Carol Dawson & Roger Allen Polson
Please join us this week to hear Carol Dawson and Roger Allen Polson on their new book, MILES AND MILES OF TEXAS: 100 YEARS OF THE TEXAS HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT (Texas A&M Press, 2016).
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Carol Dawson is an Austin-based writer and artist. She is the author of four critically-acclaimed novels (The Waking Spell, Body of Knowledge, Meeting the Minotaur, and The Mother-in-Law Diaries) and has also written two non-fiction books, including the award-winning House of Plenty. Carol is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. She also teaches writing workshops, and was writer-in-residence at the College of Santa Fe. Carol’s visual work is represented in public and private collections across the country, and her work is shown in Austin at the Wally Workman Gallery. Carol hails from Corsicana, Texas and is a graduate of the University of Texas.
Roger Allen Polson is former executive assistant to the deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. He is recognized by the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and United Press International for his writing, video, and radio productions. Roger was the longtime host of “Lone Star State of Mind” on 93.3 KGSR-FM and is now taking time off from hosting duties at Austin’s Sun Radio 100.1-FM to focus on his and Carol’s new book.
On the eve of its centennial, Carol Dawson and Roger Allen Polson present almost 100 years of history and never-before-seen photographs that track the development of the Texas Highway Department. An agency originally created “to get the farmer out of the mud,” it has gone on to build the vast network of roads that now connects every corner of the state.
When the Texas Highway Department (now called the Texas Department of Transportation or TxDOT) was created in 1917, there were only about 200,000 cars in Texas traveling on fewer than a thousand miles of paved roads. Today, after 100 years of the Texas Highway Department, the state boasts over 80,000 miles of paved, state-maintained roads that accommodate more than 25 million vehicles.
Sure to interest history enthusiasts and casual readers alike, decades of progress and turmoil, development and disaster, and politics and corruption come together once more in these pages, which tell the remarkable story of an infrastructure 100 years in the making.
“For their diligent research, authors Carol Dawson and Roger Polson deserve high accolades. Their deep digging has resulted in the motherlode of entertaining stories. Weaved well together, they tell the story of TxDOT and its lead actors whose visions and leadership have left a significant positive mark on Texas.” — Lawrence Olsen
“This authoritative and surprisingly entertaining narrative is about a lot more than asphalt. In Carol Dawson and Roger Polson’s hands, the story of the Texas Highway Department is the story of Texas itself—of Native American migration and Spanish exploration, of wars and revolutions, of skullduggery and heroism, of vicious prejudice and noble common purpose, of engineering triumphs and disasters, of greedy shortsightedness and grand shimmering visions.” —Stephen Harrigan, author of The Gates of the Alamo and A Friend of Mr. Lincoln