Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers

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9780425190128: Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers

"A splendid, indeed brilliant new work by an outstanding historian of the American West." —Howard Lamar,  author of The New Encyclopedia of the American West, Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University


"A thorough job...a fine book." —Larry McMurtry

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Review:

The Texas Rangers have alternately been described as "fearless men of sterling character" and "ruthless, brutal, and more lawless than the criminals they pursued." The truth, says Robert M. Utley in Lone Star Justice, "lies somewhere in between the extremes." The Rangers got their start in 1823, and for half a century they were "citizen soldiers periodically mobilized to fight Indians or Mexicans." They were professionalized in 1874, when they became lawmen employed by the state of Texas. Utley summarizes their colorful history under the leadership of figures like Jack Hays and Ben McCulloch. They came to national attention during the Mexican War, when they fought with distinction under Zachary Taylor at Monterey and also served as scouts throughout northern Mexico. As lawmen, they were noted for apprehending fugitives (the murdering outlaw John Wesley Hardin fell to one of their bullets) and controlling mobs, but they were less successful at putting bad guys behind bars (a problem that the author blames on "a defective criminal justice system"). At bottom, Lone Star Justice is a sober-minded but generally admiring assessment of a unique group of men. --John Miller

About the Author:

Robert M. Utley, former chief historian of the National Park Service, is a founding member and former president of the Western History Association, and the author of twelve acclaimed books on Western history.

 

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