By Erica Grieder
You know that college friend, the big, boisterous, obstinate one who was always up to party, quick to fight, said the most regrettable things, and embarrassed you—but for some reason you just couldn't drop? Well, if Texas were a person, it would be that guy. In this folksy read, Texas Monthly senior editor Erica Grieder explores her home state and its idiosyncrasies, from its fiercely independent streak to its zany characters to its deep distrust of government. While the "Texas Model"—low taxes, low services—isn't perfect, Grieder argues that the state remains an economic powerhouse with low unemployment. And if the rest of the country would quit rolling its eyes, it might just learn a thing or two.