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Charged with the mission of operating beyond the boundaries of civilization with minimal support and no communication from higher authority, they lived and often died by the motto, "Order first, then law will follow." In this first volume of his fully illustrated history of the Texas Rangers, Thomas Knowles brings to life the genesis of the Lone Star's legendary lawmen. Discover their origins as the first defenders of the Alamo and as Stephen F. Austin's ideal of mounted volunteers, and track their service on the longest and deadliest frontier in the history of the American West. Along the way, meet some of the dedicated men who served with the early Rangers: Juan Seguin, Noah Smithwick, Jose Toribo Losoya, Samuel Walker, Benjamin and Henry McCulloch, Young Chief Flacco of the Lipan Apache, John S. "R.I.P." Ford, and the most revered of Ranger captains, Jack Hays. They Rode for the Lone Star burns away the myths to expose the rich and detailed history of the Rangers' first decades of service, as their organization evolved to meet the demands of a young and turbulent Texas. The men who answered the Lone Star's call came from all walks of life and from diverse ethnic backgrounds-hopeful new immigrants from Europe, eager colonists from the young United States, proud Tejano vaqueros, fierce Native American horsemen-and studied combat and survival in the harsh, unforgiving school of the bloody border wars. Usually outnumbered and often alone, they confronted the terrible challenges of the frontier with the skills and weapons they adapted to their needs. They learned to "ride like Mexicans, track like Indians, shoot like Tennesseans, and fight like the very Devil himself." They patrolled the uncharted fringes of the colonies, clashed with the armies of Santa Anna in the struggle for Texas independence, guarded the borders of the Republic, served as special forces for the United States in Mexico after annexation, and rode into combat under the Confederacy's banners against guerrillas, Indians, and invading Union troops. The living legend of the Texas Rangers has inspired countless stories, novels and motion pictures, but few of the fictional accounts have done justice to the dramatic reality. With a historian's broad perspective and a novelist's imagery and characterization, Knowles renders a vivid and accurate depiction of the Rangers' deeds and development. The stories and larger-than-life personalities that fill the pages of They Rode for the Lone Star give ample proof of the Rangers' ability to spark the imaginations of those who love tales of Texas and the American West. This revised trade paperback edition features an expanded "killed-in-action" list that takes into account new research and information gathered by the author since the original hardcover publication. The original 1998 hardcover edition was selected by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum to commemorative the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Rangers by Stephen F. Austin.
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Thomas W. Knowles became interested in history at an early age when he learned that his relations and ancestors had fought on both sides of the conflict between the Plains Indians and the Texas Rangers, and on both sides in the American Civil War. In his previous books, The West That Was and Wild West Show! (edited and written with award-winning Texas author Joe R. Lansdale), he explored the history of the American West and the making of the myth of the Wild West. In 1996, the American Library Association, PBS, the NEA, and the Newberry Library selected Wild West Show! for their special recommended reading list of the thirty all-time best nonfiction books about the American West, and as a reference for the Newberry Library's two-year traveling exhibition, "The Frontier in American Culture." His short stories, nonfiction articles, opinion columns, reviews, essays, interviews and photographs have appeared in Texas Books in Review, New Destinies, Persimmon Hill, and many other anthologies, newspapers and magazines. He's contributed to and narrated film documentaries, including The Discovery Channel's "Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen." His areas of interest include science fiction, Victoriana, military history and law enforcement history, but the American West remains his favorite subject. He is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Western Writers of America. While he wrote and researched They Rode for the Lone Star, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas, granted him historian-in-residence status, and (along with Clayton Moore and Chuck Norris) honored him with an ex-officio board membership. He lives in Bryan, Texas, with his wife, Barbara, and his son, James. When he's not writing, he camps out, hunts, and fishes with friends and family, and he sometimes shoots period firearms with historical re-enactment groups. He may sometimes be found roaming about Texas, collecting arrowheads and other artifacts of the Old West, stopping to swap tales with country people, and taking photos of old churches, dance halls, and abandoned farmhouses.Review:
"The Texas Rangers' reputation is based to a large extent on the fact that they constitute one of the smallest, most effective law-enforcement agencies in the world. There has not been a definitive history of the Texas Rangers since Walter Prescott Webb's in 1935. Though this work is not as detailed or extensive as Webb's, it is an important update that fills a significant void. The history of the Texas Rangers, from their origin through the Civil War, is broken down into five distinct periods of service. It is illustrated throughout with rare historical photos and documents, while 22 intriguing sidebars add depth and detail to the study. The introduction by T. R. Fehrenbach points out that 'this book details the facts of the early Ranger force. It does not attempt to judge.' A good basis for true, accurate history. It has also received the endorsement of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum as the official history for the Texas Rangers' 175th anniversary. -- This text refers to the Hardcover edition. --Fred Egloff, Booklist
"The awesome sweep of Texas history that the Rangers' saga embraces is truly captured in They Rode for the Lone Star ... Knowles' history explores the very roots of the ranger concept, which had antecedents not only in the culture of the Spanish empire in Texas but also with Texans' Celtic ancestors and the "ranging" units who used guerrilla tactics in the French and Indian wars. By prepping his canvas in this manner, Knowles sets out to do what he does best, hitting the high notes and broad strokes of Ranger history, establishing the idea of the Ranger as the original, seminal Texan and a true product of his environment. For the bulk of this lavishly illustrated, powerfully written book, the author portrays the Ranger as a man who was one of us, often not that different than a member of a frontier neighborhood watch program with a license to kill when necessary. And it was necessary a lot of the time. Correcting the idea that Rangers were all white men until recently, Knowles' chronicle of the contributions of Indian and Hispanic Rangers is fascinating and refreshing ..." --Jessie Sublett, The Austin Chronicle
"Stellar work ... The best-looking new Ranger work is They Rode for the Lone Star ... The colorfully illustrated, well-written 234-page work ... has won official endorsement from Byron A. Johnson, director of the top-notch museum in Waco." --Kent Biffle, Texana Column, The Dallas Morning News
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Book Description Lone Star Publishing, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0979435412
Book Description Lone Star Publishing. PERFECT PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0979435412 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0552728