The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the eight titles from our December 2017 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.


1. Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics
By Marjorie Julian Spruill
Details the feminist National Women’s Conference and the conservative Pro-Life, Pro-Family Rally held simultaneously in Houston in November 1977. Describes the political figures and policy decisions that led to these conflicting events. Argues that the push and pull of these opposing women’s movements have played a key role in shaping our current political environment.
Bloomsbury, 2017. 436 pages.
305.4 SP88D 2017



2. Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850
By Andrew J. Torget
Chronicles how Mexicans, Indians, Anglo-Americans, Europeans, and African Americans competed for space and power in the Texas borderlands, with the Atlantic cotton economy—and its reliance on slavery—being a driving force. Argues that the Republic of Texas was not simply a rebellion from Mexico but was also a “dress rehearsal” for the Confederacy and an attempt to build a cotton empire along the Gulf Coast of North America.
University of North Carolina Press, 2015. 353 pages.
338.1 T632S 2015



3. The Struggle to Reform Our Colleges
By Derek Curtis Bok
Examines the shortcomings of U.S. colleges, from disparities in the quality of education to racial/socioeconomic stratification to high costs, and the slow progress in addressing these challenges. Identifies initiatives and strategies that the author, a former president of Harvard University, believes would improve accountability, innovation, and the pace of reform.
Princeton University Press, 2017. 228 pages.
378.73 B637S 2017



4. A Texan Plan for the Texas Coast
By Jim Blackburn
Presents a Texas coastal protection solution that conserves natural resources and the long-term health and beauty of the coast, while encouraging economic growth and entrepreneurship, supporting the oil and gas industry, and valuing the traditions of the agricultural and ranching communities on the coast. Describes the assets of the Texas coast as "green" (natural ecological systems), "gray" (industrial and development infrastructure), and water. Includes recommendations on hurricane preparedness, surge flood prevention, and levee systems.
Texas A & M University Press, 2017. 305 pages.
976.4 B562T 2017



5. The Dukes of Duval County: The Parr Family and Texas Politics
By Anthony Carrozza
Examines the Parr family dynasty that swayed local and state elections primarily in Duval County but also across South Texas for over half a century. Documents how the Parrs, including former Texas Senator Archie Parr, rose to prominence from wealthy land owners to county and state officials who influenced Texas politics, including the election of Lyndon B. Johnson to the U.S. Senate. Explores how the Parr family was able to use its power and influence to avoid jail terms and justice until its regime ended in the 1970s.
University of Oklahoma Press, 2017. 427 pages.
976.4 C237D 2017



6. Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas
By Jesus F. de la Teja, ed.
Presents a collection of essays on the lives and careers of prominent as well as lesser-known but historically significant Tejano leaders and their role in the formation of Texas. Features José Antonio Navarro, Juan Seguín, and Plácido Benavides along with their little-known counterparts, including Father Refugio de la Garza, Juan Martín Veramendi, José Antonio Saucedo, Raphael Manchola, and Carlos de la Garza.
Texas A&M University Press, 2010. 252 pages.
976.4 T235T 2010



7. Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, 1862
By Richard B. McCaslin
Recounts the hanging of more than 42 alleged Unionist prisoners by the Citizens Court in Gainesville and the lynching of more prisoners in surrounding communities during the Civil War. Attributes a tradition of violence and vigilantism in North Texas, along with economic conditions and family relationships, as contributing factors to this dramatic event. Explores why those responsible for the Great Hanging were never prosecuted and why violence against families accused of Unionism continued long after the war ended.
Louisiana State University Press, 1994. 234 pages.
976.4 M128T 1994



8. New, Renamed, and Abolished State Government Entities: 85th Legislature
By Texas Legislative Council
Reports on state government agencies, interagency panels, advisory committees, and other state governmental entities created, restructured, or eliminated by legislation enacted in the 85th Legislature. Provides information about each entity, including the bill number and specific bill sections that contain provisions pertaining to the entity, effective dates, powers and duties of the entity or whether certain functions were transferred to another entity, membership information, and Sunset or expiration dates.
Texas Legislative Council, 2017. 41 pages.
Online at:
L1400.8 N42 2017