Passionate Nation

The Epic History of Texas

978-1-57441-857-6 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0 in
672 pp. 36 b&w illus.
Pub Date: 05/31/2022


  • Paperback $24.95
Utilizing many sources new to publication, James L. Haley delivers a most readable and enjoyable narrative history of Texas, told through stories—the words and recollections of Texans who actually lived the state’s spectacular history. From Jim Bowie’s and Davy Crockett’s myth-enshrouded stand at the Alamo, to the Mexican-American War, and to Sam Houston’s heroic failed effort to keep Texas in the Union during the Civil War, the transitions in Texas history have often been as painful and tense as the “normal” periods in between. Here, in all of its epic grandeur, is the story of Texas as its own passionate nation.

“Texas native Haley does an outstanding job of narrating the outsized and dramatic history of the Lone Star State. John Steinbeck observed, ‘Like most passionate nations, Texas has its own private history based on, but not limited by, facts.’ Cognizant of this, Haley takes pains to separate folklore from fact. He's a good storyteller, but then it's hard to go wrong with the colorful characters he has to work with: pioneer nationalists Sam Houston and Davy Crockett, Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lundy, a wagonload of liquored-up turn-of-the-century oilmen and such latter-day heroes as Lyndon Johnson, John Connally and Janis Joplin.”—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“A hugely entertaining read . . . humanizes the eras and events of Texas’ past with a keen eye for the poignant, often humorous, always colorful moment.”—Dallas Morning News

“Haley steps boldly and without apology into Texas’ past. His self-assurance is supported by a highly readable, almost breezy prose that guides the reader through a story as dense as the Big Thicket; but, thanks to economical chapters and clear organization, it is much more comfortable to traverse. It’s also aided by a writing ethos that is well informed, erudite, free of sentimentality or defensive bluster, and amazingly comprehensive in its scope.”— Texas Books in Review

Published by University of North Texas Press