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TCU Press

Website: http://www.prs.tcu.edu/

TCU Press has traditionally published the history and literature of Texas and the American West. As the press has grown steadily in stature and in its ability to bring credit to its parent university over the last twenty years, it has been praised for publishing regional fiction, which often doesn’t find a market in New York, and for discovering and preserving local history.


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Adele Briscoe Looscan

Daughter of the Republic

Laura McLemore

Adele Briscoe Looscan was the first woman president of the Texas State Historical Association, the longest-serving president of the association (1915–1925), and a remarkable individual.  Daughter of Andrew Briscoe, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and granddaughter of John Richardson Harris, founder of Harrisburg, Texas, she was shaped and motivated by her heritage throughout her life.

Adele Looscan was a woman of her time, yet she flourished in the society of both men and women, earning the respect of the former as an astute businesswoman and the admiration of the latter for her leadership and accomplishments.

As a clubwoman, she built an impressive résumé: charter member of the Texas State Historical Association; member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Texas Woman’s Press Association; president of the Houston City Federation of Women’s Clubs; and vice president of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs in its first year. She organized the Ladies’ Reading Club of Houston in 1885 and was instrumental in founding other literary clubs years before the organization of the Texas Federation.

Her contributions to Texas history appeared in many newspapers and in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. She used her influence to encourage public education and the preservation of historic landmarks and actively advocated for a state library, archives, and museum.

Her story is valuable and compelling for what it reveals about women and culture in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Texas and for what it reveals about the nature, origins, and shaping of Texas’s modern identity.

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Adversity is my Angel

The Life and Career of Raúl H. Castro

Raul H. Castro and Jack August Jr.

Raúl H. Castro was the first Hispanic governor of Arizona, ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Argentina, lawyer, judge, and teacher. His life and career serve as role models, not only to Mexican Americans but to all Americans. Born in Mexico in 1916, in 1926 he moved with his family to Arizona, where his earliest memories include collecting cactus fruit in the desert for food. Thanks to an athletic scholarship, he attended Arizona State Teachers College and later was accepted by the University of Arizona College of Law. He received his Juris Doctor degree and was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1949. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Castro U. S. ambassador to Salvador in 1964 and to Bolivia in 1969. Active in Arizona Democratic Party politics, he was elected governor in 1974 but his term was interrupted by an appointment as ambassador to Argentina. Raul Castro’s story suggests much about the human spirit, the ability to overcome institutional and personal prejudice, and the hope inherent in the American dream.

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Alan Birkelbach

New and Selected Poems

Alan Birkelbach

The State of Texas has honored Texas Poets Laureate for seventy-three years, but much of their work has gone unpublished and unrecognized. In a significant step toward recognizing the achievements of the Texas Poets Laureate, TCU Press will publish a series of the work of the Poets Laureate, with a volume dedicated to each poet. The series begins with the 2005 and 2006 Texas Poets Laureate, Alan Birkelbach and Red Steagall, and will continue through the next five appointments. These beautiful volumes collect the finest work of each individual poet. While a single volume may stand alone as a valuable selection of a poet’s work, the series as a whole will draw their different voices together into a singular poetic expression of Texas. Alan Birkelbach writes of the Texas landscape and its people with conversational ease, a touch that makes his vividness of description shimmer through each poem’s lines, etching them into the reader’s memory. He balances the ordinary and the phenomenal, the factual and the suppositional, the temporal and the eternal, in poems remarkable for their depth of insight. As Billy Bob Hill writes in his introduction to the volume, “Birkelbach can disguise a mosaic of word music in plain sight hidden in conversational English.”

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Amado Muro and Me

A Tale of Honesty and Deception

Robert Seltzer

In Amado Muro and Me, ten-year-old Robert Seltzer discovers that his father, Chester, actually leads two lives—one as a newspaperman and father who somehow always knows what his son is thinking; the other as Amado Muro, a passionate and gifted writer whose pseudonym is adapted from the name of his Mexican immigrant wife. Chester was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but in Amado Muro’s stories, he channels an intense love of Mexican culture to create deep, strong roots in Chihuahua, Mexico. Throughout the pivotal year of this memoir, the family moves from El Paso, Texas, (home to Robert’s Mexican grandmother, Alita, and always home to Robert) to Bakersfield, California. Robert experiences everything from bullying and young love to racism and cross-culturalization. Chester guides his son through this difficult period with the wisdom he gained from the “dark turn” he himself faced as a young man. Robert, who knows his father as “the old man,” now begins to learn about “Young Chess.” Tying it all together is Amado Muro, who from time to time abandons Robert and his mother and hops freight trains in order to write his wonderful stories. Reaching beyond background research, Chester’s alter ego lives the life in order to share the tale. Robert’s ethnicity is the result of his mother’s ancestry, but his father chooses his Mexican identity. It is through this perspective, as a man who sees bridges where others see barriers, that the father helps his son deal with his first, jarring experience of racism and so much more.

 

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Auslander

Mary Powell

Auslander—the German word for “outsider.” In this novel, four women explore the many ways one can be an outsider geographically, culturally, and emotionally. They chronicle the life of the Jahn family in the close-knit German community of Schoenberg, Texas, during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Their counterpoint dialogues draw us into the family’s marriages and separations, births and deaths, business failures, and moments of joy and into the German-Texan culture with its sometimes rigid traditions and prejudices. The voices we hear are from Queenie, matriarch of the family and wife of Beno; Carol Anne, the bride of Queenie’s son, Fritz; Vera, the niece Queenie and Beno tried to raise as a daughter; and Sheila, Carol Anne’s cabaret-singing mother from Houston.

Fritz Jahn, young, ambitious, and reserved, is the center around which the four women revolve. He truly loves Carol Anne but cannot understand her inability to settle down in Schoenberg. His closeness with Vera threatens to go beyond brotherly love and complicates Vera’s relationship with Carol Anne and Queenie. Sheila is worldwise, practical and puzzled by conventional family life. Perhaps the most compelling voice belongs to Queenie, the one who holds the family together. Speaking in the inverted sentence structure of those for whom German is the more natural language, she interprets and comments on what she sees with insight and wisdom.

Mary Powell, a resident of the Hill Country, captures that area’s climate and geography in rich descriptions of fields and wildflowers and terrifyingly real scenes of a flash flood. She is equally insightful in portraying the lingering German culture of small towns like Schoenberg.

In Auslander Powell creates a powerful and realistic story of a family defined by their heritage yet sharing universal joys and sorrows.

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Baja Oklahoma

Dan Jenkins

Dan Jenkins' second best-known novel, Baja Oklahoma, features protagonist Juanita Hutchins, who can cuss and politically commentate with the best of Jenkins' male protagonists. Still convincingly female, though in no way dumb and girly, fortyish Juanita serves drinks to the colorful crew patronizing Herb's Cafe in South Fort Worth, worries herself sick over a hot-to-trot daughter proving too fond of drugs and the dealers who sell them, endures a hypochondriac mother whose whinings would justify murder, dates a fellow middle-ager whose connections with the oil industry are limited to dipstick duty at his filling station—and, by the way, she also hopes to become a singer-songwriter in the real country tradition of Bob Wills and Willie Nelson. That Juanita is way too old to remain a kid with a crazy dream doesn't matter much to her. In between handing out longneck beers to customer-acquaintances battling hot flashes and deciding when boyfriend Slick is finally going to get lucky, Juanita keeps jotting down lyrics reflective of hard-won wisdom and setting them to music composed on her beloved Martin guitar. Too many of her early songwriting results are one-dimensional or derivative, but finally she hits on something both original and heartfelt: a tribute to her beloved home state, warts and all.

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Before Texas Changed

A Fort Worth Boyhood

David Murph

Growing up in Fort Worth during the 1950s never lacked in excitement for David Murph. In his memoir, Murph recalls a mischievous childhood punctuated by adventures in driving, occasional acts of accidental arson, more than one trip to the jailhouse, and countless other tales. The cast of characters includes not only friends and family but also famous figures such as John Scopes, Bobby Morrow, and Frankie Avalon. Murph details an early interest in politics and an unintentional affinity for troublemaking that had more to do with an active imagination and intense curiosity than any ill will. His adventures included broken windows, brushes with blindness, bull riding, and a pet spider monkey, alongside lessons about life and death and the importance of family. Murph’s story brings to life a time when television was new and exciting, parents sided with the law, and people were to be trusted more often than not. As a close friend wrote in his senior yearbook, “it would take a book to recall our adventures.” Murph fondly recalls his active youth with clarity and humor. In many ways, though, Murph’s childhood was not all that unusual. Born in 1943 in Shreveport Louisiana, Murph moved to Tyler, Texas at the age of two with his family. He recalls moving to Fort Worth at the age of seven, feeling excited about his new home, and making new friends in the neighborhood and at school. In a neighborhood established around the time of World War II, he and his friends played war in their backyards. The child of a geologist and a homemaker, Murph vividly recalls the strong influence they were in his life. Murph’s story follows him from early childhood through high school graduation and leaving for college at the University of Texas. His enthusiasm for leaving home is tempered by the reality of what it means to leave his parents and younger brother behind—a sentiment familiar to any college-bound student.

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Between the Enemy and Texas

Parsons's Texas Cavalry in the Civil War

Anne Bailey

Much of the Civil War west of the Mississippi was a war of waiting for action, of foraging already stripped land for an army that supposedly could provision itself, and of disease in camp, while trying to hold out against Union pressure. There were none of the major engagements that characterized the conflict farther east. Instead, small units of Confederate cavalry and infantry skirmished with Federal forces in Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana, trying to hold the western Confederacy together. The many units of Texans who joined this fight had a second objective—to keep the enemy out of their home state by placing themselves “between the enemy and Texas.”

Historian Anne J. Bailey studies one Texas unit, Parsons's Cavalry Brigade, to show how the war west of the Mississippi was fought. Historian Norman D. Brown calls this “the definitive study of Parsons's Cavalry Brigade; the story will not need to be told again.” Exhaustively researched and written with literary grace, Between the Enemy and Texas is a “must” book for anyone interested in the role of mounted troops in the Trans-Mississippi Department.

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Bones for Barnum Brown

Adventures of a Dinosaur Hunter

James O. Farlow

Roland Thaxter Bird, universally and affectionately known to friends and associates as R. T., achieved a kind of Horatio Alger success in the scientific world of dinosaur studies. Forced to drop out of school at a young age by ill health, he was a cowboy who traveled from job to job by motorcycle until he met Barnum Brown, Curator of Vertebrae Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and a leader in the study of dinosaurs. Beginning in 1934, Bird spent many years as an employee of the museum and as Brown's right-hand man in the field. His chart of the Howe Quarry in Wyoming, a massive sauropod boneyard, is one of the most complex paleontological charts ever produced and a work of art in its own right. His crowning achievement was the discovery, collection, and interpretation of gigantic Cretaceous dinosaur trackways along the Paluxy River near Glen Rose and at Bandera, Texas. A trackway from Glen Rose is on exhibit at the American Museum and at the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin. His interpretation of these trackways demonstrated that a large carnosaur had pursued and attacked a sauropod, that sauropods migrated in herds, and that, contrary to then-current belief, sauropods were able to support their own weight out of deep water. These behavioral interpretations anticipated later dinosaur studies by at least two decades.

From his first meeting with Barnum Brown to his discoveries at Glen Rose and Bandera, this very human account tells the story of Bird's remarkable work on dinosaurs. In a vibrantly descriptive style, Bird recorded both the intensity and excitement of field work and the careful and painstaking detail of laboratory reconstruction. His memoir presents a vivid picture of camp life with Brown and the inner workings of the famous American Museum of Natural History, and it offers a new and humanizing account of Brown himself, one of the giants of his field.

Bird's memoir has been supplemented with a clear and concise introduction to the field of dinosaur study and with generous illustrations which delineate the various types of dinosaurs.

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The Brothers Hogan

A Fort Worth History

Jacqueline Hogan Towery

The Brothers Hogan: A Fort Worth History is a unique family portrait of one of golf’s greatest legends. Lavishly illustrated with never-before-seen family photos, The Brothers Hogan follows the lives of Ben Hogan, winner of sixty-eight tournaments and nine major championships, and his brother Royal, who climbed the ranks of top amateur golfers even as his brother Ben became one of golf’s most successful pros.

Narrated by Royal’s daughter Jacque, Ben’s niece, this revealing biography not only tells the story of Ben’s and Royal’s remarkable careers but also sets the record straight on the shocking suicide of the boys’ father, on Ben’s strained relationship with his wife Valerie, on the car crash that nearly ended Ben’s career, and on scores of details that have been misconstrued in earlier accounts.

The rise of Colonial Country Club and its legendary course—forever nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley”—and the rise of modern Fort Worth are part of the narrative as the Hogan boys and their city grew up together. Major Fort Worth leaders such as Tex Moncrief, Amon Carter, and  Marvin Leonard, the visionary who built both the Colonial and Shady Oaks courses, figure prominently in the book.

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