An Epic Life of a Lawman

John Boessenecker's Book

The opening two sentences of John Boessenecker’s Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer, The Man Who Killed Bonnie and Clyde (Thomas Dunne Books, $29.95) sums up its subject: “Texas bred tough men, and none came any tougher than Frank Hamer. He was to the Lone Star State what Wyatt Earp was to Arizona and what Wild Bill Hickok was to Kansas.”    

 Boessenecker, one of the handful of current great Western historians, delves deep into Hamer’s life and finds a superior lawman who surmounted the prevailing prejudices of his time by enforcing the law for Hispanics and blacks as well as whites. Colorful and comprehensive, Texas Ranger is a fitting tribute to a man who “helped drag Texas—kicking and screaming—into the 20th century.”

  —Allen Barra, author of Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends

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