Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Case Against Deporting 200,000 Salvadorans

By Erik Ching


The United States's decision to revoke TPS (Temporary Protected Status) from some 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States is morally repugnant. The gap between moral accountability and foreign policymaking is wide, even for a country like the United States, whose leaders’ idealistic rhetoric suggests otherwise. But if there was ever a country that owed another country something and one that should be held accountable to a moral standard, it is the United States in its historic relation with El Salvador.

The United States extended TPS to Salvadorans in 2001 after a series of devastating earthquakes. The Department of Homeland Security claims that the earthquake conditions that inspired TPS no longer apply, and thus Salvadorans can return home. Technically, that statement may be accurate, depending on how one chooses to define “earthquake conditions.” But the reality is that the situation in El Salvador has been deteriorating ever since, and the United States bears tremendous responsibility for creating those conditions. The United States has had a deep impact on El Salvador in pursuit of its own foreign policy needs going back to the 1970s, and its actions contributed not only to the historic flow of migrants out of El Salvador, but also to the current conditions of violence that prevail there.

The United States had an overwhelming presence in El Salvador in the 1980s. Under the Carter administration, but especially during the two terms of Reagan's presidency, U.S. 

More info
policy makers defined El Salvador as a foreign policy priority after the Sandinista victory in neighboring Nicaragua in 1979. Although the United States suspended military aid to El Salvador in December 1980, after four U.S. churchwomen were killed by governmental security forces, it reinstated aid in January 1981 in response to the guerrillas' first “Final Offensive,” which more or less formally launched the Salvadoran civil war. Under the successive Reagan administrations, U.S. aid and the role of the United States increased steadily, particularly in 1983 and 1984 when it appeared that the Salvadoran government was on the verge of losing to the guerrillas. Overall, the United States provided on average $1 million per day of aid to the Salvadoran government throughout the 1980s, much of it in the form of military aid.

The justification for these policies was to prevent the supposedly Marxist guerrillas (the FMLN) from coming into power in El Salvador, as the FSLN had done in neighboring Nicaragua. Therein, U.S. policy makers tended to define the situation in El Salvador through the highly circumscribed and deeply flawed prism of the cold war, i.e. that the Salvadoran guerrillas lacked popular support and were a front for Soviet, Cuban, and/or Nicaraguan expansionist designs. One of the most definitive policy statements in this regard was Reagan’s address to the nation in May 1984 to appeal for support in providing more aid to El Salvador. In its framing of the situation in El Salvador and in standing by the Salvadoran government/military as steadfastly as it did, the United States prolonged the war and helped contribute to the brutal human rights record that the Salvadoran military accrued throughout the years.

With the benefit of hindsight and evidence, we now know definitively that the overwhelming majority of killing and human-rights violations being perpetrated in El Salvador were done by the Salvadoran military and/or paramilitary organizations with close military ties. What we also know now, but which we also knew at the time, is the large extent to which the United States either tacitly supported or willfully ignored the actions and activities of its allies on the ground in El Salvador, notably in events like the massacre of El Mozote in December 1981 (portrayed so clearly by the journalism of Mark Danner) and the assassination of the six Jesuits in November 1989, to list just two examples of countless others. Admittedly, at various times throughout the war, U.S. policy makers tried to get Salvadoran military leaders to amend their ways in the face of growing U.S. domestic opposition to the war, such as when Vice President Bush arrived in December 1983 and delivered a rather stern directive to the generals about cleaning up their act. But both sides recognized that the U.S. had planted its flag with the Salvadoran military and that it was unable and/or unwilling to do anything to jeopardize its cold-war inspired foreign policy initiatives in El Salvador. The killings and the torture went on, only beginning to abate after 1983.

In addition to the history of U.S. involvement during the civil war in the 1980s, the United States’s subsequent immigration policies have had adverse impacts on El Salvador, namely the deportations of Salvadorans in the 1990s and 2000s. Many scholars see these various kinds of deportation as giving rise to, or significantly contributing to, the explosion of gang membership and gang-related violence in El Salvador by entities such as MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) and Calle 18. Those gangs have their origins in the United States, as young migrants who fled from the violence of the 1980s became subsequently caught up in the desperation of life in the United States thereafter. Although some of the people that the United States deported back to El Salvador were gang members involved in criminal activity, the United States also sent back many young people, some of whom did not even speak Spanish and had no record of gang participation or criminality. When thrust into the alien environment of El Salvador, some of these young people could only find refuge within gangs, exacerbating the problem.

The overwhelming majority of the 200,000 Salvadorans currently residing in the United 
States on TPS are law-abiding people working diligently to make a better life for themselves, and therein contributing to the collective good. Throwing them back into El Salvador would be a human rights disaster. They will struggle to find their footing, they will be targeted for extortion, and their needs will be an added burden to a nation already short on employment. In 1969, some 100,000 Salvadoran peasants, living across the border in Honduras, were forced by the Honduran government to return to El Salvador en masse. This action helped trigger a subsequent war with Honduras, and the sudden return of this mass of Salvadorans also had a destabilizing effect on the nation’s society and economy, contributing to the downward spiral that led to the outbreak of civil war in 1980. I fear that the mass return of 200,000 Salvadorans from the United States in 2018 would have a similarly destabilizing effect, to say nothing of the consequences for many U.S. citizens who will be separated from their loved ones and family members.

Erik Ching is a Professor of History at Furman University.

Further reading: Erik Ching was quoted in a recent New York Times article with Gene Palumbo as lead author titled, "El Salvador Again Feels the Hand of Washington Shaping Its Fate."




Thursday, January 11, 2018

Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff on the History of Black Celebrity in American Politics

Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff's forthcoming book Red Hot Mama: The Life of Sophie Tucker explores how the “First Lady of Show Business” became one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. But what does being a powerful woman in Hollywood actually mean in the political sphere? Sklaroff's exciting biography highlights Sophie Tucker's dedication to social justice—she advocated for African Americans in the entertainment industry, cultivated friendships with leading black activists and performers, and raised over four million dollars for the religious and racial causes she held dear. As a leading scholar of American cultural history, Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff provides historical context to the current debate over Oprah's celebrity and her hypothetical presidential candidacy. Red Hot Mama publishes in April. Enjoy this piece originally published in The Conversation.

For black celebrities like Oprah, it's impossible to be apolitical


File 20180110 46697 1d0ovb7.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey appear during a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Dec. 8, 2007. AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff, University of South Carolina

Oprah Winfrey’s rousing Golden Globe speech has many speculating whether the media mogul will become a presidential candidate in 2020, with some pundits questioning the merits of another “celebrity” president.

But to equate Oprah with other “celebrity” politicians like Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger skirts the history of how black celebrities have long assumed political roles – often unintentionally – within the black community.

When it’s viewed through this lens, the transition into politics for someone like Winfrey is more natural. Oprah, for her part, seems to understand the tremendous importance of high-profile blacks in American society. During her monologue, she became emotional when she described how, as a young girl, she watched Sidney Poitier receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 1964 Golden Globes – “I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that.”

But the ability of black celebrities to symbolize hope and racial progress precedes Poitier. The black singers, actors and athletes of the 1930s and 1940s weren’t simply entertainers; they were living proof that African-Americans didn’t need to succumb to racist stereotypes, and could be treated with dignity, even deference. With structural racism embedded in the nation’s social and economic fabric, this, in and of itself, was a political act.

As I point out in my book “Black Culture and the New Deal,” during the Great Depression and World War II, the U.S. government recognized the political potency of the black celebrity, and would tap into this power to project a democratic ethos at home and abroad.


Elevating the black cultural hero


By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to seek a second presidential term in 1936, African-American voters had become an important demographic for the Democratic Party. But with white Southerners comprising a significant part of Roosevelt’s base, segregation and discrimination were more difficult for the government to directly confront.

Roosevelt still needed to figure out a way to reach out to the black community. So instead of passing legislation to correct racial inequality, his administration developed cultural programs that would employ large numbers of black men and women, and promote the skills and abilities of African-Americans.

For example, New Deal Arts programs included individuals such as Carlton Moss, Sterling Brown and Zora Neale Hurston to create books and plays that would depict African-Americans in sympathetic, humane ways. The Federal Writers’ Project’s American Guide Series, which Brown edited, highlighted the diversity of African-American communities and customs. The Federal Theater Project featured plays written and directed by black men and women that grappled with pressing racial issues.

This was a potent political tool; federal officials understood that African-Americans would be deeply affected – as Winfrey later was when watching Poitier receive the DeMille Award – by seeing African-Americans portrayed in more realistic and respectful ways.


A message of unity and freedom


The stakes became even greater as America entered World War II. Simmering racial tensions needed to be reconciled with America’s democratic, anti-fascist ideals.

Cultural programs promoting racial cooperation abounded within war agencies. Office of War Information posters and Hollywood films such as “Bataan” featured white and black men working and fighting together.

But no one was more central to this brand of propaganda than boxer Joe Louis.

In 1938, Louis had stunned the world by defeating German Max Schmeling. Geopolitically, it was a display of American superiority. But for African-Americans it was a triumph over whites.


Heavyweight champion Joe Louis dances as German challenger Max Schmeling falls to the canvas in the first and final round of their rematch in New York City in June 1938. AP Photo
Unassuming and apolitical, Louis didn’t ever talk about racial issues. Nonetheless, he became a hugely important political figure.

Poet Maya Angelou wrote of Louis’ victories as evidence that African-Americans were the “strongest people in the world”; novelist Richard Wright described Louis’ victories as “a fleeting glimpse … of the heart that beats and suffers and hopes for freedom.”

Recognizing Louis’ profound appeal, the government quickly swooped in, employing him in the Army’s Morale Division to boost patriotism among African-Americans during World War II.

As one government official noted in 1942, “It might be well to ask the questions as to who would draw the biggest audiences, Joe Louis or [NAACP Executive Secretary] Walter White. The answer is obvious.”

During his 46 months in the Army, Louis partook in 96 exhibition fights in the U.S. and abroad as part of a troupe that included black boxers George C. Nicholson, Sugar Ray Robinson and George J. Wilson. He also appeared on posters and in films that promoted racial inclusion, such as “The Negro Soldier.”

Louis wasn’t the only black cultural hero to play a political role during the war. The Armed Forces Radio Service created a program featuring black musicians called “Jubilee.” Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and others appeared in this weekly program that was broadcast domestically and to servicemen abroad. It reassured black troops on the front lines, while many white soldiers were able to listen to musicians they had never heard before.


The power of the stage


These federal efforts during the Great Depression and World War II are complicated. One the one hand, it could be argued that they represented a tokenistic appeal to African-Americans in lieu of real social and economic change. On the other, there’s no doubt that African-Americans were given the opportunity to be themselves, be celebrated, and move beyond the demeaning stereotypes that had existed for decades.

In the postwar period, civil rights leaders challenged African-American celebrities to use their platform to promote racial equality. Some, like Muhammad Ali, famously called for change, while others were more reticent. But the political stance of these individuals may not have mattered as much as their visibility and success. As filmmaker Ezra Edelman argues in his 2016 documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” even as Simpson insisted that we was “not black, just O.J.,” he was still embraced by the black community, and lauded as an African-American hero.

After centuries of degradation and discrimination, the accomplishments of African-Americans like Simpson or Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel possessed a political resonance. Though they were reluctant to promote racial change, by succeeding in traditionally exclusionary industries, they nonetheless became political figures. They signaled to other African-Americans that barriers could be broken down. Even if they weren’t activists themselves, they inspired others to fight inequality.

As a black woman, Oprah Winfrey occupies a unique space in this legacy of cultural heroes. Though it remains to be seen whether her candidacy will become a reality, she knows the significance of her actions for people of color in the U.S. and around the world. At a time when black women remain marginalized, Oprah – media mogul, actress, philanthropist, tastemaker – embodies the American Dream. People still look to cultural figures as much as they look to politicians for inspiration.

As Oprah stated in her speech, her life and career demonstrate how “we can overcome.”

Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff, Associate Professor of History, University of South Carolina

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Our Most-Read Blog Posts of 2017

Despite everything that happened in 2017, it was a great year for University of Texas Press authors on our blog. Here are the 10 most-read posts, spanning topics from gang suppression in El Salvador to Chrissie Hynde, from personal essays to timely commentary by scholars.

We look forward to another year of great reading in 2018!



On January 16, 2017, El Salvador commemorated the 25th anniversary of the peace settlement that ended the country’s twelve-year civil war. We asked Dr. Sonja Wolf, a CONACYT research fellow with the Drug Policy Program at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, to comment on the 25th anniversary of the Chapultepec Peace Accords. Her book Mano Dura:The Politics of Gang Control in El Salvador examines the policies that undermine human rights while ultimately doing little to address the roots of gang membership. Read the post. →

Eleven Images from Picturing the Proletariat
In the wake of Mexico’s revolution, artists played a fundamental role in constructing a national identity centered on working people and were hailed for their contributions to modern art. John Lear's new book, Picturing the Proletariat: Artists and Labor in Revolutionary Mexico, 1908–1940, examines three aspects of this artistic legacy: the parallel paths of organized labor and artists’ collectives, the relations among these groups and the state, and visual narratives of the worker. We asked Professor Lear to pick a handful of images studied in the book to represent the progression and politics of the Mexican proletariat. Read the post. →

More info

Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Militarization in the Age of Trump

Mexico’s so-called drug war can be characterized, in some way, as a modern war relating to the control of energy production. In the present context, it is possible to identify groups that seem to have benefited the most from a novel criminal scheme (directly or indirectly) introduced by the Zetas organization, the Mexican government’s reaction to it, and the resulting brutality. We asked Dr. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, author of Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexicoto comment on the effects of President Trump’s border policy on what she identifies as the beneficiaries of organized crime in Mexico, mainly the US border security/military-industrial complex and corporations. Read the post. →



Music ]

Authors and music critics Jessica Hopper and Oliver Wang have joined David Menconi of the Raleigh News & Observer on the editorial team of the American Music series published by the University of Texas Press. “We are at a particularly ripe time within music culture to interrogate what is American music; we're overdue for an expansion of the canon,” says Hopper. Read the post. →

Music from A Perfectly Good Guitar

When photographer and writer Chuck Holley set out to document guitar players talking about their most prized instruments, he thought he was fairly well-versed in professional guitarists. The playlist he has put together for this blog is all about the lesser-known artists he discovered over the eight years he photographed guitarists with their favorite instruments and listened to their stories for A Perfectly Good Guitar. Read the post. →

A Musical Biography of Chrissie Hynde

Curated by Adam Sobsey, the handful of early Pretenders songs that open this chronologically arranged mix are mainly lesser known cuts that dig some of the overlooked but seminal roots out of Chrissie Hynde’s catalog: clues to her worldview and her personal history. The rest are drawn from the largely unexplored riches of her post-stardom phase, which is nearly three decades old now, a vast trove. Read the post. →

American Studies ]
In 2008, Euan Hague, Edward H. Sebesta, and Heidi Beirich, published a groundbreaking book, Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, that described a fringe movement of political activists who promoted an ideology of Confederate nationalism. Given the current state of US politics, Neo-Confederacy is an urgent primer for our new reality. Read the post. →

Notions of Genre Soundtrack Playlist

Barry Keith Grant's new edited volume with Malisa Kurtz, Notions of Genre: Writings on Popular Film Before Genre Theory, gathers the most important early writing on film genre and genre films published between 1945 and 1969. In the spirit of appreciating genre film, we asked Barry Keith Grant to curate a playlist of iconic music from genre cinema. Enjoy this fun whirl through movie history through its music. Read the post. →

Photography ]


"Rexroth's Strawberries" and the Beauty of IOWA

In the early 1970s, Nancy Rexroth began photographing the rural landscapes, children, white frame houses, and domestic interiors of southeastern Ohio with a plastic toy camera called the Diana. Having discovered the Diana camera while in graduate school in Ohio, Rexroth began experimenting with the looseness and spontaneity of the camera and the images it produced. Read the post.



[ Texas ]

Birding and Writing with Victor Emanuel

More info
Victor’s memoir One More Warbler shares his journey from inspired youth to world’s top birder including his biggest adventures, rarest finds, and the people who mentored and encouraged his birding passion along the way. We asked writer, editor, and teacher S. Kirk Walsh to reflect on what Victor taught her. Read the post. →

[ Journals ]

Entry Interview with the New Editors of Texas Studies in Literature and Language

The summer of 2016 saw Douglas Bruster and James Cox step in as the new editorial team of Texas Studies in Literature and Language. In this interview, we speak with them about their scholarly backgrounds and the plans they have for TSLL, a journal of literary criticism published quarterly by the University of Texas Press. Read the post. →

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Q&A with Catha Paquette on Diego Rivera

Collaborations during the Great Depression between Mexican communist artist Diego Rivera and institutions in the United States and Mexico were fraught with risk, as the artist occasionally deviated from course—serving and then subverting his patrons. In her book At the Crossroads, Catha Paquette investigates controversies surrounding Rivera’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, his proposed and revised
More info
compositions for his Rockefeller Center mural titled Man at the Crossroads, and the Mexican government’s commissioning of the mural’s reconstruction at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. She proposes that both the artist and his patrons were leveraging art for extraordinary purposes—to weigh in on debates concerning labor policies and speech rights; relations between the United States, Mexico, and the Soviet Union; and the viability of capitalism, communism, and socialism.


We asked her a few questions about her research and the role of art in public and political life.

Briefly set the scene for Rivera’s dynamic relationships with his patrons at MoMA, Rockefeller Center, and the Palace of Fine Arts during the early to mid 1930s—the circumstances behind their collaborations and conflicts.

The circumstances Rivera and his patrons faced were extraordinary—the intensifying financial crises of the Great Depression; the mixed effects of technological modernization, industrialization, and foreign investment; the competing pressures of nationalism and internationalism; and escalating union, socialist, and communist activism. Relations between the US and Mexico, the US and the Soviet Union, and Mexico and the Soviet Union were in flux. Many US politicians and corporate leaders were intent on thwarting communism, but others wished to exploit trade and investment opportunities in Mexico and the Soviet Union. Although workers’ and activists’ opportunities for public speech and assembly were restricted, recent Supreme Court rulings legitimized independent union organizing and oppositional expression.

What’s interesting is that in the U.S., Mexico, and the Soviet Union those attentive to what was politically and economically at stake trusted in the communicative power of visual culture. Competing constructs of national and class identity and notions of social equivalence and difference were kept in play in works of fine art, commercial art, and popular arts and crafts. Also, art museums and galleries were increasingly emphasizing the social function of art—acknowledging that art was a valid means of characterizing national character, history, and experience, including the status, value, and problems of laborers.

In your research, how important were the intentions of Rivera, patrons, critics, and viewers versus the functions visual discourse likely served? How much of a challenge was it to parse motivations and functions?

Intentions and functions are not easy to ascertain, but I felt it was important to explore both. I consulted internal planning documents, press releases, artist guidelines, and the writings of John D. Rockefeller Jr. to determine the aims officials had for the Rockefeller Center art program. For Rivera’s mural commission at the Palace of Fine Arts, I looked at political documents produced by the ruling party, especially its Six Year Plan. In discerning Rivera’s aims at both Rockefeller Center and the Palace of Fine Arts, I considered his writings as well as his artwork—preparatory drawings and completed compositions.

The Rockefeller family, which was instrumental in establishing and supporting MoMA and was undertaking the massive urban development project of Rockefeller Center, had much at stake—investments in Standard Oil, which had assets in Mexico, and Chase National Bank, which was attempting to secure Mexico’s repayment of foreign debt. In an effort to forestall attempts by independent unions and communists to organize laborers, John D. Rockefeller Jr. was struggling to protect company unions. In Mexico, competing officials in the ruling National Revolutionary Party—supporters of capitalist development and promoters of socialist reform—were implementing a Six-Year Plan that involved not only modernizing industry and agriculture but also achieving labor reform, redistributing land, and instituting socialist education. Rivera, who was lauded as one of the world’s greatest living painters, was increasingly drawn to the political solutions proposed by anti-Stalin communists—Jay Lovestone in New York and Leon Trotsky.

While their aims and interests were complex, Rivera and his patrons each desired change—either restoration, reform, or dramatic transformation in public and private policies. They believed art, exhibitions, and commissions had the potential to effect that change. But exhibitions and commissions were a challenge because each aimed to speak through the other. In giving voice to the artist, officials at MoMA, Rockefeller Center, and the Palace of Fine Arts hoped themselves to be heard; in fulfilling art commissions, Rivera aimed to speak both for himself and the groups he was aligned with and to test institutional restrictions on art imagery and ideational content.

It was fascinating to see how often art images and transactional documents were ambiguous, not in the sense of indiscernibility but equivocation. I argue such ambiguity as strategic. Rivera and his patrons wielded strategic mixes of clarity and equivocality in their efforts at collaboration and exploitation.

In ascertaining the functions that artwork and acts of patronage and censorship served, I was primarily interested in the degree to which they promoted notions of national, racial, and class equivalence, made possible political alignment on public and private policies, and brought pressure to bear on legislative and judicial initiatives. While I conclude that the aims of neither the artist nor his patrons were fulfilled, I propose that Rivera’s imagery and the groundswell of protests against censorship of his Rockefeller Center mural were integral to a broad array of oppositional pronouncements concerning labor rights, which culminated in important legislation, congressional action, and judicial rulings.

At the center of your study are images of workers and the political functions these representations served. Were labor unions able or interested in shaping how they were visually represented?

The working class was crucial for all parties, those advocating the reform of capitalism, the adoption of socialism, and the institution of communism. Because it was a targeted audience, the image of the worker became an indispensable icon. Rivera and his patrons were all interested in infusing images of workers and work itself with symbolic meaning.

Communists in the Soviet Union and the US were initially interested in facilitating creation of global “proletarian” art—images by workers of working conditions, oppressive labor relations, and “revolutionary” action. Communists and sympathetic leftists involved with New York’s John Reed Club initially organized art classes and exhibitions at workers’ clubs. But they eventually concluded that leftist middle-class artists and writers were better suited to the task. The question of how individual workers responded to these efforts to train them in art warrants further investigation; the challenge lies in securing evidence.

Given the current political climate between the U.S. and Mexico, and between the U.S. and Russia, is it conceivable that governments still “trust in art’s ability to fulfill urgent aspirations for change”?

Images, words, and actions still matter. Entities in the public and private sectors continue to leverage visual culture in their efforts to defend and challenge the status quo. Art exhibitions and commissions remain important means of communication. Thanks to desktop and mobile technology, visual and textual information can be circulated through a variety of social media. But, as always, equivocation abounds. So questions concerning functions and consequences are generally at issue.

Given your research findings, what further study would you like to see?

I mention in my conclusion that circumstances today somewhat parallel those of the 1930s. There are debates about the role of artists and the function of art, the impact of global capitalism, the benefits and risks of science and technology, the needs and speech rights of workers, and the nature of national, racial, class, and gender identities. I think it’s important to investigate the broad range of declarations about these issues—the varied meanings of images, words, and actions. Also, who is now able to speak publicly and give voice to others? What is said and not said? Do possible meanings and interests converge or diverge? In the case of identity constructs, is social equivalence or difference intimated? How is censorship perpetuated and challenged? And ultimately what impact does speech—artistic and otherwise—have on coalitional efforts and relations of power?




Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Offer: Signed Texas Books at 40% off, free shipping!

Through midnight on Monday, December 11, the University of Texas Press is proud to offer signed copies of select Texas books delivered in time for the holidays at 40% off, with free standard domestic shipping.

To order your signed, personalized copy:
  • Place any book below (scroll to view selections) in your shopping cart.
  • Enter the discount code GIFTBOOKS before checkout.
  • In the comments field during checkout, write your personalized message: What should the author write in the book? Click to view an example inscription.
  • Complete checkout.
Books will ship on Thursday, December 14. No rush shipping. Not valid for orders outside the United States. If you have questions or concerns about your order, or would like assistance, please call 512-232-7637. 





Armadillo World Headquarters
Armadillo World Headquarters
A Memoir
By Eddie Wilson, with Jesse Sublett

The founder of Armadillo World Headquarters recalls the lively history of this legendary music venue and its role in launching cosmic cowboy/redneck rock and making Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the world.

Hardcover, $20.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1382-4



Buy Now

Surf Texas
Surf Texas
By Kenny Braun

Evocative and nostalgic, this extended photo essay presents an insider’s portrait of the surf culture of Texas, one of the top six surfing states in America, as well as the singular and sometimes unexpected beauty of the Texas coast.

Hardcover, $33.00
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-0-292-75770-7







Buy Now

The Republic of Football
Republic of Football
Legends of the Texas High School Game
By Chad S. Conine

With interviews and stories of celebrated players, including past and present NFL stars, as well as legendary coaches and dynastic teams from across Texas, The Republic of Football captures the standout moments in Friday night lights.

Hardcover, $14.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-0371-9







Buy Now

Under Surveillance
Under Surveillance
Being Watched in Modern America
By Randolph Lewis

Tackling one of today’s most timely issues from a broad, humanistic perspective, this book explores the emotional, ethical, and aesthetic challenges of living under constant surveillance in post-9/11 American society.

Hardcover, $16.77
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1243-8







Buy Now

They Came from the Sky
They Came from the Sky
The Spanish Arrive in Texas
By Stephen Harrigan

This signed edition presents a spellbinding preview of the inaugural volume of the Texas Bookshelf—a major new history of Texas by the New York Times best-selling author Stephen Harrigan.

Hardcover, $11.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1294-0



Buy Now


A Love Letter to Texas Women
A Love Letter to Texas Women
By Sarah Bird

The acclaimed author of Above the East China Sea and The Yokota Officers Club celebrates the uniqueness of Texas women in this beautifully designed gift book

Hardcover, $10.17
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-0949-0







Buy Now

The Face of Texas
The Face of Texas
Photographs by Michael O'Brien. With stories by Elizabeth O'Brien

With twenty-three new portraits, including John Graves, Richard Linklater, Joel Osteen, and Cat Osterman, as well as updated profiles of all of the subjects, here is the face of Texas captured in the faces of noteworthy Texans by one of America’s premier portrait photographers.


Paperback, $14.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-0-292-76313-5







Buy Now

Texas Sports
Texas Sports
Unforgettable Stories for Every Day of the Year
By Chad S. Conine

With a stirring story for every day of the year, this book celebrates the athletes and teams in more than twenty-five sports that have made Texas a dynamo in the world of sports across more than a century.

Paperback, $11.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1273-5







Buy Now

Texas BBQ
Texas BBQ
By Wyatt McSpadden

Destined to become a classic like Smokestack Lightning and Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook, Wyatt McSpadden's Texas BBQ is the only large format, full-color photographic odyssey into the world of traditional barbecue.

Hardcover, $23.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-0-292-71858-6







Buy Now

The Making of Gone With The Wind
The Making of Gone With The Wind
By Steve Wilson

More than 600 rarely seen items from the David O. Selznick archive, this exhibition catalog that celebrates the 75th anniversary of Gone with the Wind offer fans and film historians alike a must-have behind-the-camera view of the production of this classic movie on its seventy-fifth anniversary.


Hardcover, $30.00

(40% off)

ISBN: 978-0-292-76126-1







Buy Now

One More Warbler
One More Warbler
A Life with Birds
By Victor Emanuel, with S. Kirk Walsh


With stories of sighting rare birds ranging from an Eskimo Curlew to the cranes of Asia, one of America’s foremost birders recalls a lifetime of birding adventures, including friendships with luminaries Roger Tory Peterson, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton.



Hardcover, $17.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1238-4







Buy Now



The Tacos of Texas
Tacos of Texas
By Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece

With authentic recipes, behind-the-scenes stories, and recommendations of where the locals eat, this is the indispensable guide to Texas’s appetizingly diverse tacos and taco culture by the authors of Austin Breakfast Tacos.

Paperback, $11.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1043-4







Buy Now

Thursday Night Lights
Thursday Night Lights
The Story of Black High School Football in Texas
By Michael Hurd

Telling an inspiring, largely unknown story, Thursday Night Lights recounts how African American high school football programs produced championship teams and outstanding players during the Jim Crow era.


Hardcover, $14.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1034-2







Buy Now

The Swimming Holes of Texas
The Swimming Holes of Texas
By Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy; photography by Carolyn Tracy

Full of practical information to help plan your visits and enticing color photos of one hundred freshwater swimming holes, here is the first-ever guide to the best places to swim in Texas.

Paperback, $13.17
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1237-7







Buy Now

The Texanist
The Texanist
Fine Advice on Living in Texas
By David Courtney and Jack Unruh

The first collection of acclaimed illustrator Jack Unruh’s work, this book gathers the best of the illustrations he created for The Texanist, Texas Monthly’s back-page column, along with the serious and not-so-serious questions that inspired them.





Hardcover, $14.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-1-4773-1297-1


Buy Now

¡Viva Tequila!
¡Viva Tequila! 
Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures
By Lucinda Hutson

With a festive blend of inspired recipes for fabulous drinks and dishes, lively personal anecdotes, spicy cultural history, and colorful agave folk art, proverbs, and lore, America’s premier tequila expert shows us how to savor the most Mexican of all libations.





Hardcover, $20.97
(40% off)
ISBN: 978-0-292-72294-1 


Buy Now