Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans
Reviewed by Cary L. Roberts, Fri., April 14, 2000
Lone StarA History of Texas and the Texans
by T.R. Fehrenbach
Da Capo Press, 784 pp., $22 (paper)
Bookshelves are sagging this spring with hefty historical fiction set in Texas. This month an updated edition of T.R. Fehrenbach's definitive general history, Lone Star, weighs in at more than 700 pages. First published in 1968, Lone Star is to Texas what Shelby Foote's Civil War is to the War Between the States: an entertaining and thought-provoking work of historical scholarship. Readers who enjoyed the original edition will find little new in this updated edition. Fehrenbach writes in his foreword that "Texas, through the last half of the twentieth century, has suffered little 'history.' There has been enormous growth and a splendid record of economic development, which are not the same thing." The enduring legends and myths of the state, Fehrenbach says, were created a century ago -- the "nineteenth-century Texas from the Alamo to trail drives to Spindletop" that "will fascinate Texans in future centuries." Still, Lone Star should be required reading for new generations of native and transplanted Texans.