On the Gulf edge of Texas between land and sea stands Galveston Island. Shaped continually by wind and water, it is one of earth's ongoing creations—time is forever new. Here, on the shoreline, embraced by the waves, a person can still feel the heartbeat of nature. And yet, for all the idyllic possibilities, Galveston's history has been anything but tranquil. Across Galveston's sands have walked Indians, pirates, revolutionaries, the richest men of nineteenth-century Texas, soldiers, sailors, bootleggers, gamblers, prostitutes, physicians, entertainers, engineers, and preservationists. Major events in the island's past include hurricanes, yellow fever, smuggling, vice, the Civil War, the building of a medical school and port, raids by the Texas Rangers, and, always, the struggle to live in a precarious location.
Galveston: A History is at the forefront of a trend in writing urban biographies emphasizing technology as the dynamic force in urban development. David McComb explores this often contradictory relationship between technology and the city, and provides a guide to both Galveston history and the dynamics of urban development.
"Galveston: A History will attract several types of readers. Scholars will use the book as the basis for further research; genealogists with roots in Galveston will read it for the story, index, and citations leading to other sources; and Texas history buffs, tourists, and newcomers to the area will read the book for pure enjoyment. McComb is a great storyteller."
Jane A. Kenamore, Head of Special Collections at the Rosenberg Library, Galveston
"One of the best studies of Galveston history."
Maury Darst, Galveston historian
"Maybe it's the mention of familiar places, the old names, or maybe it's remembering oral history recited in countless family car trips across the causeway. Whatever the reason, there seems to be a slight aroma of salt air coming from these pages."
Dallas Morning News