Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State

Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State

Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State

Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State

Synopsis

Approaching the politics of the Lone Star State from historical, developmental, and analytical perspectives, Cal Jillson's text avoids partisanship, ideology, and gimmicks to provide the most comprehensive, readable, and accurate brief description of Texas politics available today. Throughout the book students are encouraged to connect the origins and development of government and politics in Texas--from the Texas Constitution, to party competition, to the role and powers of the Governor--to its current day practice and the alternatives possible through change and reform. This text will allow teachers to share with their students the evolution of Texas politics, where we stand today, and where we are headed.

Texas Politics is one of the briefest and most affordable texts on the market, yet it offers instructors and students an unmatched range of pedagogical aids and tools. Each chapter opens with a number of focus questions to orient readers to the learning objectives and concludes with a Chapter Summary, a list of Key Terms, Suggested Readings, and Web Resources. Key Terms are bolded in the text, listed at the end of the chapter, and included in a Glossary at the end of the book. Each chapter presents several photos and numerous tables and figures to highlight the major ideas, issues, individuals, and institutions discussed. Each chapter also contains a Let's Compare feature, comparing selected states to Texas on various dimensions.

Excerpt

This brief text on Texas politics, entitled Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State, was a joy to write. That joy turned to quiet satisfaction as teachers and students of Texas politics found the first two editions of this book accessible, informative, and, yes, fun. In this thoroughly revised third edition, we treat Texas politics as serious business, but we also recognize that it is a great show. Decisions that Texas’s political leaders make about taxes, education, health care, and child services directly affect the quality of people’s lives and their prospects of future success and security. But for the serious political junkie, it does not get any better than Rick Perry’s quest to be governor-for-life, another redistricting fight, and watching demographic change reshuffle the partisan deck of Texas politics. I have tried to capture the structure and dynamics, the prose and the poetry, the good, the bad, and the ugly of Texas politics.

This book has been used both as a stand alone text and as a companion to an American government text in a combined American Government/ Texas Government course. In stand alone Texas politics courses it has most commonly been used in conjunction with a comparative state politics book. In the combined course the chapter order and content of Texas Politics map directly onto the chapter order and content of most major American Government texts. Obviously, Texas Politics works best with my American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change. In every instance, my goal is to help teachers and students understand and enjoy Texas politics.

Texas Politics approaches the politics of the Lone Star State from historical, developmental, and analytical perspectives. Each chapter opens with a discussion of the origins and development of the subject of the chapter, whether that subject is the Texas Constitution, the status of party competition in the state, or the role and powers of the Governor. Once we know how some aspect of Texas politics has developed over time, we can ask how and how effectively it works today. And then, inevitably, the discussion must shift to alternatives, to political change and reform. This text will allow teachers to share with their students the evolution of Texas politics, where we stand today, and where we seem to be headed.

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