The Men Who Wear the Star: The Story of the Texas Rangers

Charles M. Robinson, III, Author Random House (NY) $29.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-679-45649-0
Fans of the old TV series The Lone Ranger and the current Walker, Texas Ranger (starring Chuck Norris) will love this history. Robinson (Bad Hand; A Good Year to Die) starts the tale in 1823, when the Mexican government allowed American settlers in Texas to form companies of border rangers to protect themselves from Indian raids. The Republic of Texas continued with the ranger companies and even formed entire regiments of them to serve alongside the American army during the Mexican War. The rangers continued to assist the American regular army in the later 1840s and '50s by patrolling both the frontier with Mexico and the northern and western settlements, keeping watch for marauding Indians. Rangers fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, then spent the remainder of the 19th century patrolling the Mexican border, fighting Indians (the last battle occurred in 1881) and running down criminals. After their horse-riding days were over, the rangers adapted and became part of the state's Department of Public Safety. Today, more than 100 men and women continue the proud tradition of their service. Robinson has written an engaging book that covers the Texas Rangers' major highlights, including their finest moments and their great officers--men like Jack Hays, John Ford and Leander H. McNelly. The author also delves into embarrassments, such as the Rangers' participation in the 1877 ""Salt War."" This fast-paced book sheds new light on an organization many have heard of but fewer know well. Maps and illus. not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-375-75748-8
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