BROKE, NOT BROKEN: NEW BOOK: NONFICTION TEXAS COURTROOM DRAMA

POST UPDATED 10.1.14 with Texas Book Festival info and other updates.

Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey's Texas Bank War, by Broadus A. Spivey & Jesse Sublett

Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, by Broadus A. Spivey & Jesse Sublett, “a tale of Giant-like proportions.”

  • Collected Works in Santa Fe, NM. Sunday, Oct. 12., 3 PM. Our Santa Fe Bash, come out and schmooze with us in the hometown of Glenna Goodacre, daughter of Homer Maxey, world-renowned artist, ace raconteur.
  • BookPeople,  Monday, August 4th, 7 PM [great gig! Bang-up Austin debut.]
  • Barnes & Noble Lubbock, Friday August 15th, 7 PM. [Had a big time in Lubbock, sold LOTS of books! Thank you, Lubbock!]
  • Threadgill’s Party Sept 28 [Thank you, Eddie Wilson & everyone who came. BookPeople report: “Wow, you guys sold a TON of books!”]
  • Like us on FaceBook and keep up with upcoming events and news.
  • Texas Tech Press catalog, for more info, or ordering straight from the press.
  • For more info, contact Jada Rankin at TTU Press or John Higgs in Austin (512.474.6061, email john+at+spivey-law+dot+com)

For the Sept. 25th review in the Austin Chronicle, click here.

Broadus & Jesse will be featured authors at the 2014 Texas Book Festival. Keep an eye on that link, because the full schedule (where authors will be speaking, reading, on panels, book signing) will be posted after the 1st day of October. Also, mark your calendar: Jesse & the Big 3 Trio will be playing in the TBF Music Tent Sat. Oct. 25, 3-4PM.

NICE REVIEW IN AUSTIN STATESMAN by Patrick Beach: “‘Broke’ Chronicles Epic Legal Battle by Lubbock’s Maxey.”

If you don’t have a Statesman subscription, read it here:

When a rich man strips a poor man of his money and leaves him in ruin, isn’t that a terrible injustice? If a rich, powerful man is stripped of his fortune and reputation by a nest of greedy corporations and a cadre of richer, more powerful men, isn’t that also a terrible injustice? This is one of the questions posed in the new book, BROKE, NOT BROKEN: HOMER MAXEY’S TEXAS BANK WAR, written by Broadus A. Spivey and Jesse Sublett.

This is the book praised by W.K. “Kip” Stratton (author of Chasing the Rodeo and Floyd Patterson: The Fighting Life of Boxing’s Invisible Champion):

Broadus Spivey and Jesse Sublett have delivered us a tale of Giant-like proportions. The greed and the virtue and the gray areas in between seem larger than life. But they aren’t. This is the real West Texas of the not-so-distant past populated by formidable oil men, avaricious connivers, and tough-as-bullets lawyers. And by one less than perfect hero, Homer Maxey, who refused to stand down once he’d been done wrong. Broke, Not Broken is a hell of a page-turner of a real-life legal thriller. 

 

 

Come to our next book event to meet the remarkable Broadus A. Spivey, an Austin attorney and son of West Texas, former president of the State Bar of Texas, to name just one of dozens of positions of prestige in the trial law field; he’s an advocate for justice and equality under the law without parallel, and one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I met Broadus in 2009 after hiring an attorney for a copyright infringement case.

 

A musical play I had written was being performed as “an original work” by artists who were not me. I hired a lawyer who said, after our second conference, “The lawyer upstairs, the one who owns this building, wants to meet you.” That was Broadus, who told me about the book he’d been attempting to complete during his very busy schedule, the story of Homer Maxey v. Citizens National Bank, a bank that had seized Homer’s huge ranches, hotels and other properties totaling tens of millions of dollars and sold them to friends and shell corporations owned by the bank at a secret sale for pennies on the dollar.

The story of a rich man’s rise and fall is not that unusual, but when set in ultra conservative, pro-business Lubbock, and the man is Homer Maxey, you’ve got an exceptional chronicle of the American Dream gone bad. Maxey’s relentless fight against the bank and the elite powers of West Texas who destroyed his wealth is a gripping read about power, greed, business culture, institutions, values, corruption and ultimately, vindication. ―Joe Nick Patoski, author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

 

In a single day in 1966, Homer Maxey, a rich, powerful, prestigious Lubbock native who had literally helped build Texas Tech University from an open field, was penniless and ruined. At the time, 1966, Homer’s younger daughter, Glenna Goodacre, was a rising visual artist in Lubbock and busy mother of two, just then transitioning to the field of three dimensional sculpture. During the 15 long years of courtroom fireworks that Homer, assisted by young, firebrand attorneys who believed in his cause, Glenna rose to become a world-renowned sculptor.

 

Glenna’s works include the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC; the gigantic Irish Memorial in Philadelphia; Philosophers Rock at Zilker Park in Austin; the Sacagawea dollar coin… and countless others. She’s a national treasure, and as she assisted us in the writing of this book, Glenna said numerous times: “I’m an exact replica of Homer… He was always there, urging me, ‘Keep going forward…'” When Glenna was just 16, Homer arranged the family trip to Europe on the QE2 so that Glenna could examine the works of the great masters in France, Italy and elsewhere.

In the final stages of production of the book, just as we were going to press, I received an email from Glenna’s studio manager, Dan Anthony (also a fine artist), with great news: her photographer, Matt Suhre (also a fine artist) had accidentally found the sketch pad Glenna took to court during the first two weeks of the trial in 1969, making courtroom sketches of the good, the bad and the very ugly — her father, the plaintiff; the jurors; the lawyers on both sides; the cigar-chewing banker’s lawyer; Charlie Jones, the lawyer who had once represented Homer and the bank at the same time, urging Homer to sign papers that “tied his finances up into one big knot so that if one enterprise fell, his whole fortune fell…” in a classic case of conflict of interest, one of many. Charlie was known as “the most confident man in West Texas,” a talented corporate defense lawyer and supposed genius who stumbled into acts of hubris that would shock a crackhead neocon.

Despite Broadus’ sympathies for Homer Maxey (he’s also a longtime friend of Glenna Goodacre and her husband, Dallas attorney Mike Schmidt), he was torn by the contradictions and ambiguities in the saga, because he also liked and admired many of the individuals on the other side of the case, including Charlie Jones.

Working together on this story, Broadus and I invested hundreds of hours in getting at the truth of the case; also trying to articulate the background of social and cultural factors that were involved, going back to the very origins of Lubbock and Lubbock County, the complex community relationships there in that town of many churches, the legendary “Empire Builders” or “King Makers” who ran things behind the scenes, the wheeling and dealing, the heroism of men like Homer, who commanded amphibious ships during the most brutal combat scenarios in the Pacific theater of World War II, then returned home and put their suit and hat on and went out to make deals and build up modern West Texas.

If you know me, you might be surprised that an old punk rocker, blues singer and crime novelist would be attracted to a story out in the South Plains, in the second most conservative town in the USA, but I’m also a history buff and I’ve got a thing for stories about injustice, and this one really hooked me. Lubbock may not be the hippest or most beautiful town I’ve ever been to, but almost everyone I met there was kind and helpful to an incredible degree and they brought pleasure to the often difficult and labor-intensive tasks of research. Above all, I think, the attorneys and the historians were the ones who impressed me the most with their intelligence, their passion for the law, justice, the everyday chores involved in their profession, and on top of all that, their passion for stories. They’ve heard them all. They love to tell them.

Even when they’re not the hero of the story. 🙂

Please join us at a book event near you.

 

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