Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers

Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers

by Robert M. Utley
     
 

Based on unprecedented access to Rangers archives, Lone Star Lawmen chronicles one hundred years of high adventure as told by one of the nation's most respected Western historians. This definitive portrait of the Texas Rangers stretches from the days of the Mexican Revolution to Waco and the recent bloody standoff with "Republic of Texas" militia, recounting events in… See more details below

Overview

Based on unprecedented access to Rangers archives, Lone Star Lawmen chronicles one hundred years of high adventure as told by one of the nation's most respected Western historians. This definitive portrait of the Texas Rangers stretches from the days of the Mexican Revolution to Waco and the recent bloody standoff with "Republic of Texas" militia, recounting events in between such as the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde and the tracking of the "Phantom Killer" of Texarkana.

Highlighting the gradual evolution of this celebrated force, Robert M. Utley reveals how the outlaw-pursuing horseback riders of yesteryear became a modern law enforcement agency combating urban crime in Texas's big cities, assisted by the latest advances in forensic science-yet never losing their toughness and independent spirit-and how the Rangers will continue to bring justice to the West in the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this follow-up to Lone Star Justice, Utley tells how the Texas Rangers entered the 20th century as an effective if idiosyncratic law enforcement outfit and entered the 21st century as the investigative arm of the Texas Department of Public Safety. In a dry style, Utley describes the Rangers' various commanders, troopers and exploits. Through the first third of the 20th century, the Rangers operated in an extralegal fashion-their existence was at the whim of whoever occupied the governor's mansion in Austin. It wasn't until 1935 that the Rangers were made official and brought into the newly formed DPS. Utley is far too enamored of the Rangers for his book's good. While his precise if plodding prose doesn't hype the Rangers' exploits, and he acknowledges a "dark period" early in the 20th century when weak leaders failed to control their men, he treads so lightly on so many issues-prisoner treatment (brutal), racial integration (belated) and especially gender equality (a glaring problem Utley chalks up to "the lack of female applicants")-that it is hard to see this as the definitive account it aspires to be. 30 b&w illus. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A continuation of the author's Lone Star Justice (2001), bringing the tale of the renowned-and sometimes infamous-Texas Rangers to the present. Founded to battle Comanches and other Indians on the open range, the unit that ranks among the world's best-known police detachments became not very particular about its targets along about the time of the Mexican Revolution, when this sequel gathers steam. The decade of the revolution (1910-20) is, writes Utley, "the blackest period in the history of the Texas Rangers"; so vigorous were the special agents in keeping the border under Anglo control that police murders of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were common. One Army scout reported, for instance, finding the bodies of ten Mexicans hanging alongside a road, each with a bullet in the forehead, which one former Ranger called the brand of the unit in a process known along the borderlands as "evaporation." Utley condemns the Rangers of the time for undermining rather than upholding the law, proceeding to a period in which the governor commissioned Rangers to "carry a gun and arrest law-breakers, such as editors, executives, and bankers" who dared oppose his enlightened rule. In time, conditions changed, giving credence to the thought that good politics make for good police. Usually few in number, the Rangers dwindled into the Depression, when constant bank robberies gave them new opportunities to fan their six-shooters. In the modern era, they had to adjust to conditions, admitting women into the unit (none too successfully); attending to strange confrontations with the Branch Davidians (more successfully than did federal authorities) and right-wing militias; and recruiting minority officers nonetoo enthusiastically. On that note, it is something of an irony, given the Rangers' Latino-hating tendencies of old, that Utley considers the best of the best Rangers to have been one Manuel Gonzaullas, whom he deems an "exemplary leader."A valuable addition to the library of Texana.
From the Publisher
"Perhaps the most common question arising after the publication of Robert Utley's Lone Star Justice in 2002 was whether the promised second volume would match the first for compelling stories of lone Rangers battling Indians and outlaws on the Texas frontier...The answer, happily, is that Mr. Utley has risen to the occasion...this well-researched study adds enormously to Texas history and offers a reasonably objective treatment of one of the most unique and controversial organizations Texas ever produced."—Dallas Morning News

"What's most astounding is his singular ability to blend deep research with a mind-boggling grasp of secondary source materials. Then, like an alchemist, he uses his gift for old-fashioned storytelling to write beautifully rendered narratives... Honest, pragmatic and usually right, Utley's action-packed newest effort, 'Lone Star: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers,'belongs on all readers' Western Americana bookshelves, next to the best efforts of Webb, Dobie and Prescott."—Austin American-Statesman

"In this follow-up to Lone Star Justice, Utley tells how the Texas Rangers entered the 20th century as an effective if idiosyncratic law enforcement outfit and entered the 21st century as the investigative arm of the Texas Department of Public Safety. In a dry style, Utley describes the Rangers various commanders, troopers and exploits."—Publishers Weekly

"In Lone Star Lawmen our pre-eminent historian of the American West has presented a thorough and vividly written assessment of this great, often controversial, assemblage of Texas lawmen."—Roundup Magazine

"This book is a winner. Robert Utley's Lone Star Justice and Lone Star Lawmen are the best books ever written about the Texas Rangers. His brilliant account makes the story of the Rangers central to an understanding of Texas history, and his talent for vivid storytelling enthralls us to the very end."—Howard R. Lamar, Sterling Professor Emeritus of History, Yale University

"Utley rounds out his history of the Texas Rangers with a brisk account of their high points and their lows, their heroes and their villains, during the Twentieth Century. Exploring both the darkness and the sunshine, his well-rounded book is certain to create controversy among both supporters and detractors of the Rangers."—Elmer Kelton, author of Texas Vendetta and The Buckskin Line

"No one has done more to illuminate the real American Western experience and separate it from fictionalizing and folklore than Robert Utley. Lone Star Lawmen completes his landmark history of the Texas Rangers, from the last days of the outlaws to the modern challenges of patrolling an international border. Throughout Utley is cogent, authoritative, and unfailingly interesting, a Lone Star Historian at his best."—William C. Davis, author of Three Roads to the Alamo

"Lively with stories of crime and punishment, victory and disappointment. It is sure to be controversial...naming names and claling them as he sees them: the good, the bad, the modest, the flamboyant, and the incompetent."—Montana: The Magazine of Western History

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425219386
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/04/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
869,519
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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