Setting out to create a collection of J. Frank Dobie’s writing that “brings him alive and makes him relevant to current generations of readers,” Steven L. Davis has combed through the works of this renowned Texas author, gathering together in one volume Dobie’s most vital writings. Dobie’s stories and essays here are meticulously edited to “prune away some of the brushy undergrowth” and bring Dobie’s folksy, erudite voice bounding back to life.
The result is The Essential J. Frank Dobie, a treasury that introduces new readers to Dobie—and reminds older ones that Dobie captured priceless social history while producing some of the most fascinating, best-informed writing about Texas. Dobie bore eloquent witness to the passing of ancient pastoral lifeways and was decades ahead of his time in championing civil rights and protecting the environment. Davis, a Dobie biographer, has found the stories only the master himself could tell—those enriched by his matchless personal adventures, from Mexico to wartime Europe to the remote outback, where he joined wandering seekers on their quests for lost treasures.