“A harrowing deep dive into the Rangers’ darkest moments . . . What Swanson found in his thousands of documents is that the history of the Rangers is hardly a pretty picture when it comes to documenting their treatment of people of color.”


When it was announced a couple of years ago that Irvine Welsh was releasing Just finished Cult of Glory, The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers by Doug J. Swanson. Non-Fiction.
A brutal history it is. All the gloves come off in this searing retelling of the myth and truths around the Texas Rangers. Originally founded to protect settlers from Indian attacks, they helped eliminate some tribes from Texas and helped put down the Comanches ,they became defenders of the border between Texas and Mexico, making many sorties against the law into Mexico to either chase bandits or enact revenge of Mexicans who crossed into Texas to take Texan lives and property.

Many times they were not even paid but many of the Rangers, especially the ones in the beginning were all too eager to protect and defend against any and all comers, warlike and peaceful.
Many of their legendary exploits were either greatly exaggerated or were simply lies. They supported the lies of an alleged serial killer and they helped keep integration in the schools despite Supreme Court orders to the contrary, preventing young blacks from attending all white schools.
But there is also the bravery so many exhibited, their maintaining the peace, sometimes against overwhelming odds, and when their was no law in a town they were sent in, sometimes one man alone, to make and keep the peace.

It is a fascinating and disturbing history at the same time. This is not your Texas Rangers portrayed on TV shows, but it is still an unbelievable look into wild Texas after Texas achieved independence from Mexico, and how that fight continued over the years, many times over, that included massacres n either side of the border.
This is history as it ought to be told, warts and all. A fascinating read.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 22nd February 2021

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Richard Franco