By Stephen Harrigan
“Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas” is a new, comprehensive, very readable history by Stephen Harrigan, acclaimed Texas author. Texas has needed a new history that takes into account so much that has happened in the twentieth century and beyond — the election of three Texans as president, for example; oil, music, two world wars, football, diversity — and “Big Wonderful Thing” devotes about 400 of its 930 pages to the modern era.
Harrigan tells Texas history as a best-selling novelist (“The Gates of the Alamo”) might do it: make it fun to read, focus on people rather than places and dates, and don’t interrupt the narrative with footnotes (provide details at the back of the book).
The hardcover book is $35. It’s a great gift for someone who loves Texas history. The book includes plenty of photographs and maps.