History •  Military and Southwest

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The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910-1920


Charles H. Harris III
Louis R. Sadler

The decade 1910-1920 was the bloodiest in the controversial history of one of the most famous law enforcement agencies in the world - the Texas Rangers. Much of the bloodshed was along the thousand-mile Texas/Mexico border because these were the years of the Mexican Revolution.
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Charles Harris III and Louis Sadler shed new light on this turbulent period by uncovering the clandestine role of Mexican President Venustiano Carranza in the border violence. They document two virtually unknown invasions of Texas by Mexican Army troops acting under Carranza's orders. Harris and Sadler suggest the notorious "Plan de San Diego," usually portrayed by historians as a plot hatched in South Texas, was actually spawned in Mexico by Carranza. This irredentist conspiracy, which called for the execution of all Anglo males sixteen and older and the establishment of a Hispanic republic, was designed to cause a race war between Hispanics and Anglos. One of Carranza's goals was to end the support being given by border residents to his rival Pancho Villa.
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The "Plan de San Diego" caused the governor of Texas to order the Texas Rangers to wipe out the insurgency along the border. This resulted in an estimated 300 Hispanics being killed by the Rangers and others without benefit of judge and jury.
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The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is the first Ranger history to utilize Mexican government archives and the voluminous declassified FBI records on the Mexican Revolution.

"There is no other book that focuses on the Texas Rangers in the period 1910-1920. This will be the standard book on the Rangers for this period and probably the most thoroughly researched book on the Rangers in any period." - Alwyn Barr, Professor of History, Texas Tech University

"Harris and Sadler provide the first definitive evaluation of the Texas Rangers and their activities during the first and most violent decade of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920. This is a really outstanding, important work" - William H. Beezley, Professor of Latin American History, University of Arizona


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Louis R. Sadler is emeritus history professor at New Mexico State University.

Charles H. Harris III is emeritus history professor at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.

ACCLAIM

"The unique and in ways controversial activities of the Texas Rangers in this complex, volatile, and fluid situation is the subject the authors hone in on. Harris and Sadler. . bring to light little-known dimensions of the historical events, which continue to affect relationships and feelings between white Texans and Hispanics in the area."

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Midwest Book Review



"This book does not glorify the Rangers. . . Rather, it suggests that a considerable gap exists between the myth of the Texas Rangers and the reality."

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El Paso Times



"Relying on historical records from both sides of the Rio Grande. . this volume of more than 500 pages doesn't miss a trick. If you happen to be a student of Texas Ranger history or to have descended from one you'll likely find it heady reading. To the casual student of history, its value is to clear political fog that has enveloped this critical period."

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San Antonio Express-News



"Aficionados of Texas Ranger history will be grateful for Dr. Harris and Dr. Sadler's insightful revision of earlier studies. Their book includes 48 illustrations and a complete list of Ranger names with dates of service between 1910-1920. Densely packed with personal histories, detailed accounts of Ranger activities and extensive footnotes to archival material, this evenhanded account memorializes the daunting complexities besetting the Rangers' effort to police a state so large that it inspired a 19th-century humorous rhyme: 'The sun has riz, the sun has set, and here we is in Texas yet.'"

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Dallas Morning News



"It is a fascinating book giving new and refreshing reappraisal of the Texas Rangers. . . . (The authors) have provided readers with many new and exciting insights about the Rangers and the Mexican Revolution. The book is a mighty one."

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USA Today Magazine



"A thorough introduction to the real history of the Texas Rangers."

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Austin Chronicle



" . . . meticulously researched."

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Texas Monthly



". . . a broad, highly researched, and well-written study. It is a work that will prove to be the standard for decades to come. . . . The key word describing (Harris and Sadler’s) research is 'exhaustive.'. . . These two authors provide exciting reading."

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Texas Ranger Dispatch Magazine



" The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is a detailed history of the most controversial period of Ranger history, their operations along the border during the years of 1910 to 1920, when their high-handed and often brutal treatment of Texans of Mexican ancestry earned them a reputation for racism and violence."

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The Desert-Mountain Times, TX



"This book is a must-read for those who follow Texas history in general and Texas Ranger and Mexican Revolution history in particular. . The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is highly recommended. It provides excellent reading, is accurate history and covers the era from not only the Texas Ranger but also the Mexican Revolution viewpoints."

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Texas Ranger Dispatch Magazine



"The research by the authors is impeccable and their conclusions are based on notarized and verifiable documents and records. As part of our western history, this book will be a prized addition to the library of western history readers, students, and teachers."

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Denver Westerners Roundup



"This is one of the best works of western history I have ever read. I quite literally could not put this book down, and took extensive marginal notes throughout. Everyone I know in Texas is now devouring this book. The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is for anyone who likes a fast-paced, exciting story well told."

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The Bloomsbury Review



"Harris and Sadler provide the first definitive evaluation of the Texas Rangers and their activities during the most violent decade of the Mexican Revolution. It is an outstanding and important history."

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Sooner Lawyer Magazine



"Previous accounts have paid little attention to this decade and tend to be pro- or anti-Ranger...this balanced and well-written account is recommended for all libraries in Texas as well as Western collection."

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Library Journal



"A fascinating account of a troubled decade, ( The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution) will keep you reading..."

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Galveston County Daily News, TX



" The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is hefty proof that thoroughgoing scholarship is not incompatible with an entertainingly good read. . Decades of painstaking and insightful work has been directed at a colorful and controversial subject to get at the truth that has been concealed beneath layers of myth, obfuscation, and plain damn lies."

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LareDOS: A Journal of the Borderlands



" The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is a marvelous book, exciting, informative, and absorbing, a page turner you won't want to miss."

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Roundup Magazine



"(Harris and Sadler) present a highly detailed recounting of the activities of the various Ranger companies, their commanders, and the individual law enforcement officers involved in these events. . Recommended. General and undergraduate collections and up."

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CHOICE Magazine



" The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution is an outstanding book and will be a welcome addition to the library of any fair-minded person interested in the era."

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The Journal of American History



" The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution represents an important addition to the scholarship on the history of Texas, Mexico, and the Borderlands."

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New Mexico Historical Review



"Harris and Sadler...clearly have done their homework."

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San Antonio Current



"Harris and Sadler provide the first definitive evaluation of the Texas Rangers and their activities during the first and most violent decade of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920. This is a really outstanding, important work."

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William H. Beezley, Prof. of Latin American History, University of Arizona




7 x 10 in. 688 pages 48 halftones, 4 maps