Saturday, November 16, 2013
It seems like everywhere I turn, there are articles about Texas. Erica Grieder's journalistic account of the current state of affairs in Texas, entitled Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas, is an accessible book that focuses on some hot topics such as religion, politics, big business, and small government, and also touches upon major Texas industries such as cattle and oil. What I got out of this book, more than the analysis itself, were some interesting facts about Texas, such as the fact that Houston is the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the U.S., Texas has more people living in rural areas than any other state, and San Antonio is considered by many to be a progressive city with a significant number of same-sex households. Grieder does not shy away from some of the challenges in Texas (poverty, schools with little funding, limited services, etc.), but she also tries to demystify Texas and point out that many of its stereotypes may hold less water than we might think.