Late 19th Century Texas: Background information when reading News of the World

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News of the World

by Paulette Jiles

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2016, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2017, 224 pages

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Beyond the Book:
Late 19th Century Texas

Paulette Jiles' News of the World takes place in late 19th century Texas. Much of the state's land was untamed and rugged, but in this time between the end of the Reconstruction and the beginning of the Progressive Era, Texas changed and grew, as did much of the western frontier and the New South.

Longhorn DriveIt was the era of cotton, cattle and railroads, and it was a time of economic growth. Cotton was the most common crop grown for profit, and corn was the most common food crop. In fact, agriculture dominated the state economy, and much of it centered on ranching. Texas had always been cattle country, but after the Civil War, the economic importance of livestock grew. Wild longhorn cattle could be sold in the northern United States for up to six times what they went for in the South, so ranchers caught them and organized drives to get them up there, sometimes all the way up to Canada. Cowboys would travel for weeks at a time on trails with these wild cattle, thus creating the iconic vision ...

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