Joe Nick Patoski

Joe Nick Patoski is a former senior editor for Texas Monthly and a one-time reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. He has authored and co-authored biographies of Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan, collaborated with photographer Laurence Parent on books about the Texas mountains, the Texas coast, and Big Bend National Park, all published by University of Texas Press, in addition to writing Generations on the Land: A Conservation Legacy (Texas A&M Press) and Texas High School Football: More Than the Game (Texas Historical Commission). His 2008 book, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, published by Little, Brown, was recognized by the Friends of the TCU Library with the Texas Book Award for the best book about Texas written in 2007/2008. His most recent book for Little, Brown is The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America. Patoski’s byline has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, TimeOut New York, Garden & Gun, and No Despression magazine, for whom he is a contributing editor.


The Rookie

Two and a half years ago, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum asked me to organize an exhibit about high school football. Did I mention I’m not a curator?

Git Along . . .

How Lubbock—epicenter of the prairie dog universe—learned to stop worrying and love the little beasts.

Pit Stops

Where are the best places to eat barbecue in Texas? Six years ago we published a highly subjective—and hotly debated— list of our fifty favorite joints, and now we’ve gone back for seconds. Ten intrepid souls drove more than 21,000 miles in search of 2003’s worthiest ‘cue. Here’s what they came back with: the top 5 and the next 45, plus honorable mentions, great chains, and meat by mail.

Troubled Water?

The Austin American-Statesman versus Barton Springs.

A Time to Drill

Drilling for answers on Padre Island.

Pom-pom and Circumstance

Why you can’t spell “cheerleader” without “leader.”

Water Hazard

The mayor of San Antonio says a 2,600-acre golf resort on top of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone won’t ruin the city’s sole source of drinking water. Who wants to tee off on that one?

Water Foul

When the City of Marshall wanted to pump millions of gallons of water out of Caddo Lake and sell them to the highest bidder, the state said, “Sure.” Residents of Karnack, Uncertain, and other tiny northeast Texas towns said, “Hell, no.” Guess who prevailed (for now)?

Prairie Dogma

Birders and their allies want to preserve the vanishing grassland of the farm and ranch country west of Houston, but time is running out.

Reliant Stadium

Tackling the ins and outs of Reliant Stadium.

Get Your Groove Back

A new book on dance halls explains why Texans are itching to go boot-scootin’.