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Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers Reprint Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0425219386
ISBN-10: 0425219380
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Editorial Reviews

From 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"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
"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


"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
"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
"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 toilluminate 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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425219380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425219386
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Clary on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Robert M. Utley follows his masterful account of the first century of the Texas Rangers, Lone Star Justice, with another tour de force, bringing the story up to date. Brilliantly written and meticulously documented, as always with this celebrated historian of the West, this book traces the transformation of a frontier peace force at the beginning of the 20th century to today's internationally recognized investigative and law-enforcement force, a small band of efficient professionals whose frontier history will always hang over them. Casting off frontier ways was not always easy, politically or professionally, as Utley clearly explains. He is not afraid to deal with the controversial aspects of his subject's history, in particular repeated charges of racism and high-handed brutality. This is no love poem to this sometimes controversial organization, as Utley takes on the negative as well as the positive, with judiciouos balance. On the whole, his judgment of the Rangers, for all the regrettable elements of their past, is favorable, and he concludes that the organization has not so much overcome its history as learned from it. A welcome corrective to the romanticizing that usually characterizes stories about the Rangers. Recommended to anyone interested in the history of Texas, the West, and law enforcement. Given that issues involving the US border with Mexico are in the forefront lately, this book provides informative background.
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Format: Paperback
Utley doesn't delve enough into the sorry state of the Rangers in the Rio Grande Valley from 1910-1917. At that time a corrupt band of them killed Mexican-Americans with impunity as part of a land grab that transferred 90 percent of the lands in the Valley from Hispanic to Anglo landowners. All of these transfers were "legal" because they were recorded at the courthouse, but most were done under threat of death by Rangers who supported the Anglo speculators.
This is not to condemn all Rangers. There were plenty of them who were exemplary, but to ignore this part of their history does no one any favors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book that chronicles the evolution of the Texas Rangers from the end of the frontier days to modern times. The descriptions of the personalities, both positive and negative, that guided the Rangers through the 20th Century gives a perspective that I have not found in other historical works. Read this before reading any other work on, or by, modern Texas Rangers.
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Format: Hardcover
An accurate accounting of the modern-day Texas Rangers. A must read for the Texas Ranger enthusiast and those interested in the history of law enforcement in Texas. I loved the section about "Garrison's Rangers". A real good read!! I highly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book completes the story began in Utley's earlier book, "Lone Star Justice," and provides more insight into some of the leading persoalities in the "story." Again, my advice is for the reader to have a supplementary source of maps as those in the book are minimally useful. I gained new appreciation for the dedication and increasing professionalism of he Ranger force. It hws prevailed in spite of political interference and recurring lack of adequate resources of personnel and resources. While the history of the force has been flawed at times, it is, today, a model for criminal investigation and rugged law enforcement. A good read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always been interested in all things Southwest, with the History Texas Rangers high on the list. Robert Utley takes us through the Ranger story, from the raw beginnings in the first book, "Lone Star Justice" and finishes up with "Lone Star Lawmen," that takes us to present day. I'm glad tradition remains, and that the Rangers made it all the way with us. Mr. Utley is not only a master historian, but a very entertaining story teller. On page 91 begins a tale of such outrageous parameters that one suspects Larry McMurtry used it as the model for his famous "Crow Town" when penning "The Streets of Laredo." It was quite a chapter, that.

That some of the Rangers were as much outlaw as lawman, is, of course to be expected due to the wild and wooly times in which they lived. But emerging from the turmoil, came some men of honor, integrity and perseverance - most of them found their way to the top and the Ranger traditions began to form. Of course, in this book, politics became a major ingredient, because as the West was "won", some of the biggest crooks rose to the top and the games began. It was gratifying to know that for the most part, the Rangers used forbearance in the race mob vigilante justice that tried to prevail, and were seemingly instrumental in keeping the peace against mob violence vs. law and order. That it was so, is a testimonial to the true underlying foundation that supported the idea of the Rangers, and kept them from fading away as politics, lack of funding, etc. swirled around them.

If Southwest history appeals to you, the Texas Ranger story is one that probably belongs on your home library shelves. There are several good books on the subject and Mr. Utley ranks among the best of the historians.

Other books I found to be good:

** "Lone Star Nation" - by H. W. Brands
** "Wearing the Cinco Peso" - by Mike Cox
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