History books (part 2 of 2)
Someone started a great thread on the Houston Architecture Info. Forum on books about Houston history. Check it out when you get the chance.
Finishing up on books about local history:
"The Hospital" by Jan de Hartog: In the early 1960s, Hartog and his wife took a job volunteering at Jeff Davis Hospital. What they discovered shocked them. Hartog organized efforts to correct what he thought was the poor quality of care patients received at the hospital. Facing heavy opposition, Hartog and his wife kept on, even after Ben Taub Hospital opened in 1963.
In an editorial published in the Houston Chronicle, found on the Harris County Hospital District Web site, Hartog responded to a city council member that wanted to cut Jeff Davis' budget:
"I would like to show him the emergency room, where I have worked as volunteer orderly for eight months now: the hall with the stretchers that are never empty, the two dark wards in the back where, because of the lack of staff, the sick, the drunk, the desperate and the dying are often ditched into the cold sagging beds fully dressed..."
"The Hospital" played a major role in the formation of the Harris County Hospital District.
"Kotton, Port, Rail Center" by Christopher Varela: This self-published book describes the early days of Houston radio. Varela doesn't start with the major radio stations formed during those days. He goes back to the origins of amateur radio in Houston and how it led to commercial radio. The book also includes some unique pictures I haven't seen anywhere else. The only place I've been able to find this book is at the city's visitors' center at City Hall.
"Houston: A History and Guide": One of the best books on Houston history. Published in 1942, this book was written by the writer's program of the WPA. Nostalgia buffs and historians will especially enjoy this book. Fortunately, it can be found online at The Portal to Texas History.