Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Published in Great Plains Research 20.1 (Spring 2010): 190.


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


According to Brian McCall, a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives since 1991, the governorship of Texas is an office designed for individuals with the ability to project power in creative ways—beyond the mere execution of expressed authority, and with the complementary skill of a strong vision-casting and agenda-setting leadership style. Put another way, in The Power of the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush, McCall, who equates power to “a social game,” boldly claims that the Texas governorship stands as among the best laboratories for any study of human behavior. McCall attempts to use that laboratory to make a claim about the effectiveness and legacies of the men and women who have served in the highest elected office in the Lone Star State since 1962, current Texas Governor Rick Perry excluded. Ultimately, however, what the reader gets is a reasonably objective, but reasonably safe, simple, and superficial overview of eight Texas governors, their political times, and their political legacies.