Texas pride, like everything else in the state, is larger than life. So, too, perhaps, are the state’s challenges. Lone Star Tarnished approaches public policy in the nation’s most populous "red state" from historical, comparative, and critical perspectives. The historical perspective provides the scope for asking how various policy domains have developed in Texas history, regularly reaching back to the state’s founding and with substantial data for the period 1950 to the present. In each chapter, Cal Jillson compares Texas public policy choices and results with those of other states and the United States in general. Finally, the critical perspective allows us to question the balance of benefits and costs attendant to what is often referred to as "the Texas way" or "the Texas model." Jillson delves deeply into seven substantive policy chapters, covering the most important policy areas in which state governments are active. Through his lively and lucid prose, students are well equipped to analyze how Texas has done and is doing compared to selected states and the national average over time and today. Readers will also come away with the necessary tools to assess the many claims of Texas’s exceptionalism.