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Texas Rangers

Lives, Legend, and Legacy

Bob Alexander, Donaly E. Brice


List Price: 34.95*
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Authors Bob Alexander and Donaly E. Brice grappled with several issues when deciding how to relate a general history of the Texas Rangers. Should emphasis be placed on their frontier defense against Indians, or focus more on their role as guardians of the peace and statewide law enforcers? What about the tumultuous Mexican Revolution period, 1910–1920? And how to deal with myths and legends such as One Riot, One Ranger?

Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy is the authors’ answer to these questions, a one-volume history of the Texas Rangers. The authors begin with the earliest Rangers in the pre-Republic years in 1823 and take the story up through the Republic, Mexican War, and Civil War. Then, with the advent of the Frontier Battalion, the authors focus in detail on each company A through F, relating what was happening within each company concurrently. Thereafter, Alexander and Brice tell the famous episodes of the Rangers that forged their legend, and bring the story up through the twentieth century to the present day in the final chapters.

Praise For Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy

"Bob Alexander, retired Treasury agent and unsurpassed interpreter of Old West lawmen, and Donaly Brice, senior state archivist, have combined their formidable skills to produce Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy. With fresh research and lively narrative, this is a single-volume work that should be on the shelf of every Texas history buff."—Bill O'Neal, State Historian of Texas

"Bob Alexander and Donaly Brice have written the first single-volume comprehensive history of the Texas Rangers since the Texas Centennial. Texas Rangers spans three centuries and chronicles the evolution of the agency, from the bloody frontier battleground to the city streets of today. Alexander's and Brice's extensive authorship, law enforcement experience, and outstanding credentials make for an entertaining and accurate portrayal. This is a fitting tribute to the oldest state law enforcement agency in the nation."—Byron Johnson, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

"There is always room for good books on the Rangers, and this is an exceptionally well written and researched one. It will be a standard reference on the Rangers. If one could have only a single volume on the Rangers, this should be it."—David Johnson, author of The Horrell Wars and John Ringo, King of the Cowboys

"Two of the most preeminent Texas Ranger historians have teamed up to create the most comprehensive one-volume history of the illustrious Lone Star lawmen ever published."--True West

"The book includes major activities of Frontier Battalion Companies A-F, and concluded with photographs of current Texas Rangers. The research component is the major contribution of this endeavor as the 14 chapters contain no less than 1,040 annotations."--Wild West History Association Journal

"Recognized for its excellence by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, this important contribution to Texas history belongs on the book shelf of anyone who has yearned for a one-volume approach to a larger than life story, a compelling and first-rate accounting of a slice of Texas exceptionalism based in superior research and told in a straightforward and delightful fashion."--Plum Creek Almanac

"[A] welcome and highly valuable source as a one-volume history of the Texas Rangers."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"[I]n six chapters, the authors review—one company per chapter—each of the six troops of the Frontier Battalion. They scoured muster rolls and other rare sources to find and report on Ranger regulars. This important section represents the heart of the large book. . . . The book is impressive."--Western Historical Quarterly

"In the final chapter, 'Rangers Today,' the ranger story is brought up to date from 1998 to the present. It is the best written of all the chapters."--Chronicles of Oklahoma

"[Alexander and Brice's] combined efforts at providing a thorough history, and at the same time a very readable narrative, have now replaced Webb's work. . . . [T]his study is the best history of the Texas Rangers yet written."--West Texas Historical Review

"Accounts of famous names, like Captain Leander McNelly, Captain Bill McDonald, Captain John Rogers, and others provide fascinating insights into the challenges they faced. . . . It is a fascinating subject covered superbly by an expert on the subject along with his assistant, and is highly recommended."--Denver Westerners Roundup

University of North Texas Press, 9781574416916, 656pp.

Publication Date: August 3, 2017

About the Author

BOB ALEXANDER is the author of Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten, Whiskey River Ranger, 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. DONALY E. BRICE was Senior Research Assistant at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and is the author of The Great Comanche Raid and co-author of Texas Ranger N. O. Reynolds and The Governor’s Hounds. He lives in Lockhart, Texas.