Monday, October 15, 2018

Book #57 - Let the People in: The Life And Times of Ann Richard by Jan Reid. This was an excellent read. I have been meaning to read this for several years but I decided I had to read it now for the history of Austin class I've been teaching at U.T. for adults with IDD. The book is entertaining, exhaustive and engaging,
I was particularly taken by events described in the book hat remind me of current affairs. For example, many of the meetings Ann Richards had with columnist (and idol of mine) Molly Ivins and lots of other colorful figures happened at Scholz Garten, which is where I meet with the policy team of Austin Justice Coalition regularly.

Richards' 1990 governor's race against republican Clayton Williams reminded me of Hillary Clinton's race against Donald Trump. Tell me if this sounds familiar, Williams was pressed a lot by the news media to release his tax returns? Then the differences happen: Williams said essentially you would need a semi to pick up all of his tax returns. And so the Richard's campaign showed up at his home the next day with said semi.
And days before the election, when asked about his returns, Williams perhaps sealed his fate by saying, “I’ll tell you when I didn’t pay any income tax, was 1986.” He explained that was a tough year for his industry but all voters needed to hear was that he skipped a year.
Williams was infamous for his comments about women, some of which rival Trump's, mostly famously William's remark likening bad weather to rape, saying, " "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it"
It didn't help that Williams also famously refused to shake Richard's hands and was shown in an ad talking about how wonderful the power of eminent domain is, sounding just like a certain not-self-made millionaire we have in office.
Also, remember some people getting mad at Willie Nelson for doing a concert to help Beto O'Rourke? Willie did a concert for Ann Richards.
Overall, its a great book as is the book by her daughter, Cecile, which talks not only about her life but her mom's.
Next up in my reading is a book about Texas by Lawrence Wright called God Save Texas