Bill Minutaglio is co-author, with W. Michael Smith, of Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life, released this week by PublicAffairs. He is a professor of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin and the author of several books, including George W. Bush & The Bush Family Dynasty and The President’s Counselor: The Rise to Power of Alberto Gonzales.

Months before Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy 50 years ago this November, he tried to kill someone else: General Edwin Walker, an ultra-right winger who was arrested for sedition on Kennedy’s orders. In an excerpt from their new book, Dallas 1963, the story of Walker’s anti-civil rights tour through the south and Oswald’s personal collapse that led to their almost fatal encounter.

Molly Ivins was the most popular liberal commentator of the last 25 years. Bill Minutaglio, author of a new biography of the tangy Texan, on why her voice is needed now more than ever.