Whiskey River Ranger (Hardcover)

The Old West Life of Baz Outlaw (Frances B. Vick Series #16)

By Bob Alexander

University of North Texas Press, 9781574416312, 400pp.

Publication Date: April 15, 2016

List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Captain Frank Jones, a famed nineteenth-century Texas Ranger, said of his company’s top sergeant, Baz Outlaw (1854–1894), “A man of unusual courage and coolness and in a close place is worth two or three ordinary men.” Another old-time Texas Ranger declared that Baz Outlaw “was one of the worst and most dangerous” because “he never knew what fear was.” But not all thought so highly of him. In Whiskey River Ranger, Bob Alexander tells for the first time the full story of this troubled Texas Ranger and his losing battle with alcoholism.
In his career Baz Outlaw wore a badge as a Texas Ranger and also as a Deputy US Marshal. He could be a fearless and crackerjack lawman, as well as an unmanageable manic. Although Baz Outlaw’s badge-wearing career was sometimes heroically creditable, at other times his self-induced nightmarish imbroglios teased and tested Texas Ranger management’s resoluteness.
Baz Outlaw’s true-life story is jam-packed with fellows owning well-known names, including Texas Rangers, city marshals, sheriffs, and steely-eyed mean-spirited miscreants. Baz Outlaw’s tale is complete with horseback chases, explosive train robberies, vigilante justice (or injustice), nighttime ambushes and bushwhacking, and episodes of scorching six-shooter finality. Baz met his end in a brothel brawl at the hands of John Selman, the same gunfighter who killed John Wesley Hardin.

About the Author

BOB ALEXANDER began a policing career in 1965 and retired as a special agent with the U.S. Treasury Department. He is the author of Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten (winner of WWHA Best Book Award); Six-Shooters and Shifting Sands,Bad Company and Burnt Powder, Riding Lucifer's Line, and Winchester Warriors, all published by UNT Press. He lives in Maypearl, Texas.

Praise For Whiskey River Ranger: The Old West Life of Baz Outlaw (Frances B. Vick Series #16)

“Can someone write nonfiction, make it sound like Zane Grey’s fiction, and get away with it? Well, Bob Alexander can. He can take the otherwise bland Ranger Monthly Reports and turn them into a tale, without betraying the actual facts of the circumstances. The dry accounting of chases and arrests is turned into an adventure that leaves the reader wanting more.”—Paul N. Spellman, author of Captain John H. Rogers, Texas Ranger and Captain J. A. Brooks, Texas Ranger
“Bob Alexander has become a noted Wild West writer and a devotee of outlaw-lawmen history. He has put together a well-researched biography of one of the more controversial Texas Rangers, Bazzell Lamar ‘Baz’ Outlaw. Alexander should be praised for his balanced treatment of Outlaw as a good-bad Ranger.”—Harold J. Weiss, Jr., author of Yours to Command: The Life and Legend of Texas Ranger Captain Bill McDonald

“Bob Alexander presents a long awaited and tragic biography of Texas Ranger Baz Outlaw unjustly characterized as a violent predator.  Outlaw's descent into alcoholism ultimately destroyed this ranger.  He was, as Alexander clearly demonstrates in this well documented history, far more than what has been portrayed in the past, acting as mentor for such rangers as John R. Hughes.”—Dave Johnson, author of The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War, 1874-1902

"[E]ven after separating fact from legend, what remains is a rip-roaring tale. . . . [Alexander] delivers a fascinating, warts-and-all study of a man who literally walked the line between the best and worst of human nature."--Wild West

"[Alexander] has produced the definitive biography of this lawman born with an ironic surname. . . . Saddle up with Whiskey River Ranger for a fine read."--True West

"Bob Alexander has not simply chronicled the adventurous life of a Wild West lawman. He has done that and more: he has described the rise and fall of a good man who cared about the rights and wrongs of his fellow men, what he could contribute to society as a good Ranger, and how he benefited the Texas Rangers through his service. The book is strengthened by 105 images of Rangers who figured in Outlaw's life."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Scholars will appreciate the extensive research that went into this book and the meticulous citing of a wide variety of sources. Casual readers will enjoy the story of Baz Outlaw if they are fans of Westerns, the Texas Rangers, or adventure stories in general."--Chronicles of Oklahoma