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The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Woooo Hoooo!!! For The Texas Rangers

    rated 10.

    Ever since I was a kid I have had a fascination with the Texas Rangers (the law enforcers, not the baseball team). Mike Cox does a wonderful job recounting the story of their establishment by Stephen F. Austin, their role in the Texas republic, and later in the state of Texas. He details, with many well researched and fast paced stories, their role as Indian fighters, quasi-military frontier protectors, and shows how later they morphed into a law enforcement arm of the government who spent most of their time trying to keep the peace (particularly "out west") and corral the criminals who were making mischief in the developing state.

    The book is thoroughly documented and does a splendid job of combining the details of politics and history with many tales of hair-raising shoot outs, battles and bravado. The second volume is slated to be released in August this year (which will cover 1900 to the present), and I am looking forward to reading it too. If you're interested in Texas history, this is a keeper.

    I rated it a 10 out of 10.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Excellent history

    I am enjoying this account of the west, and the struggle between the American Indians and white settlers taking the land.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    hmmmm, can't rate it any higher

    Honestly, it took me awile to get through. Some fun facts and stories but the cover of the book as well as other reviews all say that it reads like a novel. It doesn't. It is much more boring than that. Sorry, but there are too many mind-tripping statistics etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    mystique and truth: the Texas Rangers

    Writing with the skill of the novelist, informing us with the reliability and attention to detail of the historian, Cox, in this latest book The Texas Rangers, deftly transports the reader to this defining period in Texas history, a period and story enriched with the words and accounts of those who lived the incipient myth¿letters, diaries, newspaper stories, first-hand experiences passed down over the years. It is a bloody and yet poignant story of a rambunctious time filled with characters fit for Hollywood, often unfit (in the eyes of some) to be called lawmen since the law, at times, seemed to be whatever necessity required. But it was meeting necessity after necessity that gives their story such excitement and fervency. Cox provides both the historical backdrop AND dramatic moments on the stage of this history-- Comanches forming a single line to attack, the specially adapted ¿half-breed¿ horses of the rangers, something called the jay-bird/woodpecker feud, a chance meeting of a old ranger-warrior and a would-be recruit. Sometimes gruesome, sometimes poignant, sometimes disturbing, sometimes admirable, always engaging and fascinating, Cox¿s tale provides the pleasure that only knowledge and understanding can provide and the pleasure only a well-told tell can give us. Written in his trademark lean, concise, quick-moving prose, Cox tells a magnificent story with the dramatic pace of page-turning mystery¿the mystery in this case not ¿who dun¿ it,¿ but how they did it, who they were. And at the end, the reader, more intimately in contact with this disciplined, amazingly unprincipled, brazenly bold, brazenly fierce group of men, understands AND feels the force that was the Texas Rangers. Quite an achievement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    Book review: Straight-talking look at first Rangers Web Posted: 03/07/2008 12:18 PM CST Sterlin Holmesly Special to the Express-News The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900 By Mike Cox Forge, $25.95 Texas Ranger lore continues to fascinate, and Mike Cox makes a substantial contribution to it with this work on the force's first 80 years. Stephen F. Austin's settlers were threatened by the cannibalistic Karankawa Indian tribe. A small group of armed riders was formed for protection. That was the beginning of the Rangers. Over the next eight decades, the Rangers battled Comanches, Apaches, Mexican soldiers, bandits, rustlers, fence-cutters, bank robbers and outlaw mobs. They furnished their own horses and weapons and were poorly and erratically paid. Their numbers expanded and contracted according to the size of the threats to the frontier and the shaky state budget. Many served hoping to be paid by the next session of the Legislature. The Rangers quickly developed a reputation for ferocity. They were often accused of being racist vigilantes, accurately in some cases. Still, they deserve credit for protecting the state's expanding frontier and eventually making Texas a safe place to live and work. For Mike Cox, this book is obviously a work of love and fascination. For 15 years, the former journalist served as the spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which includes the modern Rangers. It is a meticulously researched book, drawing on newspapers of the day 'including the San Antonio Express', letters, orders and official reports cited in copious source notes. The writing is straight-ahead. We meet such leaders as Capts. 'Rip' Ford and Leander McNelly as well as privates who put their lives on the line and rode the country from San Saba to El Paso. Cox details the capture of outlaw John Wesley Hardin and the shooting of Sam Bass and his gang, two highlights in Ranger history. As the book ends, some Texans began to believe that the Rangers were a relic of the past and were no longer needed. As we know, that wasn't true. ------------------------------------------- Sterlin Holmesly is a San Antonio author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Booklist, American Library Association

    Cox breathes new life into the legendary Texas Rangers in this lively, enlightening history of one of the oldest, most esteemed law-enforcement agencies in America. Founded in 1821 in order to protect settlers from the fearsome Karankawa Indians, the force¿s members and the scope of their mission grew in proportion to the sprawling territory they helped patrol. Though the threat of Indian attacks eventually abated, the Rangers fought an array of new enemies, including Mexican bandits and Union soldiers. Revered and reviled for their vigilante brand of justice, the Rangers constituted a law unto themselves on the raw Texas frontier. Cox, former spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, does an admirable job of documenting the first 80 years of this often controversial but always intriguing organization. ¿ Margaret Flanagan

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    Posted October 31, 2008

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    Posted December 23, 2010

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    Posted September 7, 2010

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    Posted May 22, 2010

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    Posted October 8, 2009

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    Posted February 23, 2009

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