Tracking the Texas Rangers
Tracking the Texas Rangers: The Twentieth Century is an anthology of
fifteen previously published articles and chapter excerpts covering key
topics of the Texas Rangers during the twentieth century. The task of
determining the role of the Rangers as the state evolved and what they
actually accomplished for the benefit of the state is a difficult
challenge. The actions of the Rangers fit no easy description. There is
a dark side to the story of the Rangers; during the Mexican Revolution,
for example, some murdered with impunity. Others sought to restore order
in the border communities as well as in the remainder of Texas. It is
not lack of interest that complicates the unveiling of the mythical
force. With the possible exception of the Alamo, probably more has been
written about the Texas Rangers than any other aspect of Texas history.
Tracking the Texas Rangers covers leaders such as Captains Bill
McDonald, “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas, and Barry Caver, accomplished Rangers
like Joaquin Jackson and Arthur Hill, and the use of Rangers in the
Mexican Revolution. Chapters discuss their role in the oil fields, in
riots, and in capturing outlaws. Most important, the Rangers of the
twentieth century experienced changes in investigative techniques,
strategy, and intelligence gathering. Tracking looks at the use of
Rangers in labor disputes, in race issues, and in the Tejano civil
rights movement. The selections cover critical aspects of those
experiences—organization, leadership, cultural implications, rural and
urban life, and violence.
In their introduction, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Harold J. Weiss,
Jr., discuss various themes and controversies surrounding the
twentieth-century Rangers and their treatment by historians over the
years. They also have added annotations to the essays to explain where
new research has shed additional light on an event to update or correct
the original article text.
“The history of the Texas Rangers continues with this second volume of
writings by esteemed historians, ably edited with an introduction and
notes by Bruce Glasrud and Harold Weiss. This is an obligatory
acquisition for Texas Ranger fans, historians, lawmen and lay people.”
—Chuck Parsons, author of Captain John R. Hughes
“This collection is a vitally important contribution. Every top scholar
in the field of modern Texas Ranger studies is well represented here.
The book is thorough in offering a thematic rather than a biographical
approach, and the central theme of institutional change in times of
transition clearly runs through the essays like a connecting thread.
Finally, it goes well beyond the apotheosis of Anglo Texans and delves
deeply into the Tejano side of the Rangers’ story.” —Michael L.
Collins, author of Texas Devils
“Glasrud and Weiss have created an important anthology of 21st-century
perspectives on the Texas Rangers. It includes contributions and
assessments by many of the leading scholars—a must for those studying
the mystique of a Texas legend and an American icon.” —Byron A.
Johnson, Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum,