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Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the…
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Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers

by Robert M. Utley

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Utley's careful scholarship, so evident in the earlier volume, is absent here. The book reads like a vintage gossip tabloid combined with revisionist history.

Apologetic in tone, the majority of the text is spent on Rangers at the turn of the century with no positive mention of the cases which made them famous. Utley spends far too much time documenting and rehashing conspiracy theories which previous historians covered far more accurately.

Utley fails to differentiate between critical details such as the difference between the Texas Rangers and State Police. He begins this volume with the assertion that most reference material has "mysteriously" disappeared and continues in that vein. Where documentation has been noted, it comes from questionable sources such as daily newspapers. Any documentation from the Texas Rangers Museum and Hall of Fame is conspicuously absent.

Utley never does fulfill his promise of bringing the history of the Texas Rangers into the modern era. the 1930s through the 1970s are covered in a single chapter with another for 1970 onward. There appears to have been no actual effort to obtain modern resources or talk to today's Rangers.

This is a disappointing read, lacking in scholarship and objectivity. I expected better of this author. ( )
  tygermoonfoxx | Sep 24, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195154444, Hardcover)

Hailed as "a rip-snortin', six-guns-blazin' saga of good guys and bad guys who were sometimes one and the same," Robert M. Utley's Lone Star Justice captured the colorful first century of Texas Ranger history. Now, in the eagerly anticipated conclusion, Lone Star Lawmen, Utley once again chronicles the daring exploits of the Rangers, this time as they bring justice to the twentieth-century West.
Based on unprecedented access to Ranger archives, this fast-paced narrative stretches from the days of the Mexican Revolution (where atrocities against Mexican Americans marked the nadir of Ranger history) to the Branch Davidian saga near Waco and the recent bloody standoff with "Republic of Texas" militia. Readers will find in these pages one hundred years of high adventure. Utley follows the Rangers as they pursue bank robbers, bootleggers, moonshiners, and "horsebackers" (smugglers who used mule trains to bring liquor across the border). We see these fearless lawmen taming oil boomtowns, springing the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde, facing down angry lynch mobs, and tracking the "Phantom Killer" of Texarkana. Utley also highlights the gradual evolution of this celebrated force, revealing that while West Texas Rangers still occasionally ride the range on horseback and crack down on smugglers and rustlers, East Texas Rangers--who work mostly in big cities--now ride in high-powered cars and contend with kidnappers, forgers, and other urban criminals. But East or West, today's Rangers have become sophisticated professionals, backed by crime labs and forensic science.
Written by one of the most respected Western historians alive, here is the definitive account of the Texas Rangers, a vivid portrait of these legendary peace officers and their role in a changing West.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:35 -0400)

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