The Best Audio Books on Texas

February 28, 2012

The Lone Star State has a long and storied history. It was the site of one of the most famous standoffs in American history (remember the Alamo?), it was once declared an independent republic with its own president (and rumors of the desire to secede have flourished ever since), and it’s currently a hotbed of political turmoil thanks to the national dispute over border control. In addition, it has a distinctive flair, even amongst the many states that sport their own unique atmosphere. So if you’re looking to learn more about the many things that make this state great, here are a few audio books that will whisk you away to Texas.

  1. Wagons West Texas! by Dana Fuller Ross. This audio book is number five in a series of 24 historical fictions detailing America’s push for manifest destiny. Ross (actually one of many pseudonyms used by prolific writer Noel Bertram Gerson) details the rise of the Republic of Texas circa 1844 through the eyes of some of the people living in the territory at the time. With a fictional spin on the history of the building of a great state, this book will take listeners inside the timeline in a uniquely personal way, making you feel like you were experiencing this exciting time in America’s history firsthand.
  2. Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne. Quanah Parker was the son of a white settler (who chose to remain with her Native American captors) and the Comanche chief she eventually married. He was also the most feared war chief in the Texas panhandle during his lifetime, and the driving force that kept Mexicans, Americans, and Apaches off Comanche land up until westward expansion won out with a tidal wave of settlers. This audio book is captivating, horrifying, and historically accurate, and it tells a tale of the changing face of a nation through a brutal battle of will and warfare that lasted for forty years and brought down the most powerful tribe of the time.
  3. Chasing Ghosts, Texas Style: On the Road with Everyday Paranormal by Brad Klinge and Barry Klinge. There has certainly been enough conflict in this state’s history to raise some spooky specters, and in their 20 years of paranormal investigation these brothers have seen it all. Some of their most hair-raising experiences are detailed in this engrossing audio book, which provides in-depth accounts of some of their most bizarre and inexplicable cases. Those who were sorry to see the passing of Ghost Lab will appreciate another chance to connect with their favorite pair of Texas ghost hunters.
  4. Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson. Although the hurricane that hit Galveston in September of 1900 has been surpassed as the deadliest hurricane since the release of this audio book (by Katrina in 2005), that doesn’t make the story of life, death, and the hand of nature any less shocking or riveting. The story follows Isaac Cline, a scientist operating with the newly formed U.S. Weather Bureau who seriously misread the signs of the impending disaster and suffered his own loss in the process.
  5. As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda by Gail Collins. If Collins is to be believed, Texas has lately been determining the forward momentum of the United States. She states her case with a focus on political figures like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Carl Rove, and Rick Perry, and it’s hard to argue that these men from Texas have not influenced the current state of our economy. This is not the type of banter you’re likely to hear around water coolers and Dallas garage sales, since Collins is clearly against their political agenda. But according to this audio book, the nation is currently following the lead of the 28th state.

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