Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire

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"King Ranch, carved from the scrub and mesquite of the South Texas coastal plains and comprising more acreage than the state of Rhode Island, is the largest and most famous cattle ranch in American history." "Kings of Texas is the sprawling saga of the larger-than-life characters who founded, built, and expanded this vast holding. Renowned Texas scholar, writer, and storyteller Don Graham weaves a compelling multigenerational family drama into the complex social history of South Texas. The result is an intricate tapestry laced with thrilling ...
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Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire

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Overview

"King Ranch, carved from the scrub and mesquite of the South Texas coastal plains and comprising more acreage than the state of Rhode Island, is the largest and most famous cattle ranch in American history." "Kings of Texas is the sprawling saga of the larger-than-life characters who founded, built, and expanded this vast holding. Renowned Texas scholar, writer, and storyteller Don Graham weaves a compelling multigenerational family drama into the complex social history of South Texas. The result is an intricate tapestry laced with thrilling tales drawn from decades of conflict arising from the Mexican War, the Civil War, and countless skirmishes between Texas Rangers and border bandits. It was the era, too, when great herds of longhorns were sent north up the Chisholm Trail. And all the while, King Ranch was expanding, growing ever more powerful and famous in the land." From humble frontier jacales to the sleek offices of a multinational corporation, Kings of Texas tells an unforgettable story of vision and violence; generosity and greed; loyalty and betrayal, set on a stage as vast as the American dream.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
My mother grew up in Texas in the 1930s and recalls driving with her father for hours past seemingly endless miles of King Ranch property. Covering 850,000 acres even today, a spread as big as the state of Rhode Island, the King Ranch has been an icon of Texas ranching culture since the 19th century. For six generations, descendants of founder Richard King ran the ranch and its various enterprises until Stephen Kleberg was voted out as ranch manager by the corporate board in 1998. The changing face of the King Ranch from family-run enterprise to corporate entity captures attention precisely because so many ranches and farms have already gone this route in the West, and here is the largest of them all following in their footsteps. Graham (literature, Univ. of Texas, Austin) has written several books on Texas life and culture. His latest is an easy-to-read popular narrative that complements another recent title on the King Ranch, John Cypher's Bob Kleberg and the King Ranch: A Worldwide Sea of Grass (1995), which is a more scholarly look at this modern corporate empire. Highly recommended for Southwestern libraries, both public and academic.-Charlie Cowling, SUNY at Brockport Lib. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

* Full of myth and misunderstanding, there's a Texas for everyone... Graham writes about Texas recognizing the wide-open country that we love, while at the same time putting longitude and latitude in proper perspective... ""Kings of Texas"" is a pleasure to read. (Austin American Statesman)

 ""is the right man for the task of chronicling this Jonesian expanse of archetypal Texana...a pleasure to read"". (Austin American-Statesman, January 19, 2003)

My mother grew up in Texas in the 1930s and recalls driving with her father for hours past seemingly endless miles of King Ranch Property. Covering 850,000 acres even today, a spread as big as the state of Rhode Island, the King Ranch has been an icon of Texas ranching culture since the 19th century. For six generations, descendants of founder Richard King ran the ranch and its various enterprises until Stephen Kleberg was voted out as ranch manager by the corporate board in 1998. The changing face of the King Ranch from family-run enterprise to corporate entity captures attention precisely because so many ranches and farms have already gone this rou te in the West, and here is the largest of them all following in their footsteps. Graham (literature, Univ. of Texas, Austin) has written several books on Texas life and culture. His latest is an easy-to-read popular narrative that complements another recent title of the King Ranch, John Cypher's Bob Kleberg and the King Ranch: A worldwide Sea of Grass (1995) which is a amore scholarly look at this modern corporate empire. Highly recommended for Southwestern libraries, both public and academic. Charlie Cowling, SUNY at Brockport Lib. (Library Journal, March 1, 2003)

""A crisp history of the King Ranch... a good read about an era long gone.""--Boston Globe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471394518
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/13/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

DON GRAHAM is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine and the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also past president of the Texas Institute of Letters and the author of the critically acclaimed biography of Audie Murphy, No Name on the Bullet. Among Graham’s other works are Giant Country: Essays on Texas and Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande: A Texas Anthology.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Manifest Destiny's Children.

The Quartermaster's Depot.

The Preacher and the Preacher's Daughter.

Sea of Grass.

Grandma's Cattle.

His Majesty King Cotton.

Ricardo King, Owner of the Hacienda Gertrudis.

A Second Alamo.

The Great Cattle King of Texas.

Cause No. 1279.

Quieted in the Possession of His Lands.

The Succession.

The Unquiet Past.

Chapman v. King Ranch, Inc. Bibliography.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2011

    So much land, so much history!!!

    Excellent book about a section of Texas I did not know much about. This book caused me to give much respect the Richard King, the entrepreneur!!!! People like him made this country great...taking risks..investing...having a vison...standing strong...fighting to keep what he earned. Without him that section of Texas would not be known except for endless prairie. Don Graham wrote a very interesting book, well researched and written. I love reading about these American heros who made this the greatest country in the world. You will not find stories about people like Richard King in any other country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Texas history

    as a native Texan, I've read more fiction than I care to! Graham has done his research and put together one of the best accounts of one empire of Texas and the impact that one extended family has had on the state and the world, not only in agriculture but in the true manner that all Texans relish. An exciting read - not dry, dipicting the stuff that legends are made of that really happened only seen on tv or movies!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2010

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