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As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  867 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
Not until she visited Texas, that proud state of big oil and bigger ambitions, did Gail Collins, the best-selling author and columnist for the New York Times, realize that she had missed the one place that mattered most in America’s political landscape. Raised in Ohio, Collins had previously seen the American fundamental divide as a war between the Republican heartland and ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2012 by Liveright (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I lived in Texas for 19 of the most miserable of my 66 years. Native Yankees who are not sorority sisters, who value education and who are unreligious feminists do not transfer well to these open spaces. Everything that Collins describes about Texas in this book is oh so true. For those who want "facts" -- well they are legion in this book. In fact there is a well referenced notes section and a bibliography (that contains both material from the left and right positions of our political spe ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
If you pick up Gail Collins’s new book hoping for a Seamus the Dog reference, you might be disappointed.

The author and New York Times columnist is best known of late for her running gag of inserting a reference to Seamus into each of her columns, but Collins has long had other interests.

Her latest work is As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda. With a title like that, you can understand that there would be precious little space to devote to the time Mitt Romney drove
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a super-abridged review. You can read the full thing here.

As a Texan, I had the misfortune of being governed by Dumb and Dumber way before they decided to take their circus to the (inter)national level. And as an educator and a feminist, I've always tried to stay informed and keep up with the shenanigans going on in my state. Naturally, when I saw that Gail Collins had penned a new book about Texas's impact at the national level, I had to get a hold of it.

From financial deregulation, to
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This author, Gail Collins really knows what she is talking about! I think everyone should read this book, especially Texans so people are more educated about the state they are actually living in. As a Houstonian, I found this book insightful, thoroughly researched, and for the most part unbiased. Collins really attempts to give you the whole picture without being overly rude or condescending. But be ready for a healthy dose of sarcasm. Most of the things she discussed in the book (healthca ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Unless you want to be thought of as a commodity like a palate of car parts, we best start thinking of our policies from a non-free market approach.
This book is a painful look at the ways Texas has set the US on the wrong course for so many policies. Privatize everything and corporations will fill that vacuum and ruin your life. The corporations want you to buy everything from them so they are funding this free-market takeover of the government. Texas doesn't want any government help but facts s
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
***** Goodreads giveaway *****

Texas: government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations with the heaviest tax burden on the poorest to get more government money for corporations.

Texas: Home of Tea Partiers who hate communism but do wishful-thinking science & math like the USSR, fanatically toe the party-line like the USSR, believe their own propaganda like the USSR, and who will never recognize that they're imitating the USSR's fall because they believe St. Ronald s
Stacy Bearse
A snarky look at the economic and social contradiction that is the state of Texas, birthplace of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement which is permeating the GOP. Business is booming in Texas, thanks to a skewed tax structure and lax regulation. On the other hand, its industrial areas have the dirtiest air and water in the country. Texas' leaders abhor the Federal Affordable Care Act, yet the Lone Star State has the highest percentage of uninsured children in the nation (one-third of adult, ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm aware of the BIG money some of the Texans use to back candidates that will "help" their interests over the years. This year I'm a bit more interested since THEY (whoever THEY are) found a willing YES MAN in NJ's current governor. So when I scanned the shelves of the library this book's title was a definite "take home".

I was looking specifically for who has the money ...but I was more than pleased with the author's funny, witty, snarky observations!! She explained plenty! I am a novice when
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Between the Texas led banking deregulation and giving the country No Child Left Behind while coming in dead last in the country for "percent of population 25 and older with a high school diploma", Texas is pulling the rest of the country south. Living here for most of my life, it's almost easy to forget that there is a "rest of the country" other than those vague dreams of OZ. It was very nice to get an outsiders perspective on the crazy that is Texas.
Victoria Chafin
Sep 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in a Goodreads first reads giveaway.

I made it through the prologue hoping it was not just a rant from a woman who judges a place and people she doesn't even know. Then the embarrassment hit. She is from my state and is doing exactly what I dreaded. I started to read the first chapter and less than two sentences in there was a typo. Sorry, but no. Just no.
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
She brings up some good points, and if you're from Texas, nothing new is being addressed. However, I can't finish this. She's too much of a talking head, a columnist driven by reaction and web traffic, and I'm tired of it. Whether the left or right, I'm done with books that spend more time vilifying people they don't agree with and less time discussing possible solutions and common ground.
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, a warning: If you are a member of the Tea Party, or a die-hard Republican, you will not like this book. In fact, you will probably throw it across the room in a frustrated rage after the third or fourth chapter. If you are one of those people who drive around with a bumper sticker on your dualie pickup truck that reads "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could", the same likely goes for you.

Gail Collins is so funny, and she has Texas pegged. I am not a native Texan, but
John G.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book to read, found it reduced from 13 to 3 bucks in a used book store here in San Antonio, guess they didn't like what the author had to say, ha! I've lived here in San Antonio for over 4 1/2 years, having lived in many different states and been stationed over seas in Germany, which means I live in Texas but I am not of Texas and do not identify with the Texas mindset, in fact, it scares me. This book helped articulate the myths that drive Texans, I think most Texans are ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-world
An engaging and interesting book that, well, many Texans probably won't like this book. It doesn't paint a favorable picture of the future for Texas either. Texas likes to think of itself as the biggest and best-est but they are rapidly becoming a feudal place with lots of disadvantaged folks working low paying jobs with no health care. They are rivaling Mississippi in being in the bottom on many lists in health and education as well as social-unwed mothers, STD's, etc. They are twice what Calif ...more
Vickie Buenger
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gail Collins taught me more than one thing in As Texas Goes.

The biggest epiphany was that something has happened to journalism since the advent of 24-hour news networks. The events, quotes, personalities, and misfortunes of each news cycle quickly displace the previous events, quotes, personalities, and misfortunes. Everything flickers by--just like your Facebook wall or Twitter feed. With out the context, analysis, and broader story arc, the dots remain unconnected and even important things fa
Disclosure: I won a free copy of this on Goodreads. I'm also a long-time resident of Texas.

Regarding the facts and arguments of her case, for the most part I accept them. I believe her portrayal of Texas as the wackiest of the states sells short so many others - I was in Louisiana for the David Duke/Buddy Roemer/Edwin Edwards election, and certainly Florida has plenty of hijinks for us all to laugh and/or cringe about - but it is probably fair to say that Texas does currently have a disproporti
Jim Razinha
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent....but I can't help but wonder if I'm succumbing to confirmation bias. Hmm.... nope. It's still an excellent read.

Well researched, well documented, very well composed. It should appeal to - and scare the hell out of - non-Texans. Maybe. Maybe not.

Ms. Collins skewers the players and hypocrisies (she's a little more gentle...calling them "ironies") an even handed, if harsh, journalistic approach. I suspect the natives would view the perpetrators as heroes and the policies as triumphant e
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Texan, this book irritated the hell out of me, and maybe that is exactly the point. The facts she chose to include are accurate and painful but that was not my problem with Ms. Collins. My problem, as a transplanted Texan who now calls New England her home, is the air of East Coast condescension that trickles in and then turns into a raging river that sweeps away some of what she is trying to say. I bet my daddy's ranch that the folks in Texas treated her with way more respect than she give ...more
Harry Lane
Collins is a clever writer who gets off some priceless, laugh out loud lines. But the book is ultimately a very sad one that chronicles just how wrong-headed public policy can be. The theme of the book is that Texas, which is outsize in so very many ways (and lots of them dysfunctional,) has an outsize influence on the rest of the country. Collins presents this in a very entertaining way, but it is notable that a quarter of the book is comprised of notes documenting her assertions. There are no ...more
Julie Anderson
I adore Gail Collins. I've lived in Texas for the past 25 years. Not only did I watch the schools forced into this testing fiasco as my kids went through the system, I also had daily nightmares doing a stint as a test scorer for the company making all the money off this shindig. Now that would make a story.

Very well researched. As always, well written and a fascinating topic.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I greatly enjoyed Collins' light touch and insights. There were times I wanted to add explanations, being from Texas (these days, but not really). But she clearly writes that this is her outsiders' view and some of what she says will rub the wrong way. Still, worthwhile.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Gail Collins' sense of humor and she seems to know her stuff. Sure do miss Molly Ivins, though.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
frustrating and backwards. Thorough coverage.
Diana Olivares
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the title doesn't draw you in, maybe some of the quotes below will. As a Texan, born and bred, it was interesting to see how non-Texas perceive Texas. I grew up uninsured, as it turns out so many fellow Texans did and still do, but I realized I bought into some of the hype, but I knew about the stark disparities, the colonias, the politicians with convenient blinders. But Collin's presents convincing arguments using statistics and other facts that help focus the picture. I new Texas was one o ...more
Jenn Lopez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never heard of this author and was curious. All I can say is the rest of the country better start being nicer to us Texans. Without even trying, we are destroying the country. She blames Texas and Texas politicians for everything since LBJ and the Vietnam war, including S&L financial crisis, energy crisis, Enron, California power issues, global warming, education -"No Child Left Behind"; guns used all over the country and internationally, healthcare. Texas is single handily turning ou ...more
Jacque Cullers
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting book. I've lived in Texas for the last 24 years and I guess I'm still not really a Texan! An Austinite maybe, but not a Texan. It is fascinating to see how the Texas agenda has shaped the United States. I have family in other states and can see now why not everyone is fond of Texas. There is a lot of Texas pride and Texans aren't afraid to show it.
Sandy Rose
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bingo-2017
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Gail is the best! Easy and fun read.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoyed this book. Gail Collins is a great storyteller, and this book is even more fun to read than her last two.

I am a lifelong Democrat, born and raised in Texas, have lived all over the state - in Houston for the past 20 years - and I agree with Ms Collins' dismal view of state government policies/priorities since Bush became governor. There are some great big train wrecks on our horizon if the electorate continues to show little or no interest in the quality of public education,
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Gail Collins was the Editorial Page Editor of The New York Times from 2001 to January 1, 2007. She was the first woman Editorial Page Editor at the Times.

Born as Gail Gleason, Collins has a degree in journalism from Marquette University and an M.A. in government from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Beyond her work as a journalist, Collins has published several books; Scorpion Tongues: Gos
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“The state’s ability to rear, educate, and prepare all the little Texans to take their place in the national economy is going to be an excellent predictor of how well the whole country will be faring down the line. We will get into that later, but—spoiler alert—the” 0 likes
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