Lone Star Tarnished : A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy book cover
4th Edition

Lone Star Tarnished
A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy

ISBN 9780367472788
Published August 10, 2020 by Routledge
332 Pages 66 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $49.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Texas pride, like everything else in the state, is larger than life. So, too, perhaps, are the state’s challenges. Lone Star Tarnished approaches public policy in the nation’s most populous "red state" from historical, comparative, and critical perspectives. The historical perspective provides the scope for asking how various policy domains have developed in Texas history. In each chapter, Cal Jillson compares Texas public policy choices and results with those of other states and the United States in general. Finally, the critical perspective allows readers to question the balance of benefits and costs attendant to what is often referred to as "the Texas way" or "the Texas model" and to assess the many claims of Texas’s exceptionalism.

Through Jillson’s lively and lucid prose, students are well equipped to analyse how Texas has done and is doing compared to selected states and the national average over time and today. This text is aimed at students and professors of Texas politics who want to stress history, political culture, and public policy.

New to the Fourth Edition

  • Fully updated to include the most recent Texas elections and political events
  • Covers the 2019 legislative session
  • Highlights new population data, with projections forward to 2050, recently released by the U.S. Census and the Texas State Data Center.
  • Explores the dramatic increases in Texas oil and gas production and their impact on global and U.S. prices and on the profitability and the viability of many Texas producers in light of the recent plunge in prices.
  • All figures and tables include the most recent data available.

Table of Contents

PART I The Great State of Texas?

1 The Texas Way

2 Texas: The Myth vs. the Reality

3 Demographic Change and Its Implications

PART II The Reality Thus Far

4 Jobs, Income, and Wealth in Texas

5 Public Education in Texas

6 Higher Education in Texas

7 Health and Human Services in Texas

8 Crime and Punishment in Texas

9 Good Roads, Highways, and Transportation in Texas

10 Energy and the Environment in Texas

PART III The Coming Reality

11 The Way Forward

View More



Cal Jillson is Professor in the Department of Political Science at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change; Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State; Congressional Dynamics; Constitution-Making: Conflict and Consensus in the Federal Convention of 1787; and The American Dream in History, Politics, and Fiction.


Praise for the 4th edition

"Unlike other Texas government textbooks, this title offers a critical and analytical perspective on Texas politics in general. Also, it gives substantially detailed information about some key policy issues. Students appreciate its critical approach toward Texas politics and especially like the detailed descriptions of policy issues in Texas." - Se-Hyoung Yi, University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Praise for Previous Editions

"Lone Star Tarnished is an indispensable resource for students and faculty who want to get beyond the basics of understanding Texas government. Cal Jillson presents the often overlooked roots and development for how our current policies came to be. The eye-opening and unvarnished history enriches classroom discussions and provides a framework for understanding Texas public policy and the serious consequences and disparate impact on contemporary Texans." - Cindy Castañeda, Eastfield College.

"Texas and its government face significant, complex challenges. This revised and enhanced edition of Cal Jillson’s Lone Star Tarnished not only affirms this but also helps us to understand these challenges with an engaging mosaic of history, data, and analysis, and encourages us to work for viable solutions. The new chapter on higher education is an excellent addition. This must-read book is an invitation to learn, to think critically, and to act, and I plan to continue to use it in my state government courses." - Eric V. Morrow, Tarleton State University