Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas

Kay Bailey Hutchison. Harper, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-062-13069-3
Former U.S. Senator Hutchison (American Heroines) was the first woman to represent Texas in the Senate, and she’s admirably devoted her authorial career to writing women back into the historical record. Taking a local history approach that incorporates her family’s Texas roots, Hutchison emphasizes in her newest the independent spirit of Texans who rose up against Mexican rule and who carved out a living from the rugged landscape. She writes a doggedly chronological story, stretching from Anna Mary Taylor (the author’s great-great-grandmother), a young bride in Nacogdoches in 1831 most known for her gardening; to Oveta Culp Hobby, a politically influential journalist who headed the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in the early 1940s. There is no discernible criteria for Hutchison’s choices of pioneering women, though the majority of them are from the early 19th century and include Susanna Dickinson, one of a handful of women who survived the Alamo; and Rachel Parker Plummer, who was captured and brutally beaten by Comanche Indians. Unfortunately, these individual stories lack depth, cohesion, and nuance. Most of the historical context is presented in chunks separate from the lives of the women, which only calls attention to how they are still viewed as outsiders in mainstream history. Texas women await their historical due. Agent: Robert B. Barnett, Williams & Connolly LLP. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Paperback - 358 pages - 978-0-06-213071-6
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-213070-9
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