Winner of the Caughey Western History Prize
Winner of the Robert G. Athearn Award
Winner of the Lawrence W. Levine Award
Winner of the TCU Texas Book Award
Winner of the NACCS Tejas Foco Nonfiction Book Award
Winner of the María Elena Martínez Prize
Frederick Jackson Turner Award Finalist
“A page-turner…Haunting…Bravely and convincingly urges us to think differently about Texas’s past.”
Between 1910 and 1920, self-appointed protectors of the Texas–Mexico borderincluding members of the famed Texas Rangersmurdered hundreds of ethnic Mexicans living in Texas, many of whom were American citizens. Operating in remote rural areas, officers and vigilantes knew they could hang, shoot, burn, and beat victims to death without scrutiny. A culture of impunity prevailed. The abuses were so pervasive that in 1919 the Texas legislature investigated the charges and uncovered a clear pattern of state crime. Records of the proceedings were soon filed away as the Ranger myth flourished.
A groundbreaking work of historical reconstruction, The Injustice Never Leaves You has upended Texas’s sense of its own history. A timely reminder of the dark side of American justice, it is a riveting story of race, power, and prejudice on the border.
“It’s an apt moment for this book’s hard lessons…to go mainstream.”
“A reminder that government brutality on the border is nothing new.”
Los Angeles Review of Books
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About the Author
Monica Muñoz Martinez is Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. She is cofounder of the nonprofit organization Refusing to Forget, which calls for a public reckoning with racial violence in Texas. Martinez helped develop an award-winning exhibit on racial terror in the early twentieth century for the Bullock Texas State History Museum and worked to secure four state historical markers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Table of Contents
1 Divine Retribution 30
2 From Silence 76
3 Denial of Justice 120
4 Cultures of Violence 172
5 Idols 227
6 Reckoning with Violence 264