Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2005


Published in Great Plains Research 15:2 (Fall 2005). Copyright © 2005 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


George W. Bush has spawned a cottage industry of publications about his success in politics. One of the latest entries is James McEnteer's Deep in the Heart: The Texas Tendency in American Politics. In the 1990s, McEnteer wrote Fighting Words about firebrand journalists who challenged and shook up the Texas Establishment. Now McEnteer has penned his own fighting words about Bush's America. Like others, McEnteer retraces the Bushes' shady business deals. But it is the Alamo, rather than Bush, that serves as McEnteer's touchstone. McEnteer argues that the myth of the Alamo reflects a deep-seated cultural Texanism that has infected the American character. "The Texas tendency was, and remains an American tendency of an earlier era, a vestige of frontier conquest and ethnic cleansing .... Texas Alamo values, firm and unwavering, provided a comforting clarity in times of increasing complexity and confusion."