Longreads

Feature |
December 1, 2012

The Unsinkable Lisa Blue

Her husband, Fred Baron, helped bankroll John Edwards's presidential campaign, only to die of cancer amid the most sordid political scandal in recent history. But before long, Dallas's newest rainmaker had emerged from the wreckage—with every hair in place.

Sports |
September 30, 2012

Turnover!

Two decades ago, a barbarian from Arkansas named Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys and rebooted the franchise from the ground up. Inside the wild first days of the most hostile takeover the NFL has ever known.

Art |
September 30, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as a Postman

The only American ever to design scarves for the exclusive French fashion house Hermès is Kermit Oliver, a 69-year-old postal worker from Waco who lives in a strange and beautiful world all his own.

Feature |
September 30, 2012

Storming the Ivory Tower

For the past four years, a group of passionate reformers has been steadily trying to remake how higher education works in Texas—over the screams and howls of many professors and school presidents. Last year the battle came to UT. And the bombs are still flying.

Sports |
July 31, 2012

The Negotiation

Every year, hundreds of Texas high schoolers are aggressively recruited by the nation’s top college football programs. It’s a dream come true, but some kids must go through the bewildering process alone. And according to the rules of the NCAA, there aren’t many places they can turn to for help.

News & Politics |
July 31, 2012

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Read this National Magazine Award-winning story about how the Legislature slashed funding for women’s health programs in 2011 and launched an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically changed the state’s priorities. The battle continues raging, and the stakes could not be higher.

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March 19, 2012

Sex, Love, and Lawrence v. Texas

A new book, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, explores the history of the men behind the landmark Supreme Court case and questions the conventional wisdom of the story.

Art |
March 1, 2012

The Tree of Strife

For a quarter of a century, the Art Guys, Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing, have been Houston’s master provocateurs, stirring up discussion with their wacky, thoughtful, and tenaciously marketed “social sculptures.” But have they finally gone too far?…

Food & Drink |
March 1, 2012

Where Is My Home?

A culinary obsession that began decades ago in my grandmother’s kitchen sent me on a quest through Central Texas (and way beyond) for kolaches—not the best ones but the ones that would lead me to myself.

News & Politics |
January 1, 2012

Hannah and Andrew

On October 3, 2006, a four-year-old boy named Andrew Burd died in a Corpus Christi hospital. The cause of death was determined to be salt poisoning, an extremely unusual occurrence. Even more shocking was what happened next: his foster mother, Hannah Overton, was found guilty of killing him. But could…

Feature |
December 1, 2011

Up in the Air

No state has defied the federal government’s environmental regulations more fiercely than Texas, and no governor has been more outspoken about the “job-killing” policies of the EPA than Rick Perry. But does that mean we can all breathe easy?…

Sports |
October 31, 2011

Farmers Flight!

Texas A&M’s announcement that it was bolting the Big 12 for the SEC signaled the end of a passionate rivalry with the University of Texas that has defined the two schools for more than a century. But what does the end of Aggies versus Longhorns mean for the rest of…

Feature |
October 31, 2011

Give Me Shelter

Dallas’s ritzy Park Cities is the sort of place where Jerry Jones Jr. can buy a four-story castle with twelve bathrooms and a nine-car underground garage for a reported $8.7 million and some people regard it as a steal. Welcome to the fabulous world of Erin Mathews, the very discreet…

Feature |
September 30, 2011

Non-Prophet

When Warren Jeffs fired his attorneys and decided to represent himself in his sexual assault trial, many predicted, accurately, that he would fail miserably. Few realized just what a wild show he would put on.

9/11 |
August 31, 2011

Karen Wagner’s Life

She lived outside the spotlight, quietly serving her country as most members of the military do, until one terrible day.

The Culture |
July 31, 2011

Cowgirl Up

The word probably makes you think of rhinestone-studded jeans, floppy-brimmed hats, and Nashville queens, but “cowgirl” ought to stand for the tough pioneer women who built ranches and went on cattle drives and the hardy rural women who are out there today doing their fair share of the work, usually invisibly,…

Food & Drink |
June 30, 2011

Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?

As a kid I was the pickiest eater you have ever seen, and family meals gave new meaning to the words “food fight.” But I gritted my teeth and overcame it—one disgusting tomato at a time.

Feature |
May 31, 2011

Mind Games

Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist David Eagleman is out to change the way we think about guilt and innocence (and time and novels and, well, neuroscientists). Can he pull it off?…

Feature |
May 31, 2011

Falling Comet

In 1955 Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” transformed the sound of popular music and made him an international star. Twenty-five years later he was forgotten, desperate, and dying in Harlingen. How did one of the fathers of rock and roll land so far outside the spotlight?…

Feature |
March 31, 2011

Tusk!

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by mammoths, those giant, prehistoric creatures that once roamed Texas. So I decided to go looking for them.

Crime |
March 31, 2010

The Lost Girls

Every year thousands of women are smuggled into the United States and forced to work as prostitutes. Many of them end up in Houston, in massage parlors and spas. Most of them will have a hard time ever getting out.

Buddy Holly |
February 1, 2009

The Night the Music Died

Fifty years ago, a plane carrying Buddy Holly crashed in a remote Iowa cornfield. This month, hundreds of fans will gather at the ballroom where he played his final show to sing, dance, and mourn the greatest rock star ever to come out of Texas.

Film & TV |
September 30, 2008

Dude!

Yes, yes, new baby and new movie— but what Matthew McConaughey really wants to talk about is the cushion of the flip-flop, the skooching of hoodie sleeves, the proper thickness of koozies, and his coming career as the arbiter of redneck-Buddha chic.

Texas History |
August 31, 2007

A Lady First

Today, many younger Texans may be inclined to think of Lady Bird Johnson as belonging entirely to the past. But if her demeanor and style seemed faintly anachronistic, the virtues instilled by her parents back in East Texas—practicality, thriftiness, good manners, and an open mind—made her remarkably effective as a…

Feature |
May 31, 2006

The Truth Is Out There

Spoiler alert: The mythic Marfa lights may not be real. But there’s no way to know for sure, and that’s why they’re cool.

True Crime |
February 1, 2006

A Kiss Before Dying

Forty-five years after Betty Williams was shot to death by the handsome football player she had been secretly seeing, her murder haunts her Odessa high school—literally.

Sports |
September 30, 2005

Six Brothers

The tragedy of the Von Erichs—the state’s first family of pro wrestling—is well known not just to fans of the sport but to the many groupies who oohed and aahed at the matinee-idol athletes over the years. Still, you haven’t really heard the story until it’s told by the sole…

News & Politics |
September 30, 2005

Flipping Out

The letter-sweater-wearing, pom-pom-shaking, pep-rally-leading girl next door has been a beloved Texas icon for generations. So why do so many people today— lawmakers and lawyers, preachers and feminists—think cheerleading is the root, root, root of all evil?…

Chainsaw |
November 1, 2004

They Came. They Sawed.

And they most definitely conquered. The inside story of how a ragtag bunch of hippies made the wildest Texas movie ever (and spilled no more fake blood than was absolutely necessary).

Feature |
August 31, 2004

Reversal of Fortune

Eight years ago, 42 people in the West Texas town of Roby—7 percent of the population—pooled their money, bought lottery tickets, and won $46 million. And that's when their luck ran out.

Politics & Policy |
April 30, 2004

Cast Away

For Sharon Bush, membership in the world's most powerful family had its privileges. But as she discovered after her husband of 23 years—the brother of one president and the son of another—ended their marriage via e-mail, it can be revoked without warning.

Sports |
March 1, 2004

Good-bye to a Horse

She named him Mark. I didn’t know why, any more than I knew why my daughter was drawn to riding in the first place. But I did know that she loved him—and that letting him go was the hardest thing she’d ever done.