained it to me. Fehrenbach not only tells the history of Texas but explains the character of Texas and Texans. This book should be the textbook in public school Texas History classes. He is partial to Texans being one himself, but he is very thorough and even-handed. An excellent book.
Jun 28, 2013 Michiel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Texans or future residents of the state
Recommended to Michiel by: Book Lust
Shelves: texas, non-fiction
I'm giving this 4 stars because it's a readable history of a huge subject. However, smaller bits are done better in other books.

Where Fehrenbach shines is in the parts about the Indians. He knows his stuff and presents it well. He makes me want to dig deeper. Where things got laggy was during the Civil War, and the blow-by-blow of border wars with Mexico.

One thing about Fehrenbach, he is Texan and is unapologetic of putting things forward from a Texan's perspective. His book gave me a new perspe
Laura Finger
I was really spoiled when it came to learning Texas history. Unlike most people, I first encountered Texas history by reading original documents in Houston, Galveston and Austin. Now that I'm a Texile, I've started looking at secondary sources.

I have a graduate degree in History, and I take any scholar's work with a grain of salt. This is a great addition to Texas history.

I read it as an e-book, which turned out to be really stupid decision on my part. The long blocks of texts are difficult to
Lyn Talbert
I didn't read it.
I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars. It was not mediocre, so I couldn't give it three stars. For a 700 page history book it keeps you engaged, but being history it sometimes is hard to get through. I feel like I know more about Texas history now (which was my goal) and have a better sense of some of the attitudes me and my compadres have there that seem foreign to people in other parts of the country. I don't agree with all the things the writer says, but overall I'm glad to have read this b ...more
Tom McKone
Very enjoyable book on Texas.
Almost finished.
If you want to know how history and culture effects the milieu of the people around you and why things are the way they are then this is a very good read. It is a good read on its own.
I guess I have always taken being a Texan for granted but now I want a stetson, a pair of black boots and a Colt 45. Since I am afraid of horses I guess I'll just look the simpleton I am walking down the streets of Oxford meting out justice as I see fit.
Mills College Library
976.4 F296 2000
Wicked Incognito Now
Jun 28, 2012 Wicked Incognito Now marked it as dnf-meh-i-m-just-not-that-into-you  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I started reading this to beef up on my Texas history knowledge because I was moving to Texas and about to take the social studies teacher certification test. However, we are no longer moving to Texas, so I don't feel an immediate need to know all about Texas history.

This is well-written though, and I will probably revisit it in the future when I'm more in the mood for some Texas history non-fiction.
Apr 19, 2007 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Texophiles
Yikes! Seriously in-depth history of Texas. It took me like a year to read through the mission period, alone. Still, once you've slogged your way through a bit, you realize exactly how amazing Texas is. Umm, sorry to thse of you who think Texas is less than amazing. Read this, and maybe it will change your mind.
Finally finished this wonderful book. Imbed the way he told us how the people felt and thought about how they were treated, their misfortunes and the land they conquered. As a fifth generation Texan, I think he is pretty "spot on".

Sometimes it was hard to make it through all the political stuff.
Jan 09, 2008 Al rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Lenghty, Semi-Exhausitive, & Detailed. I enjoyed several chapters & bored to tears on others. Overall, I am glad I read this history book. I think it is important that everyone read about their history & the history of where they are living. Texans should read this book.
I was proud of myself, I got this done in only two weeks two days!
I came away with a good overview of Texan History but I did not like the frequent descriptions of the raids that happened. I also didn't agree with his critical outlook on the missions.

Fehrenbach is a spectacularly readable historian. He covers his subjects with academic rigor but manages to make his writing burst with life. Lone Star is no exception. Highly recommended for anyone who likes Texas or American history in general.
Jul 08, 2008 Andy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: texas history buffs
this book is better than kentucky fried chicken bisquits. a people's history of texas .. starting 10,000 years ago with the native "amerinds" it follows the people of texas to present day in terms of warring and killing.
A great perspective on the history of the Lone Star State. I enjoyed the fact that the book started with pre-historic times, leading up to current era. Concurrently, the book sometimes dragged.
Ed Belding
In my opinion this is the authoritative history of Texas. I highly recommended it to anyone interested in a thorough treatment of Texas history from Neolithic times to the modern era.
I think this is history written in the quintessential Texas -old guy- voice. The author has some good points, although somewhat dated. It's a must for any carpetbaggers.
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Theodore Reed Fehrenbach, Jr. was an American historian, columnist, and the former head of the Texas Historical Commission (1987-1991). He graduated from Princeton University in 1947, and had published more than twenty books, including the best seller Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans and This Kind of War, about the Korean War.

Although he served as a U.S. Army officer during the Korean War,
More about T.R. Fehrenbach...
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