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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Rough & Tumble Texas Political Combat by Lloyd Criss, Jr.
a Review by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I spent the most delightful time on Labor Day reading a book by a longtime leader of the labor movement in Galveston County, former state representative Lloyd Criss, Jr.

Publicity for the book promised readers “a front row seat observing political combat and the making of Texas history.” (Release)

Having known Criss for more than a quarter of a century, I was expecting some hard hitting, behind the scenes reports on the events that I have covered in my various assignments in Galveston County; and I was not disappointed.

However, I was not expecting it to be a really great read.

Criss begins his narrative with a very entertaining recollection of his adventures while growing up in Galveston County, including stories about the changing community attitudes on matters of religion and race.

There also is a very informative chapter on the history of the labor unions in Galveston County and the large part played by the Criss family. 

Lloyd’s expertise in politics, in campaigning and in legislative matters, was well known to me, as were many of the personalities he encountered throughout the years; but his recollection of them went far beyond my expectations. First, let me say that Criss appears to be exceedingly honest in his professional and political career. But the political shenanigans of some of those around him will raise the eyebrows of all but the most jaded political observers. 

It is tempting to share some of his stories in this essay, but that would spoil your enjoyment of reading the book. Frankly, I couldn’t put it down until I was finished.

I recommend it to others without reservation.

Copies of Rough & Tumble Texas Political Combat by Lloyd Criss can be obtained through the website and

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