How Things Really Work, by Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby
How Things Really Work by Bill Hobby with Saralee Tiede How Things Really Work by Bill Hobby with Saralee Tiede
How Things Really Work
Lessons From a Life in Politics

Past and Present Public Officials  

“As a member of one of the most historically influential families in Texas history and as one of the state’s most important political and business leaders, Bill Hobby has been a history maker as well as a witness to history. I am grateful that he has preserved his memories and that he has now made them available to us all.”
—Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe           

“My friend Bill Hobby has written a book that should be read by every student of Texas government. It is a classic text—by a man who has been there—on how state government is run—on how it should run—and how it shouldn’t run. On top of that, it is a very well written and entertaining book. I recommend it highly.”
—Former Texas Governor Mark White 

“Bill Hobby innately understands Texas and its priorities and challenges. He has always been eager to be out in front of difficult issues if he thought they paved the way for a better Texas.”
—Former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes

“When I was sworn in as lieutenant governor of Texas, I was asked what management style I would use in presiding over the Senate. I responded that I would try to emulate my predecessor Bill Hobby.  Lieutenant Governor Hobby would fully engage on a few very important pieces of legislation. Beyond those issues, he respected the institution enough to “allow the Senate to work its will.”  Lieutenant Governor Hobby and I were of different parties and, at times, of different philosophies. Nevertheless, I regard him as one of a very limited class known as great Texans.”
—Former Texas Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff 

“In How Things Really Work, Bill Hobby tells of his life in public service. When I was in the Texas Senate, I watched him lead with dignity and civility during very challenging economic times in Texas. He worked across party lines in a true bipartisan fashion.”
Congressman Gene Green 

“Bill Hobby and I came to Austin in the same year, and he is one of the best public servants I’ve ever known. A true statesman, he led the Senate with integrity and respected the legislative process. Reading How Things Really Work is a great reminder that we do our best work when we put the interests of the people of Texas first and don’t care who gets the credit.”
—Former Texas Speaker of the House Pete Laney 

“How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics is going to be the go-to book to see how Texas government really addressed and solved the problems of this state in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I was there and watched the author as he took the Senate and Texas where it needed to go in an inerrant way. I learned a lot from Bill Hobby and it was all good.”
—Former Texas Senator Don Adams

“Bill Hobby isn't just a politician—he is a true statesman. As lieutenant governor, he went out of his way to work with members based on their ability, as opposed to whether somebody had an R or a D behind their name. And he demonstrated the type of leadership that is sorely needed across our country today. There's no doubt in my mind that he will go down in the history books as one of the best public servants in Texas's history.”
Texas Senator Rodney Ellis

“At a time when cynicism about politics and government is high and civility low, we can learn a great deal from Bill Hobby’s How Things Really Work. His “lessons from a life in politics” could not be more timely. This book provides insight into some of Texas’s most important changes in public and higher education, human service delivery, and policy priorities that occurred during his eighteen years as lieutenant governor.”
—Former Texas Senator Ray Farabee

“In an era before bitter partisan divisions became the norm in government and politics, Bill Hobby, a moderate Democrat, worked with liberal and conservative Democrats and with Republicans—who at that time lacked enough members in the legislature to pass or kill bills—appointing them as committee chairs, working with them to pass major legislation, trusting them as valued allies. Perhaps today's politicians can re-learn the virtues of that approach.”
—Former Texas Senator Cyndi Krier 

“The Bill Hobby era in Texas government was an extraordinary time. Bill Hobby is a strategic leader. He stays focused on the big goals. He wanted a state that was prepared for a challenging future, and he made sure we all worked to achieve that. Everyone who cares about Texas should read How Things Really Work.”
—Former Texas Senator John Montford 

“Bill Hobby was my first intellectual lieutenant governor. He read books and could actually write one. I’m glad he was and he did.”
—Former Texas Senator Babe Schwartz 

“A “must” text for any course on civics, Texas government, Texas history, or public policy. Bill Hobby not only tells us how it worked in the “kinder, gentler days,” he lays out a road map for a return to sanity in a world where “politics” has gone mad with “get the other guy.””
—Former Texas Senator Max Sherman 

“Bill Hobby’s brilliance, integrity, and humility shine through this insightful description of the lessons he learned—and taught—in his life in politics. His determination to make Texas better through leadership and example is equally evident. He will be a role model in public service for generations to come.”
—Texas Senator Judith Zaffirini 

“He is the longest serving lieutenant governor in history at this point and probably will be forever. It’s a rough business. It’s a hard job, but he loved it. He certainly is one of the stars of our history and will be forever.”
—Former Secretary of the Senate Betty King

“How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics is a fascinating look at Texas government. Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby gives the reader a peek inside coupled with his own unique understanding. Hobby is the ultimate Texas insider, buttressed by being a member of a family that has led and shaped Texas history. Throw in years at the Houston Post (ultimately as publisher) and you have something really worth reading.”
—Bob Lanier, former chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission and former mayor of Houston 

“Aside from being one of the great Texas political leaders during this last century, Bill Hobby is a gifted writer with a keen eye for human interest. This book uses great anecdotes to convey much common sense.  Texans will enjoy these observations from a public servant who kept our state government focused on Texas’s future, with wit, grace and bipartisanship. We sure do need more of those qualities today.”
—Former Houston Mayor Bill White 

“Only Bill Hobby could have written a book with such humor, candor, balance, and moral decency about the real inside workings of Texas state government. His courage, clarity of thought, and above all, his respect for the responsibilities of true public service illumine every chapter, and in addition, his career as lieutenant governor.”
—Former U.S. Senator Bob Krueger 

“Governor Hobby gets it right. Politics, whether seeking an elected office or getting things done while in office is a contact sport. The difference between then and now is that everyone used to meet for a drink afterward. Now it’s more likely that each side will huddle up and plan the next day’s battle. For those of us who have seen it both ways, this book is pleasant walk down memory lane. Well done, Governor Hobby, both then and now.”
—Texas State Representative David Farabee 

“Bill Hobby entered politics in the wake of scandal and mistrust of government. His legacy and this book serve as reminders of how to work within your own party and across the aisle to craft policies that give everyone in Texas a brighter future.”
—Former Texas State Representative Rick Noriega 

“Ever since I worked in his office, Bill Hobby has been a mentor to me and a shining example of public service at its best. Honest, fair, inclusive, and smart are all fitting descriptions of him, but his interest in helping future generations of Texans has always impressed me most. Now we all can read more about the Hobby era in Texas government and see how things really worked.”
—Denise Davis, former parliamentarian, Texas House of Representatives