In This Issue
Explore the March 1975 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Notes on the Texas I Remember
Welcome to Houston: Absorb, Absorb
Texas, d.c.: The Washington Connection
“Wc pick ‘em good, we elect ‘em young, and we keep ‘em there,” claims one of the covey of shrewd Texans who found his way to and around Washington. From Garner to Rayburn to LBJ, they passed a grip on congressional power to each other; from Colonel Mouse in Wilson’s time to John Connally’s star turn, they had the ear of the man in the White House. The legendary figures are gone, and their heirs have taken heavy casualties. But Texans still play a formidable hand in the capital’s power games.
Seven Keys to Understanding Texas
Think of Texans as proud yet humbled (Texans humbled? Yes, humbled), as conquerors and conquered, as people plunging gustily forward yet remembering where grandparents are buried. But there are Anglo-Saxon Texans, slave-descended Texans, Spanishand Indian-descended Texans. A historian of Texas here tells how they all coalesce into a kind of separate nationhood while being very much a part of the U.S.A.
Dancing Cheek to Cheek With Lionel Trilling
Elizabeth Bowen: On the Mark
Human Sexual Behavior
The Peripatetic Reviewer
In Defense of Homo Sapiens
Before My Time
A Treasury of African Folklore
Death Bird Stories
A Pride of Dolphins
Hidden From History
Innocent Bystander: Gebrauchsgrafik
“The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” —Walt Whitman in the preface of Leaves of Grass (1855)
The Texas Moon, and Elsewhere
Throughout most of the twentieth century, two figures have epitomized Texas: the cowboy and the multimillionaire. The cowboy is gone, but the passionate intemperance of the six-gun days lives on. The rich man abounds, and his mythology, money—Big Money—is the only mythology left. One of the many fine young writers to come out of the state eulogizes “Texas Passing.”
How I Got There: Staying Power
Reports & Comment
Playing Cowboy: That Widespread Breed, the Expatriate
“All you goddamn expatriates act like time froze somewhere in the 1950s,” a Texan friend told returning native King. “You’d think we hadn’t discovered television down here, or the car, or skin flicks, or dope. Hell, we grew us a President down here. We’ve got tall buildings and longhairs and some of us know how to ski!”
A Brief Tour of the Arts
Inside the Austin Fun House: "My God! You Mean There Are Twelve Worse Than This"
The Texas Legislature. It passed a resolution commending the Boston Strangler for his efforts at population control. One of its members, trapped in a barefaced lie, concedes, “You caught me speedin’.” If you start a fight for “reeform,” especially for any bill that would threaten “a healthy bidness climate,” you might wind up in List City.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
Town and Country: The Thrill of the Skyline, the Pull of the Land
Oil: The Source
Oil has produced much of Texas’ legendary wealth, and oil has produced some legendary Texans as well —the loners who have sought and found it. They endure, and they prosper, but in the privacy of their second (or third) homes, in their Cadillacs and Lear jets, they often fear for the future.
Our Hands Belong to the Valley
To some they’re “the Mexicans,” to others they’re “the pickers”; they often call themselves “Chicanes,” and they are also Texans mostly poor and abused ones.
Education in Texas
Bright Lights, Big Cities: And Getting Bigger
One man’s guide to Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio.
Texans and God
The Hard-Used Land
Americans have always been cruel to the land, and when they reached Texas, they found 170 million acres of it. For 150 years they have been recklessly plowing it, logging it, grazing it, and reaching down for its water and oil. Rain doesn’t follow the plow, not any longer, if it ever did, and there’s no greener pasture over the hill. So, says a man who lives off the abused Texas land, the time has come to realize that, short of cultivating other planets, there is nothing left but to succor and renew “the earth that shaped us and feeds us and sustains us and will accept our bodies when we die.”