John Hill for the State of Texas: My Years as Attorney General
By John L. Hill Jr. with Ernie Stromberger
Published by Texas A&M University Press (February 2009)
As Texas attorney general during 1973-78, John L. Hill Jr. transformed an often-passive law enforcement agency into a dynamic modernizing force vital to Texas government's emergence from decades of dominance by rural and corporate interests committed to the status quo.
John Hill for the State of Texas describes from his perspective the political, legal and judicial challenges he juggled in attempting to assure Texans a top-flight law firm to aggressively stand up for their rights, and to do what was right.
His courtroom credentials and reform campaign platform attracted dozens of bright young lawyers eager to explore the relatively new field of public interest law.
The recollections of these former staff members and Hill are intertwined with contemporary news reports to immerse the reader in major issues of state government that were at the forefront of Texas and American public policy concerns in the transitional period of the 1970s.
Hill collaborated with former journalist and association executive Ernie Stromberger to produce this memoir focusing on eight of the major legislative or judicial initiatives of the attorney general's office. They include Duval County political corruption, the fight with California over inheritance taxes on the massive Howard Hughes estate, a U.S. Supreme Court appeal of the death penalty, consumer protection initiatives and attacking Houston Ship Channel pollution.