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Books

Fronteras: The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents has been growing rapidly — and not just along the southern border with Mexico. We speak to Todd Miller author of the new book, “Border Patrol Nation,” about the agency's expanding reach and the implications for privacy rights, civil liberties and more. On a lighter note, taking pictures in a field of Bluebonnets is a favorite springtime tradition in Texas. But we take you to one town that is especially serious about its bluebonnets.

The United States has fallen from its precipice of leader in graduation rates in higher education since the 1980s argues Suzanne Mettler in her new book, "Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream."

The public divestment of states has left many universities with less and less money, relying more and more on students to make up the difference. The result has been exploding costs and debt for students.

Jones Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University

Texas Matters: Dive into the hidden history of early Texas photographs with Lawrence T. Jones, III, whose new book "Lens on the Texas Frontier" presents a stunning look at life in early Texas.

The photograph collection of Lawrence T. Jones, III, is Texas history as you’ve never seen it before.

It may be surprising to most people that there is a strong photographic record of the history of Texas. There wasn’t a photojournalist at the battle of the Alamo, but it wasn’t too long afterward that photography was invented and cameras were carried into the wild West.

  The overuse of modern antibiotics may be the root cause behind the rise in obesity, diabetes (type 1), asthma, allergies, celiac disease, and many more.

The developed world's obsession with hygiene has rid our bodies of what Dr. Martin Blaser argues are good microflora that thrive in the human gut. In turn, bacteria that would have helped with some of these major health issues are absent, leaving us vulnerable.

The American church is one fragmented and in the constant throes of evolution. Despite a strong belief in the bygone big-tent Christianity of unity and uniform strength in mission, Stephen Cox argues in his new book, "American Christianity," that from nearly its inception the American Christian movement has been marked by fractures, personalities, diversity of opinion, choice, and practice.

Jonathan Marcantoni

Fronteras: One of the fastest growing cities in the Southwest is squeezing out pronghorn antelope. For the first time in almost 20 years, the Colorado River is flowing into northern Mexico through a dam that usually stops it. Some estimates show that the Obama administration has hit two million deportations, which is prompting protests across the country. Also, we speak to San Antonio Author Jonathan Marcantoni about his book, "The Feast of San Sebastian," human trafficking in Puerto Rico and his Puerto Rican identity.

David Liittschwager/Barry Lopez

"There is a way in which the arts serve humanity and are not just entertainment. That seems to be the drift at the moment, that the arts are there to entertain us, but that's not why human beings became dedicated artists. Even if they were driven by individual artistic vision, there's a social impulse behind the desire to create art." Barry Lopez

Former Houston Mayor and Democratic candidate for Texas governor Bill White says that the country is being misled and that a fundamental principle in America's management has been broken.

In his new book, "America's Fiscal Constitution: Its Triumph and Collapse," White makes the case that the out-of-control spending that started under President George W. Bush has departed from the nation's history; a history that saw our "fiscal constitution" shredded.

Kelly Campbell

TV news anchor and author Jane Pauley is coming to the San Antonio Book Festival on Saturday. I spoke to her Wednesday, and it doesn’t take long before her Midwestern humility comes through.

“I’m going to be mixing with my betters, with authors and people who read books, and it’s very exciting to be in a crowd such as that." After a half step, Pauley added with a laugh: "And to be in San Antonio on top of it!”

She’s one of many authors who will be at the downtown library for what she calls not a speech, but a moderated conversation.

When "Red Scare: Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas" was first published in 1985 it won the Texas State Historical Society's prize for best book on Texas History.

Now nearly 30 years later, it has been republished by the University of Texas Press and is still resounds with the ideas of political messaging, group think and the darker parts of our common history.

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