Online Book Club

The Texas PBS Online Book Club gives readers a chance to ask questions of notable experts. Stay tuned for the next book in our series by checking out our blog.

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas

Seat of Empire cover

The founding of Austin sparked one of the Republic’s first great political battles, pitting against each other two Texas titans: Mirabeau B. Lamar, who in less than a year had risen to vice president from army private, and Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto and a man both loved and hated throughout the republic.

Live Blog Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

Texas Women on the Cattle Trails tells the stories of sixteen women who drove cattle up the trail from Texas during the last half of the nineteenth century. Some were young; some were old (over thirty). Some took to the trails by choice; others, out of necessity. Some went along to look at the stars; others, to work the cattle. Some made money and built ranching empires, but others went broke and lived hard, even desperate lives.

Like the cowboys on cattle drives, they faced dust and heat, thirst and exhaustion, rustlers and Indians, stampedes and prairie fires. Drawing heavily on the accounts of the women themselves, the authors of these chapters vividly illustrate the complexity and diversity of women’s experiences on the cattle trails. Their stories of cattle drives and moving cattle to distant pastures add an important chapter to the story of life in the real Old West.

Click here to see the archived chat for Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

In Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957

In Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957 by Merline Pitre examines the life of this civil rights champion, beginning with her birth in Elmo, Texas, in 1900, her marriage to Houston businessman and activist Julius White and her graduation from Prairie View College. On Monday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m., Texas PBS will present an online discussion with Pitre, giving readers the chance to learn more about this chapter of our state’s history.

Click here to see the archived chat for In Struggle Against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900-1957

The Pecan: A History of America’s Native Nut

We Texans tend to take pecans for granted. They’re in our pantries and in our grocery stores; in our pies and in our pralines. Pecan trees grace our yards and our parks. But how much do we really know about this ubiquitous nut? Dr. James McWilliams wondered the same thing. Prompted by curiosity about the pecan tree growing through the back deck of his home, the writer and history professor set out to learn more. The result is The Pecan: A History of America’s Native Nut. On Wednesday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m., Texas PBS will present an online discussion with McWilliams, giving readers the chance to learn more about the pecan and our state tree

Click here to see the archived chat for The Pecan: A History of America’s Native Nut

Talking about the Civil War and Emancipation

The book group started 2014 reading America’s War: Talking about The Civil War and Emancipation, an anthology of primary and secondary sources about the division and aftermath of the Civil War. The program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We followed America’s War by focusing on Texas, with Dr. Charles Grear’s Why Texans Fought in the Civil War.

Learn More about the Civil War and Emancipation

Click here to see the archived chat for America’s War

Click here to see the archived chat for Why Texans Fought in the Civil War

Assassination and Commemoration:  JFK, Dallas, and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

In December, author Stephen Fagin, joined us for an exciting look into his work Assassination and Commemoration:  JFK, Dallas, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.  Fagin’s book gave our readers a unique way to look at the assassination of the revered president, the political and social climate of Dallas, Texas in the 1960s, and informed us about the effort to preserve the Texas Book Depository and create a museum commemorating one of the most tragic events in American history.

Click here to see the archived chat with Stephen Fagin

“JFK:  One PM Central Standard Time”

In November we had a special OVEE screening of the Secrets of the Dead episode about the Kennedy Assassination.  ”JFK: One PM Central Standard Time” takes a look at the role of notable press powerhouse, Walter Cronkite, as well as other members of the press tasked with breaking the news of the tragedy to American People.

Click here to learn more about this OVEE

My Boys and Girls Are in There:  The 1937 New London School Explosion 

In October 2013, author Ron Rozelle discussed his book My Boys and Girls are in There about the 1937 New London School Explosion.

Click here to see the archived web chat with Ron Rozelle

Women and the Texas Revolution

Journey with us through the eyes of Texas women. In July, Dr. Mary Scheer joined us for a discussion about Women and the Texas Revolution, published by University of North Texas Press.

Click here to see the archived chat with Dr. Mary Scheer

Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards

Learn more about what inspired Author Jan Reid to write about his friend, Ann Richards. He was the first author to chat with our book club in May 2013. Reid’s highly-acclaimed book was published by the University of Texas Press.

Click here to see the archived chat with Jan Reid