Dick Reavis

Dick J. Reavis was a freelancer for Texas Monthly from 1977 to 1981 and a staff writer from 1981 to 1990. He has written about undocumented immigrants, guerrillas, convicts, Mexican coal miners, a Mexican banker, security guards, and the Bandidos Motorcycle Club (which he also rode with) for publications as diverse as Soldier of Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. While working for Texas Monthly, he took jobs as a guard at a mental hospital, a security guard at six different companies, and a carnival worker so he could write about his experiences. In 1987, he drove every highway mile on the official map of Texas to write about the state for TM.

Reavis has written six books, including The Ashes of Waco, an investigation into the 1993 Waco siege, and has translated two books from Spanish. An anthology of his work, Texas Reporter, Texas Radical, was published in June 2022. Before retiring in 2014, he was a professor in the English department at North Carolina State University. He lives in Dallas.

69 Articles

Letter From Mexico|
August 31, 2006

The Recount

Mexico in 2006 may not be Florida in 2000, but there are at least two similarities: The final results of its closest-ever presidential election are taking pretty long to determine. And however it comes out, a lot of people are going to be unhappy.

January 1, 2001

Taste for Trouble

When San Antonio restaurateur Mario Cantú died last November, he left behind a legacy of political activism along with fine Mexican fare.

Politics & Policy|
December 1, 2000

Can Vicente Fox Save Mexico?

His election was historic for many reasons, not least because he embodies the stifled hopes of generations of his countrymen. Still, the obstacles he faces when he assumes the presidency on December 1 are considerable. Will he be able to deliver?

July 1, 1995

What Really Happened at Waco

Just as congressional hearings are set to begin, an exclusive excerpt from a new book casts a different light on the government’s role in the fiery end to the siege at Mount Carmel.

Being Texan|
April 1, 1988

Miles and Miles of Texas

The assignment was the chance of a lifetime to see the whole state, once and for all. At times pure pleasure and at times a feat of will, it was always and foremost a writer’s dream come true.

February 1, 1988

Now For the Weather

When a rural Texas says, “It looks like rain,” he’s really meditating on the nature of the universe.

Travel & Outdoors|
January 1, 1988

The National Tour of Texas

Out itinerant reporter visits with a Lubbock man determined to preserve the American Way of Life; the doughty clan that brought beer to Levelland; a windy lady fascinated with the weather and a rusticated professor gone to seed.

Travel & Outdoors|
September 30, 1987

The National Tour of Texas

Across pastoral northeast Texas, where Baptists debate the niceties of immersion, truckers and hookers turn the airwaves blue, and bass have their private lives laid bare by electronic snooping.

Travel & Outdoors|
August 31, 1987

The National Tour of Texas

Tales of the Piney Woods: the original kinds of the forest, the Bright way to get a chicken in every pot, the gamble of today’s Tenaha. Plus: an unusual graveyard, a haunting ruin, a chilling church name.

Travel & Outdoors|
July 31, 1987

The National Tour of Texas

Passing (slowly) through Kendleton. Then on to Houston, where student murals record the march of time and Vietnam vets gather; to a meal so good it’s kept under lock and key; and finally to the (formerly) Golden Triangle.

Travel & Outdoors|
June 30, 1987

The National Tour of Texas

Back from the Gulf and along its coastal bend, picture-book towns offer scenes that have nearly vanished from urban Texas, not to mention the most confusing sign, the best noontime stop, and the most Shakespearean site.

Travel & Outdoors|
May 31, 1987

From the harsh landscape of the Permian Basin, whose residents find their faith in free enterprise tested by hard times; to the subtropical city of San Antonio, whose Hispanic citizens have gone gaga over Goyo-Goyo; into deepest South Texas, where the old times of the Parr machine are not forgotten.

Travel & Outdoors|
April 30, 1987

Travels through the Trans-Pecos—splendor in the Big Bend, the greening of the Alpine grasslands, today’s version of profitable ranching, escape from the rat race in South Brewster County, innkeeping Indians in Van Horn—to El Paso, way out on the edge of Texas.

National Tour|
April 1, 1987

National Tour

Out of the Valley and into the Borderlands, where the architecture is erratic, the radio is heavenly, and the peso has lost its power.

December 1, 1986

Texas Monthly Reporter

Screaming headlines and shameless photos make Laredo’s El Arma! the largest-selling Spanish weekly in the U.S.; Norbert Lyssy has mile to go before he sleeps (soundly); within our midst lies an alien and insurgent clan, the New England of Texas.

September 1, 1986

The Faulty Cure

Houston is famous for medical cures. But when British rock star Ronnie Lane came to town with a crippling disease and $1 million for research, all he got was crippling legal problems.

Politics & Policy|
June 1, 1986


Hank Milam was a businessman with $20,000 in equipment and a firm faith in the rules of the game.He took on the union that had ruled the Houston docks for fifty years and beat it on its own turf.

September 30, 1985

Texas Monthly Reporter

The villains behind the seat belt law; the shoeshine boys behind the border bird trade; the pastor behind Austin’s chicest church.

April 30, 1985

Texas Monthly Reporter

Battles at the border; weirdos at the Starck Club; monument at the end of the tracks; Mr. Migra goes after Zopilote; Baptists at each other's throats.

Being Texan|
April 1, 1985


He left his parents’ house in search of a world where things were black and white, where there were heroes and villains. What he found in the slums of Port Arthur was a world that would tolerate people like him-and take advantage of them.

January 1, 1985

Mexico Refried

A book on Mexico by New York Times correspondent Alan Riding is a little more than a rehash of recent history.

November 1, 1984

4 BR, 2 BA, Needs Work

Why did I trade in my trouble-free condo for an aging country home with decrepit plumbing? I’m trying to figure that out myself.

September 30, 1983

Books Only A Mother Could Love

You too can be an author-if you’re willing to publish the book yourself. All you have to have is a stack of paper, a tale to tell, and a couple of thousand bucks.

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