Author

Gregory Curtis

Gregory Curtis was born in Corpus Christi and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He received a BA in English from Rice University and a master’s in English from San Francisco State College. While in San Francisco, he ran a very small printing and publishing company. He became a staff writer for Texas Monthly in 1972, just as the magazine was launched, and was promoted to editor in 1981, a position he held until 2000. In addition to Texas Monthly, he has written for the New York Times, New York Times magazine, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and Time. Curtis is the author of The Cave Painters and Disarmed: The Story of Venus DeMilo. He lives in Austin and is an adequate equestrian and aspiring magician.

Border & Immigration |
July 31, 1996

Shooting on the Border

THERE IS AN OBLIGATORY SCENE in every movie about the border between Texas and Mexico: A man draws a line in the dirt with his boot. The line means something different in each movie, and yet, there it is, a narrow little rut in the ground that the characters gesture

Books |
March 1, 1996

Bookends

The conventional wisdom is that the independents are good and the national chains are evil—but don’t judge a bookstore by its cover.

Behind the Lines |
November 1, 1995

Prince “Tex” Charles

Donald Trump is one. So are Boris Yeltsin and John Gotti. So was Emily Dickinson. What are they? Texans of course.

Behind the Lines |
April 1, 1995

A Case of Murder

More criminals are condemned to death in the Harris County courthouse than anywhere else in the world.

Behind the Lines |
September 30, 1994

Shape Up

Edward Blum ran for Congress in 1992, lost, and then decided to change America. He has succeeded. He was one of six plaintiffs in a Texas case that, along with similar cases in North Carolina and Louisiana, will help reverse the racial separation and antagonism that infects our public life.

Behind the Lines |
June 30, 1994

Affirmative Reaction

The judge could surprise everyone, but it is no longer likely that the case of Hopwood, et al. v. Texas, et al., which concluded in Austin in late May, will change America by rewriting the law of affirmative action. For a while, the suit brought by four white applicants who

Business |
February 1, 1993

Essay: A Wild Ride

Once, you needed the price of oil to predict our ever-changing economic future. Now you need the want ads, the stock tables, and a whole lot more.

Behind the Lines |
September 30, 1992

The Intimate GOP

IT WAS JUST TEN DAYS after the close of the Republican convention, and here I was at a much smaller gathering of Republicans at Fairview Farms in Plano, just north of Dallas. Proclaimed a “Boot Scootin’ Olde Tyme Political Hoe-Down,” this campaign kickoff was also, of course, a “family event”

Behind the Lines |
August 31, 1992

Why Unforgiven?

YOU COULD HEAR A GASP from the audience when Clint Eastwood suddenly appeared on the screen. It was just a preview of his new movie, Unforgiven, but there he was in a long, dark slicker, his face in profile, staring menacingly from beneath a dark hat with a flat rim:

Behind the Lines |
July 31, 1992

Threat or Menace?

Ross Perot is a candidate for president because a lot of people want him to be. He has acted in a very clever, innovative way to arouse and build that support, but the support truly did arise and grow. That means that Perot’s campaign is a pure expression of democracy.

Behind the Lines |
May 31, 1992

Oil and Water

Ten years ago I guess you could call yourself a Texan if you hadn’t been to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, but an easy conversance with the OTC and its ways certainly bolstered your credentials. Back then the OTC was, like riding a horse or drinking a beer in

Behind the Lines |
April 1, 1992

Testing Delusions

This year is the twenty-sixth anniversary of the hardest test I ever took. Then, about to graduate from college with an English degree, I had been in school for so long and had liked it so much that I had no particular yearning to go out into the world. Perhaps

Behind the Lines |
March 1, 1992

The Jammin’ Judge

ERIC ANDELL, THE JUDGE OF A JUVENILE court in Houston, peered down from the bench at the small cluster of people before him. In the center stood a lean sixteen-year-old boy in blue jeans and a light-green jersey with a hood. He and a friend had stolen a car to

Behind the Lines |
February 1, 1992

A New Foundation

If Texas is already overburdened with lawyers, and if, nevertheless, our law schools are still bursting with students, then I have a simple solution. Before submitting an application, all who want to apply to law school must sit down and read every word of the Texas constitution that was passed

Politics & Policy |
January 1, 1992

A Principal’s World

Conventional wisdom about education holds that local control, a strong principal, and active, involved parents are crucial ingredients in the mix that makes a successful school. This wisdom is so pervasive that the Legislature has made local control, in the form of “site-based decision making,” a legal requirement in Texas

Behind the Lines |
December 1, 1991

A Round Per Second

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any pumpkins; they would have shown vividly the violence these guns could do. But we didn’t let that slight disappointment stop us. At a remote rifle range, we blasted away. Or, to be precise, I blasted away, as my two friends, a law enforcement officer and