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  • Writer's pictureNeal Spelce

Neal Spelce in Texas Coop Power Magazine

November 2022

November Issue Texas Coop Power

Excerpt of the article, A Mighty Bulwark: LBJ made more prosperity possible by bringing dams to his beloved Hill Country written by Neal Spelce, published in the November 2022 issue of Texas Coop Power. For many years, outsiders had no idea that Austin and the Hill Country were hidden gems deep in the heart of Texas. Wasn’t the Lone Star State all about cowboys, sagebrush, and rattlesnakes—the John Wayne Western movie image? People elsewhere couldn’t imagine bountiful lakes and rolling hills covered in green woodlands anywhere in Texas.

But Lyndon Johnson grew up surrounded by those woods and grassy farmland, and that’s where he felt at home. Soon after winning the seat in the sprawling 10th U.S. Congressional District of Texas in 1937, his first elected office, he made it a priority to support President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and bring hydroelectricity and power lines to rural Central Texas.

I had met LBJ historian Doris Kearns Goodwin on several occasions, and in her book Leadership: In Turbulent Times, she nailed what I heard LBJ say many times about “how he had brought electric power to the Hill Country, and how electricity had changed the daily lives of thousands of farm families, letting them enjoy such modern conveniences as electric lights, refrigerators, and washing machines for the first time.”

Excerpt by Neal Spelce in Texas Coop Power Magazine

Read the article in its entirety here:

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With the Bark Off is available in hard cover, ebook and audiobook at, and at all major booksellers. Signed copies may be ordered through

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