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Tinseltown almost always gets Texas wrong. The "Searchers" never did that much searching, the "Giants" were hardly ever big in terms of character, and The Last Picture Show was just the beginning of a disturbing reveal. As acclaimed writer Stephen Harrigan suggests, the Lone Star state was not exactly a Big, Wonderful Thing, and, for too many Texans, nothing was ever "Awright, Awright, Awright." A Black civil rights champion was assassinated in 1976 and the incident was buried. A Cowtown Catcher in the Rye was published in 1940, and the country club made it disappear. And the war machines of Hitler and Mussolini were perfected with Texas oil during the Spanish Civil War. Author E.R. Bills challenges his proud neighbors, earnestly asking them to take a hard look at their history and it's repercussions, and challenge their own historical amnesia, cultural fragility and fierce denial.
Born in Fort Worth in 1967, Bills was raised in Aledo, Texas. His blue-collar parents stressed the importance of a college education and sent him to Europe with the American Institute of Foreign Study at the age of sixteen. Pursuing studies in art, literature and journalism at Texas State University, Bills garnered numerous state and regional awards for his work as the editor of the university magazine, Hillside Scene and also served as editor of university’s literary journal, Persona. In 1990, he was a member of Texas State’s national championship-winning team in the American Advertising Federation's annual National Student Advertising Competition and graduated from the Texas State University Honors College with a degree in journalism and does freelance writing for publications around the state. He currently resides in North Texas with his wife and family.
Uncover the suppressed testimony of the Lone Star State's uncomfortable past.