1st edition cover
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Texas (1985) is a novel by James A. Michener based on the history of the Lone Star State. Characters include real and fictional characters, explorers (particularly Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca), Spanish and German Texan settlers, ranchers, oil men, aristocrats, Chicanos, and others, all based on extensive historical research - although not so much in the part describing the origins of a family of Germany where Michener got his facts fundamentally wrong. E.g., he describes the Markgrave's territory on the Rhine whence the family comes as an area where various hordes from the East would have to give battle before they could reach and plunder rich German cities such as Nuremberg. But the Rhine is in Germany's West, so the Eastern invaders would have sacked Nuremberg weeks before reaching said river.
Although Michener received a tremendous amount of support from the Texas government, with then-Governor Bill Clements offering him access to numerous state archives and research staff at the University of Texas at Austin, the novel was not well received in the state. Texas Monthly magazine awarded James Michener its Bum Steer of the Year Award (given to people who have done something to merit ridicule or embarrassment) for the novel's hackneyed dialogue and tendency to resort to stereotypes. The journal, however, made peace with Michener later.
It was adapted into a 1994 made-for-TV movie of the same name, directed by Richard Lang and featuring actors such as Stacy Keach, Benjamin Bratt, Rick Schroder, and Patrick Duffy. The TV daytime series Texas is not related to the book or film.
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