Texas by James A. Michener is a 1096-page hardcover published in 1985 by Random House New York, and is a stated first edition. The dust jacket has light shelf wear and surface rubbing. Inside, the second page has an inscription to the previous owner in ink. Towards the middle of the book the pages start to warp a bit, from a previous water incident. Otherwise, the pages are clean and crisp and the binding is tight and sound. The condition is good.
In this magnificent historical novel, James A. Michener skillfully combines fact and fiction to present our richest, most expansive and most diversified state. Spanning four and a half centuries, this saga of Texas begins in the early 1500s, when the first Spaniards--Cabeza de Vaca and Francisco Vasquez de Coronado--explore part of it, and ends with its present-day eminence as one of our most powerful states, second only to Alaska in size, second to none in natural wealth and human enterprise.
In the eighteenth century, Mexican settlers (among whom the Garza family becomes important to the story) with their friars and soldiers are unable to convert or to subdue the Indian inhabitants. In the 1800s, many immigrants from various areas begin to settle on the rich land. From Tennessee come the Quimpers, and from Scotland, by way of Ireland, Maryland and the Natchez Trace, the Macnabs. Fleeing oppression in Germany, the Allerkamps arrive in the 1840s, followed by the cotton planters, the Cobbs, and their slaves from South Carolina and Georgia. Twenty years later come the Larkins, on the move west from Alabama, and Earnshaw Rusk, the Pennsylvania Quaker. And recently, invaders from the Middle West and from below the Rio Grande.
The paths of these fictional characters and their descendants cross and recross as this engrossing narrative develops, producing complex interrelationships. It is a history full of violence and conflict, political chicanery and wheeling and dealing, but also of patriotism and statesmanship, of growth and development--the rise of cotton production and cattle ranching, the discovery of oil, the phenomenal expansion of industry. This account of how Texas became unique among our states is as exciting as it is informative.