They Rode for the Lone Star: The Saga of the Texas Rangers

They Rode for the Lone Star: The Saga of the Texas Rangers

by Thomas W. Knowles
     
 

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This trade paperback re-release of the first volume in the critically acclaimed, lavishly illustrated Texas Ranger series follows the history of the legendary lawmen from their earliest days to the end of the Civil War. In 1998, The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and museum authorized the original hardcover edition as the official commemorative history for the 175th

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Overview

This trade paperback re-release of the first volume in the critically acclaimed, lavishly illustrated Texas Ranger series follows the history of the legendary lawmen from their earliest days to the end of the Civil War. In 1998, The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and museum authorized the original hardcover edition as the official commemorative history for the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Rangers.

Editorial Reviews

Fred Egloff
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 review refers to the original 1998 hardcover edition.)
American Library Association's Booklist Magazine
Jessie Sublett
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 ...
The Austin Chronicle
Wes Stock
Byron A. Johnson, director of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas, writes in a pre-foreword note that his organization endorses this book as "the official history for the 175th anniversary of the Texas Rangers." That anniversary was actually celebrated in 1998, based on Stephen F. Austin's proposal in 1823 to use 10 mounted riders as "rangers." But the Texas Ranger story is one worth considering any year. Author Knowles covers the birth of the Rangers through the Texas Rangers of the Confederacy in this fully illustrated volume. Famous Rangers such as Samuel Walker, "Rip" Ford, Benjamin McCulloch, Noah Smithwick and Jack Hays all make appearances here. 'In defeat as well as in victory,' Knowles writes in his chapter 'Defenders of the Lone Star,' 'the Rangers had proved themselves as worthy foes to the Comanche and the Mexicans.' During the Mexican War, many Rangers were eager to fight an old enemy, and they continued to fight Indians on the Texas frontier afterward.'
The History Net
Kent Biffle
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.
Texana Column, The Dallas Morning News
Mike Cox
... the strong point of this book is its illustrations, several of which are previously unpublished. The book also contains the first published list of Rangers killed in the line of duty.
Texana Column, The Austin American-Statesman
Carl Hoover
The richly illustrated They Rode for the Lone Star shows what made the Rangers distinctive: their spirited defense of an extensive frontier penetrated at times by Mexican troops, raiding Indians such as the Comanches and bandits attacking the homesteaders and ranchers on the fringe of settlement ... Knowles' history is sensitive to the state's multicultural roots—he's quick to point out that the early Ranger companies often had Hispanic and Indian members—and shows that Texas Rangers' tactics and mobile fighting styles influnced fighting in the Mexican War and the Civil War.
The Waco Tribune Herald
Jim Gibson
Historian Thomas Knowles has put together a masterfully comprehensive account of the birth and formative decades of the Texas Rangers. It is packed with gritty "war stories" and tales of incredible derring-do, and clearly reveals the courses for Ranger hallmarks like honor, courage, service, self-sacrifice and an uncompromising dedication to doing the right thing. Complementing the eminently readable narrative is a profusion of historic photographs and illustrations showing what the cast of colorful characters looked like.
The Abilene Reporter-News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979435416
Publisher:
Lone Star Publishing
Publication date:
10/25/2009
Edition description:
Volume 1
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

What People are saying about this

Max Evans
Tom Knowles has always shown a fine talent and dedication to the real West. Here in They Rode for the Lone Star he moves to a high, very high plateau of accurate research and first-rate writing. A top-hand read for those who truly care. Read it now. Enjoy it forever. (Max Evans, author of The Hi-Lo Country, Bluefeather Fellini, and The Rounders)
Dee Brown
With his already proven skill for combining images and words, Thomas Knowles has now created a wonderful history of the Texas Rangers. (Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The American West, and Conspiracy of Knaves)
Don Coldsmith
The Texas Rangers have long needed a narrator who is both a meticulous researcher and who understands the politics of the South. They have needed someone who can distinguish the real Ranger from his superhero image and his cartoon caricature. They have found him in Thomas Knowles and his voice in They Rode for the Lone Star. (Don Coldsmith, author of the Spanish Bit saga, Tallgrass, and South Wind)
Dale L. Walker
They Rode for the Lone Star is destined to be a great and dependable book and it is a book we have needed for a long time. (Dale L. Walker, author of Legends and Lies: Great Mysteries of the American West and The Boys of 98: Theodore Roosevelt and The Rough Riders)
Elmer Kelton
Unlike many partisan writers who take sides, especially today's politically correct revisionists, Tom Knowles avoids making judgments but points up the reality that three completely different cultures came together in Texas, and conflict was inevitable. (Elmer Kelton, seven-time Spur Award winner and author of The Time it Never Rained, The Wolf and the Buffalo, The Good Old Boys and Lone Star Rising: The Texas Rangers Trilogy)

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