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Writer-at-large Michael Ennis is a longtime Dallas resident whose writing for Texas Monthly has included award-winning art criticism and political commentary as well as in-depth reporting on business and national defense. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in history and a former Rockefeller Foundation fellow in museum education, he is also the New York Times best-selling author of historical novels that have been published in twenty languages worldwide. He is currently working on a “historical novel set in the future” about the breakup of the United States, the transformation of politics and culture by deeply immersive virtual reality, and the competition among next-generation tech giants to develop human-level artificial intelligence.

203 Articles

August 5, 2014

Dallas Flambé

With its tight prose, waitress heroine, and stinging insight into urban life, Merritt Tierce’s debut marks an exciting turn in Texas literature.

June 5, 2014

Race and Relations

Journalist Chris Tomlinson delves into the parallel histories of two Texas families with the same last name—one black, one white.

April 8, 2014

The Rough Guide to Frackistan

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, should rank alongside the smartphone as this young century’s most transformative technology. Over the past decade, so much oil and gas has been unlocked from previously impervious rock that America’s generation-long energy crisis has all but ended. Instead of a crippling strategic vulnerability—dependence on foreign

News & Politics|
November 19, 2013

Bipolar Order

Contrary to what the national media would have you believe, Texas is not politically monochromatic. It is, and always has been, a state with two minds.

Politics & Policy|
October 21, 2013

Spun City

For half a century the world has regarded the Dallas of 1963 as a city of hate. But as JFK knew when he got there, that wasn’t the whole story.

June 10, 2013

The Re-Searchers

Why, in books and movies (not to mention politics), we keep returning to the epic frontier struggle between the Comanche and the Texas Rangers.

January 24, 2013

Change of Art

Just over forty years ago, Texas was the kind of place dismissed as hopelessly provincial and culturally mediocre. But then came the Kimbell Art Museum.

Style & Design|
January 21, 2013

Arch of Triumph

Dallas’s almost-finished Calatrava bridge may be an emblem of the city’s status. But the smart urban plan for the small neighborhood it leads to says more about the city’s future.

Michael Ennis|
January 1, 2009

The New New Deal

What University of Texas historian H. W. Brands’s new biography of Franklin Roosevelt tells us about the Obama administration.

Politics & Policy|
March 1, 2008

Bear Market

The historic showdown between Texas and California has been a cold war, a simmering ideological feud between two great powers. And the winner (for now) is . . .

Michael Ennis|
October 31, 2007

Modern Problems

What Dallas has in common with Beijing—and why their shared vision of the twenty-first-century world must carry the day.

Michael Ennis|
July 31, 2007


Where the great silent majority is taking politics, here and elsewhere.

March 31, 2007

He Was A Camera

Russell Lee’s rarely seen Texas photographs reveal an artist at the peak of his powers of observation.

Michael Ennis|
March 31, 2007

How We Blew It

Remember all that talk of tipping the balance of history on a fulcrum of those “Texas values” everyone was crowing about?

Michael Ennis|
January 1, 2007

The Mighty Metroplex

Just a few years after nearly being written off the map, the region has become a roaring engine of growth and social transformation.

Politics & Policy|
September 30, 2006

All Shook Up

Independent candidates for governor won’t win this year, but they’ve certainly upended the established order. Democrats and Republicans, you have only yourselves to blame.

Michael Ennis|
July 31, 2006

My Father’s War

What I learned about Iraq from World War II—and what all the president’s men could learn.

Michael Ennis|
June 30, 2006

T.R. Fehrenbach Is History

He’s still the gold standard by which all chroniclers of our shared experience are judged, but it’s time to look to the new generation. How do his wannabe heirs stack up?

Politics & Policy|
April 1, 2006

North Toward Home

As surprising as our immigrant-friendliness may be to many, it speaks to who we are. To be a Texan is to inhabit a vast bicultural frontera, one that extends far beyond the Rio Grande.

September 30, 2005

Culture of Strife

Frozen embryos are destroyed every day in the name of in vitro fertilization. Tell me again what’s so wrong with stem cell research?

Politics & Policy|
September 30, 2004

The Cowboy Myth

The idea that U.S. policy bears an indelible made-in- Texas stamp is a rare point of bipartisan consensus. But there's nothing inherently Texan about the president's leadership style.

Michael Ennis|
June 30, 2004

Apocalypse Now

What sets Dallas apart from other sophisticated American cities? Its unique end-of-the-world industry.

December 1, 2003

The Accidental City

A new anthology of articles about Houston from the journal of the Rice Design Alliance is a sweeping historical overview, a civic memoir, and a municipal self-help guide.

August 31, 2003

Everybody Loves Ray

As in Nasher, and everybody should. His $70 million sculpture center is the most eagerly anticipated arts opening in Dallas' history.

May 31, 2003

Prints of a Fellow

The addition of Leo Steinberg's magnificent collection makes it official: UT-Austin's Blanton is one of the best university art museums in the country.

April 1, 2003

The Minimalist

The real revelation of Donald Judd's early work is how far ahead of its time it looks—not simply its own time, but our time as well.

December 1, 2002

A Fine Modness

Modernism may yet be proved dead, but if so, it has left an exquisite corpse in Fort Worth's stunning new Modern Art Museum.

August 31, 2002

Peter’s Principles

Some people look at Houston and see only rough edges. Peter Marzio, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, sees a brash upstart that should be proud of its cultural riches.

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