Texas Blood by Roger D. Hodge
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In the tradition of Ian Frazier’s Great Plains and as vivid as the work of Cormac McCarthy, an intoxicating singularly illuminating history of the Texas borderlands from their settlement through seven generations of the author’s ranching family. What is it about Texas that for centuries has exerted a powerful allure for adventurers and scoundrels, dreamers and desperate souls, outlaws, and outliers? In search of answers, Hodge travels across his home state—which he loves and hates in shifting measure—tracing the wanderings of his ancestors into forgotten histories along vanished roads. Here is an unsentimental keenly insightful attempt to grapple with all that makes Texas so magical, punishing and polarizing. Here is a spellbindingly evocative portrait of the borderlands-with its brutal history of colonization, conquest, and genocide, where stories of death and drugs and desperation play out daily. And here is a contemplation of what it means that the ranching industry that has sustained families like Hodges for almost two centuries is quickly fading away, taking with it a part of our larger deep-rooted cultural inheritance. A wholly original fusion of memoir and history, as piercing as it is elegiac, Texas Blood is a triumph.
Roger D. Hodge is the former editor of the Oxford American. He is currently deputy editor of The Intercept.
Knopf. Hardcover. 353 Pages