“One of the most alluring ranger books to date ... digs into the stories behind the stories.... (A)n in-depth history and analysis of the Ranger aura.”
--from the Foreword by Leon Metz.
During the earliest days of Anglo settlement in Texas, colonist Stephen F. Austin wrote that he would “employ 10 men to act as ‘rangers’ for the common defense.” And thus the famous Texas Rangers came into being. An important part of Texas history, these men were distinguished, unique and soon even mythical. They have endured and evolved into what is today one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in the world.
Cox heard his first stories about the Texas Rangers from his grandfather, who knew some of the old-time Rangers well and had a story or two about each one. Cox used some of these stories in his book.
Later, during his twenty-year newspaper career, he met quite a few modern Texas Rangers himself while covering various crime stories. And during the fifteen years he spent as Chief of Media Relations for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which includes the Rangers, he dealt with the Rangers nearly every day and counts some of them as friends.
This book is not an attempt at a definitive history of the Rangers, but the stories give a general idea of their overall history. The stories that were selected were exciting but focus on lesser-known tales. For more familiar stories, such as Bonnie and Clyde, he looked for unusual angles.
The stories are arranged chronologically, but all twenty-seven are freestanding. It is a book that can be read from cover to cover, or the reader can browse through it at their leisure.
According to Cox, the old Rangers used to say that "some men just need killin’. He thinks the stories in Texas Ranger Tales just need tellin’."
Foreword by noted historian Leon C. Metz, 27 stories plus a bibliographic essay on rangers who wrote. Extensive index. 322 pp. Republic of Texas Press, 1999. (Volume One out of print.)
In the companion volume, More Texas Ranger Tales,
Cox spins more great tales of these larger-than-life heroes and their sometimes almost unbelievable adventures. This volume includes all new little-known, entertaining, informative and always exciting tales of the legendary Texas Rangers. Introduction by best-selling western novelist Elmer Kelton. Photos, filmography. 286 pp. Republic of Texas Press, 1999.