[Wright's] omnivorous sensibility suits his latest subject, helping him to capture the full range of Texas in all its shame and glory. His new book is both an apologia and an indictment: an illuminating primer for outsiders who may not live there but have a surfeit of opinions about those who do ... The book rambles far and wide, and it’s a testament to Wright’s formidable storytelling skills that a reader will encounter plenty of information without ever feeling lost ... Certain readers might crave more righteous anger from someone writing about Texas, especially now, when there’s little room for agreement and plenty at stake. But Wright’s project is perspective, not conquest. In a chapter on Texas culture, he praises the work of contemporary artists who have returned to their Texas roots 'with knowledge, self-confidence, and occasionally, forgiveness.' God Save Texas is his vivid bid to do the same.
God Save Texas, as the title suggests, is the work of a man who loves Texas’ uniqueness but finds himself increasingly dismayed by its politics and social policies ... The push-pull between homegrown admiration and deep disappointment fuels God Save Texas with literary tension ... God Save Texas was hatched when Wright’s editor at The New Yorker, David Remnick, asked Wright to explain his home state. But the book succeeds by proving this task impossible ... Wright’s words could speak for both Texas and America. American exceptionalism is a sturdy component of our national mythology, a reminder that we consider ourselves different from other nations. You can call it a reactionary myth, as many have, but you can’t deny its hold on the imagination.
Wright does an excellent job illustrating what makes Texas the place it is ... It doesn't fit neatly into any one category; it's essentially an apologia with elements of criticism and memoir. Wright is aware of Texas' spotty reputation among outsiders, and he deftly acknowledges that while its critics make good points, there's more to Texas than meets the eye ... Wright is one of the most talented journalists Texas has ever produced, and God Save Texas is him at his best. It's a thoughtful, beautifully written book...Wright's book is essential reading not just for Texans, but for anyone who wants to understand how one state changed the trajectory of the country, for better and for worse.