Lone Star Lawmen: The Second Century of the Texas Rangers

by Robert M. Utley

Publishers Weekly: In this follow-up to Lone Star Justice, Utley tells how the Texas Rangers entered the 20th century as an effective if idiosyncratic law enforcement outfit and entered the 21st century as the investigative arm of the Texas Department of Public Safety. In a dry style, Utley describes the Rangers' various commanders, troopers and exploits. Through the first third of the 20th century, the Rangers operated in an extralegal fashion—their existence was at the whim of whoever occupied the governor's mansion in Austin. It wasn't until 1935 that the Rangers were made official and brought into the newly formed DPS. Utley is far too enamored of the Rangers for his book's good. While his precise if plodding prose doesn't hype the Rangers' exploits, and he acknowledges a "dark period" early in the 20th century when weak leaders failed to control their men, he treads so lightly on so many issues—prisoner treatment (brutal), racial integration (belated) and especially gender equality (a glaring problem Utley chalks up to "the lack of female applicants")—that it is hard to see this as the definitive account it aspires to be. 30 b&w illus. (Mar.)

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