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University of North Texas Press

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Antebellum Jefferson, Texas

Everyday Life in an East Texas Town

Jacques D. Bagur

Founded in 1845 as a steamboat port at the entryway to western markets from the Red River, Jefferson was a thriving center of trade until the steamboat traffic dried up in the 1870s. During its heyday, the town monopolized the shipping of cotton from all points west for 150 miles. Jefferson was the unofficial capital of East Texas, but it was also typical of boom towns in general. For this topical examination of a frontier town, Bagur draws from many government documents, but also from newspaper ads and plats. These sources provide intimate details of the lives of the early citizens of Jefferson, Texas. Their story is of interest to both local and state historians as well as to the many readers interested in capturing the flavor of life in old-time East Texas. “Astoundingly complete and a model for local history research, with appeal far beyond readers who have specific interests in Jefferson.”—Fred Tarpley, author of Jefferson: Riverport to the Southwest

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Bad Boy from Rosebud

The Murderous Life of Kenneth Allen McDuff

Gary M. Lavergne

In October of 1989, the State of Texas set Kenneth Allen McDuff, the Broomstick Murderer, free on parole. By choosing to murder again, McDuff became the architect of an extraordinarily intolerant atmosphere in Texas. The spasm of prison construction and parole reforms—collectively called the “McDuff Rules”—resulted from an enormous display of anger vented towards a system that allowed McDuff to kill, and kill again. Bad Boy from Rosebud is a chilling account of the life of one of the most heartless and brutal serial killers in American history. Gary M. Lavergne goes beyond horror into an analysis of the unbelievable subculture in which McDuff lived. Equally compelling are the lives of remarkable law enforcement officers determined to bring McDuff to justice, and their seven-year search for his victims. “Texas still feels the pain inflicted by Kenneth Allen McDuff, despite the relentless efforts of law enforcement officials to solve his crimes and bind up its wounds. Bad Boy from Rosebud is an impeccably researched, compellingly detailed account of the crimes and the long search for justice. Gary Lavergne takes us directly to the scenes of the crimes, deep inside the mind of a killer, and in the process learns not only whom McDuff killed and how—but why. This is classic crime reporting.”—Dan Rather, CBS News

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Bad Company and Burnt Powder

Justice and Injustice in the Old Southwest

Bob Alexander

Bad Company and Burnt Powder is a collection of twelve stories of when things turned "Western" in the nineteenth-century Southwest. Each chapter deals with a different character or episode in the Wild West involving various lawmen, Texas Rangers, outlaws, feudists, vigilantes, lawyers, and judges. Covered herein are the stories of Cal Aten, John Hittson, the Millican boys, Gid Taylor and Jim and Tom Murphy, Alf Rushing, Bob Meldrum and Noah Wilkerson, P. C. Baird, Gus Chenowth, Jim Dunaway, John Kinney, Elbert Hanks and Boyd White, and Eddie Aten. Within these pages the reader will meet a nineteen-year-old Texas Ranger figuratively dying to shoot his gun. He does get to shoot at people, but soon realizes what he thought was a bargain exacted a steep price. Another tale is of an old-school cowman who shut down illicit traffic in stolen livestock that had existed for years on the Llano Estacado. He was tough, salty, and had no quarter for cow-thieves or sympathy for any mealy-mouthed politicians. He cleaned house, maybe not too nicely, but unarguably successful he was. Then there is the tale of an accomplished and unbeaten fugitive, well known and identified for murder of a Texas peace officer. But the Texas Rangers couldn't find him. County sheriffs wouldn't hold him. Slipping away from bounty hunters, he hit Owlhoot Trail.

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Behind Every Choice Is a Story

Gloria Feldt with Carol Trickett Jennings

Behind Every Choice Is a Story is a poignant blend of personal stories, commentary, and memoir that chronicles the life-changing reproductive choices that women, men, and teens make every day. The book also traces Gloria Feldt's personal journey from the dusty oil fields of West Texas to becoming a Head Start teacher and activist in the civil rights and women's movement, culminating in her current standing as one of the most influential voices in the reproductive freedom movement. The book was inspired by the 1928 Motherhood in Bondage , a collection of letters written by women to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Publishing these letters from women in desperate circumstances helped to equate the concept of birth control with higher values of wanted children, healthy mothers, loving couples, self realization, and female emancipation. Behind Every Choice Is a Story addresses many of those same issues and values and advances a new agenda for the twenty-first century. Behind Every Choice Is a Story sounds a clarion call by highlighting the importance of storytelling as a cultural force in encouraging change. Feldt recognizes and values women's stories for their personal, social, and political importance. The book uniquely positions current issues of reproductive freedom in the context of everyday experiences and provides a refreshing new framework to understand the current political and social landscape. Although the primary audience for this book is women who support reproductive freedom, a wide audience including men and teens will find their experiences among the compelling stories. It will also appeal to those who are intrigued by the unique perspective the book gives to the real-life impact of reproductive choices. "Behind Every Choice Is a Story will change how America talks about reproductive rights. Gloria's book inspires us to heed the clarion call, tell out stories, and raise our voices together."--Kathleen Turner

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Behind the Walls

A Guide for Families and Friends of Texas Prison Inmates

Jorge Antonio Renaud

Texas holds one in every nine U.S. inmates. Behind the Walls is a detailed description of one of the world's largest prison systems by a long-time convict trained as an observer and reporter. It spotlights the day-to-day workings of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-what's good, what's bad, which programs work and which ones do not, and examines if practice really follows official policy. Written to inform about the processes, services, activities, issues, and problems of being incarcerated, this book is invaluable to anyone who has a relative or friend incarcerated in Texas, or for those who want to understand how prisoners live, eat, work, play, and die in a contemporary U.S. prison. Containing a short history of Texas prisons and advice on how to help inmates get out and stay out of prison, this book is the only one of its kind-written by a convict still incarcerated and dedicated to dispelling the ignorance and fear that shroud Texas prisons. Renaud discusses living quarters, food, and clothing, along with how prisoners handle money, mail, visits, and phone calls. He explores the issues of drugs, racism, gangs, and violence as well as what an inmate can learn about his parole, custody levels, and how to handle emergencies. What opportunities are available for education? What is the official policy for discipline? What is a lockdown? These questions and many others are answered in this one-of-a-kind guide.

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The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012

Edited by George Getschow

This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2012 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States. First place winner: Eli Saslow,“Life of a Salesman,” published by the Washington Post, is about a Manassas, Va., swimming pool salesman experiencing the unraveling of his decades-long success story. Second place: Kelley Benham, “Never Let Go,” published by the Tampa Bay Times, is her personal account of the months following the birth of her premature daughter. Third place: Anne Hull, “Breaking Free,” published by the Washington Post, traces a teenage girl’s climb out of poverty as she prepares for college. Runner-ups include: John Branch, “The Day a Mountain Moved” (New York Times); Dan Barry, “Donna’s Diner: In the Hard Fall of a Favorite Son, a Reminder of a City’s Scars” (New York Times); Rosalind Bentley, “The Nation’s Poet” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); Mark Johnson, “I Boy” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); Monica Rhor, “Homelessness” (Houston Chronicle); Louis Hansen, “The Girl Who Took Down the Gang” (Virginian-Pilot); and Martin Kuz, “Soldiers Recount 60-Second Attack That Left Them Reflecting on Life and Death” (Stars and Stripes).

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The Best American Newspaper Narratives, Volume 2

Edited by George Getschow

This anthology collects the twelve winners of the 2013 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest, run by the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. The event is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States. First place winner: Eli Saslow, "Into the Lonely Quiet" (Washington Post), follows the family of a 7-year-old victim of the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, six months after the shooting. Second place: Eric Moskowitz, "Marathon Carjacking" (Boston Globe), is the story of "Danny," who was carjacked by the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombing three days after the bombing. Third place: Mark Johnson, "The Course of Their Lives" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), an account of first-year medical students as they take a human dissection course. Runners-up include Christopher Goffard, "The Manhunt" (Los Angeles Times); Stephanie McCrummen, "Wait--You Described It as a Cloudy Feeling?" (Washington Post); Michael M. Phillips, "The Lobotomy Files" (Wall Street Journal); Aaron Applegate, "Taken Under" (Virginian-Pilot); Meg Kissinger, "A Mother, at Her Wits' End" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); Michael Kruse, "The Last Voyage of the Bounty" (Tampa Bay Times); Shaun McKinnon, "Alone on the Hill" (Arizona Republic); Mike Newall, "Almost Justice" (Philadelphia Inquirer); and Sarah Schweitzer, "Together, Despite All" (Boston Globe).

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The Best American Newspaper Narratives, Volume 3

Edited by Gayle Reaves

This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2014 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest, run by the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. The event is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States. First place winner: Dan Barry, "The Boys in the Bunkhouse," published by The New York Times, exposed thirty years of physical and mental abuse of intellectually disabled men living in an Iowa group home. Second place: Christopher Goffard, "The Favor," published by the Los Angeles Times, describes the plea bargain sentence of the son of a former California assembly speaker, after the son pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and whose prison sentence was later reduced by then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Third place: Stephanie McCrummen, "A Father’s Scars," published by the Washington Post, about a Virginia state senator one year after he was stabbed multiple times by his mentally ill son before the son killed himself. Runners-up include Nathan Bomey, John Gallagher and Mark Stryker, "How Detroit was Reborn" (Detroit Free Press); Monica Hesse, "Love and Fire" (Washington Post); Sarah Schweitzer, "Chasing Bayla" (Boston Globe); Sarah Kleiner Varble, "Then the Walls Closed In" (The Virginian Pilot); Joanne Kimberlin and Janie Bryant, "Dangerous Minds" (The Virginian Pilot); Molly Harbarger, "Fred Nelligan" (The Oregonian); and Mark Johnson, "Murray's Problem" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

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The Best American Newspaper Narratives, Volume 4

Edited by Gayle Reaves

This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2016 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, an event hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. First place winner: Stephanie McCrummen, “An American Void” (The Washington Post), focused on the friends of the alleged murderer of nine members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, North Carolina. Second place: Christopher Goffard, “Fleeing Syria: The Choice” (Los Angeles Times), is about a former dressmaker from Syria gaining asylum in Sweden for her family, but her husband and children were still in Turkey. Third place: Sarah Schweitzer, “The Life and Times of Strider Wolf” (Boston Globe), documented the difficult life of a six-year-old boy and his brother, who were rescued from near-fatal abuse and sent to live with their grandparents in campgrounds in Maine. Runners-up include Cynthia Hubert, “Genny’s World” (Sacramento Bee); Michael M. Phillips, “Inside an FBI Hostage Crisis” (The Wall Street Journal); Mark Johnson, “Patient, Surgeon Work Together” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); Howard Reich, “Norman Malone’s Quest” (Chicago Tribune); John Woodrow Cox, “Telling JJ” (The Washington Post); Maria Cramer, “The Boy Who Burned Inside” (Boston Globe); and Gina Barton, “Unsolved: A Murdered Teen, a 40-year Mystery” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

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Big Thicket Legacy

Edited by Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller

In Big Thicket Legacy, Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller present the stories of people living in the Big Thicket of southeast Texas. Many of the storytellers were close to one hundred years old when interviewed, with some being the great-grandchildren of the first settlers. Here are tales about robbing a bee tree, hunting wild boar, plowing all day and dancing all night, wading five miles to church through a cypress brake, and making soap using hickory ashes. "The book is a storehouse of history, down-to-earth information, good humor, leg-pulling spoofs, tall tales and all kinds of serendipitous gems . . . Readers inclined to fantasy might like to think of two giant Texas folklorists of the past, J. Frank Dobie and Mody Boatright, nodding and winking their approval of Big Thicket Legacy."—Smithsonian

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