The Texas Rangers: Vol. One (Nonfiction) Mike Cox (Forge, $25.95), Hardcover.

Mike Cox
Mike Cox

’Tis time for another Texas Rangers history, and in two volumes (one of them still to come), just like Robert Utley’s well-received set. Cox is a newspaperman (Austin Statesman), and his account is in the very readable prose of a journalist. After briefly treating Militia and Mounted Rifles predecessors, Cox moves smoothly to the Rangers’ heyday of Capt. John Coffee Hays, Ben McCulloch, Rip Ford, Sul Ross, John B. Jones and Leander McNelly. Perilous times on a lawless frontier led the Rangers to indulge in extralegal “justice,” and in the Mexican War, to inflict atrocities on civilians in Mexico who called the Rangers los Diablos Tejanos (the Texan Devils). Cox is careful to isolate myth from genuine historical fact, while still making good use of anecdotes.

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