John Hill has been one of the most influential individuals in Texas during the past half century. As the only person to serve his state as Secretary of State, Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, his tireless efforts to improve the lives of his fellow Texans raised the bar for those who consider themselves citizen lawyers. From tackling corruption in Duval County to cleaning up the Houston Ship Channel, and from reigning in maverick child care facilities to defending the state's death penalty, Judge Hill's presence was as large as the state he helped govern. His memoir is more than a must read for anyone interested in Texas history. It is a first-hand look at a man of great integrity and dignity who always did things the 'right way.'
—James A. Baker, III, 61st U.S. Secretary of State
John Hill Jr. was a 'do-something' attorney general for the State of Texas. This book examines his fight to be the people's lawyer rather than the lawyer for state agencies; it also details some of the momentous lawsuits, from prisons to public utilities, which he tried as attorney general. John Hill had a brilliant and facile legal mind, which he used to benefit the people of Texas. He combined his legal expertise with his understanding of Texas government and history to produce a book that, with the assistance of legendary capitol bureau writer Ernie Stromberger, is a valuable contribution to Texas political history.
—Carolyn Barta, veteran Texas political writer and political historian; senior lecturer, Division of Journalism, Southern Methodist University
John Hill was an extraordinary Texan whose remarkable story is vividly retold in John Hill for the State of Texas. As Attorney General, I was a frequent—and fortunate—beneficiary of General Hill's sound advice and good counsel. Always generous with his time and vast knowledge, General Hill never hesitated to share the experiences and insight he gleaned from decades of public service. Fortunately, John Hill for the State of Texas preserves those stories in an engaging, highly-readable chronicle of modern Texas history. This book is a must-read for anyone who, like me, is fascinated by the law, politics, and history of the Lone Star State.
—Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
The greatness of a public figure is measured not by the power and influence he or she wields in the moment, but by the legacy he or she creates for future generations. By that measure—or most any other we would want to use—John Hill was a great Texan, and a great American. He was a premier lawyer whose service to the state's government came at a unique crossroads in the political and cultural life of our state. We are wise to remember that history always could have been otherwise. With that in mind, one can't help but be impressed by the integrity, wisdom, and common sense that John Hill employed as Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court during that tumultuous shift in the political culture of this state, and see how his character forever shaped Texas's future—for the better. For anyone wanting to understand this era of Texas history and its leaders, this book is required reading.
—William Powers, Jr., President, and former Law School dean, The University of Texas at Austin
John Hill for the State of Texas is an extraordinary memoir, but it's much more than that. It is an insider's view of Texas during decisive and turbulent years. Hill (and Stromberger) have created an immediate classic of contemporary Texas history.
—Gregory Curtis, Former editor of Texas Monthly
John Hill's vision and work as Texas Attorney General make for quite a story that is told with candor, grace and good humor.
—Jim Lehrer, lead anchor and executive editor of PBS NewsHour
John Hill for the State of Texas superbly reflects the public service of a great Texan, John Hill. He was the mentor of many public officials such as myself. His legacy of leadership will survive for many years to come.
—Senator John Whitmire, Dean of the Texas Senate