Along with bar rooms and bordellos, there has hardly been a more male-focused institution in Texas history than the Texas Legislature. Yet the eighty-six women who have served there have made a mark on the institution through the legislation they have passed, much of which addresses their concerns as citizens who have been inadequately represented by male lawmakers.
This first complete record of the women of the Texas Legislature places such well-known figures as Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sissy Farenthold, Barbara Jordan, Irma Rangel, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Susan Combs, and Judith Zaffirini in the context of their times and among the women and men with whom they served. Drawing on years of primary research and interviews, Nancy Baker Jones and Ruthe Winegarten offer concise biographies and profiles of all eighty-six women who have served or currently hold office in the Texas Legislature.
The biographies describe the women lawmakers' lives, campaign strategies, and legislative successes and defeats. Four introductory essays provide historical and cultural context for the biographies, which are arranged chronologically to give a sense of the passage of time, of relationships among and between women, and of the issues of their eras.