by Brandon Rottinghaus
University of Texas Press, 2024
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2889-7 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2891-0
Library of Congress Classification F391.4.P47R68 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 352.232130976401


How Rick Perry navigated and shaped Texas politics as the state’s longest serving governor.

Rick Perry, the charming rancher, pilot, and politician from West Texas who was governor from 2000 to 2015, is one of the most important but polarizing figures in the state's history. Over the nearly forty years he spent in the political arena, his political instincts served as a radar primed to sense future political opportunities. Hugging the arc of Texas political change, he shifted from a rural, “blue dog” Democrat to one of the most conservative politicians the state had elected up to that time, overseeing the enactment of controversial redistricting, voting, and abortion measures. Yet his evolution was complicated and incomplete, as his stands on such topics as immigration, vaccine requirements, and the use of state funds to attract business ran into opposition from a growing and ever-more conservative wing of the Republican Party in Texas—and the nation.

Rick Perry is both a biography of Perry as a politician and a study of the shifts in state politics that took place during his time in office. Demonstrating that Perry ranks among the most consequential governors in Texas history, Brandon Rottinghaus chronicles the profound ways he accumulated power and shaped the governorship.

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