Bicentennial Publications


Texas Ranger Bicentennial
Official Publications

In 2023 the legendary Texas Rangers law enforcement agency will commemorate its landmark 200th anniversary—the Texas Ranger Bicentennial™. They are the nation’s oldest statewide law enforcement agency and have served under five national flags. A publications program has been created for the Bicentennial to recognize quality works of nonfiction and reprints of classic works contributing to the knowledge and appreciation of Texas Ranger history. In this way a permanent legacy will be created for the future.

Books accepted into this program are listed below. Publishers may submit original nonfiction works, and reprints of classics, printed between January 2016 and December 2023. They are available through the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum store (toll free in the US 1-877-750-8631) and other booksellers.

Epic Life of Frank Hamer

The New York Times Best Seller!

The Epic Life of Frank Hamer,The Man Who Killed Bonnie and Clyde by John Boessenecker, New York, St. Martin's Press, 2016.

To most Americans, Frank Hamer is known only as the “villain” of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. Now, in Texas Ranger, historian John Boessenecker sets out to restore Hamer’s good name and prove that he was, in fact, a classic American hero. From the horseback days of the Old West through the gangster days of the 1930s, Hamer stood on the frontlines of American history. He participated in the Bandit War of 1915, survived the climactic gunfight in the last blood feud of the Old West, battled the Mexican Revolution’s spillover across the border, protected African Americans from lynch mobs and the Ku Klux Klan, and ran down gangsters, bootleggers, and Communists. When at last his career came to an end, it was only when he ran up against another legendary Texan: Lyndon B. Johnson. Hardcover. $41.99 + Tax

Alexander Texas Rangers Lives Legend Legacy

First Printing Sold Out in 90 Days! 

Texas Rangers: Lives Legend and Legacy by Bob Alexander and Donaly E. Brice, Denton, University of North Texas Press, 2017.

Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy is the authors’ answer to these questions, a one‐volume history of the Texas Rangers. The authors begin with the earliest Rangers in the pre‐Republic years in 1823 and take the story up through the Republic, Mexican War, and Civil War. Then, with the advent of the Frontier Battalion, the authors focus in detail on each company A through F, relating what was happening within each company concurrently. Thereafter, Alexander and Brice tell the famous episodes of the Rangers that forged their legend, and bring the story up through the twentieth century to the present day in the final chapters. Hardcover. $34.95 + Tax

Ivey the Ranger Ideal

The Ranger Ideal, 1823–1861, Vol. I by Darren L. Ivey, Denton, University of North Texas Press, 2017.

Established in Waco in 1964, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum honors the iconic Texas Rangers, a service which has existed since 1823. They are legendary symbols of Texas and the American West. Thirty‐one Rangers, with lives spanning more than two centuries, have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In Waco. The Ranger Ideal Vol. 1: Texas Rangers in the Hall of Fame, 1823–1861 presents capsule biographies of the seven inductees who served Texas before the Civil War: Stephen F. Austin, “the Father of Texas,” who laid the foundations of the Ranger service, and then covers John C. Hays, Ben McCulloch, Samuel H. Walker, William A. A. “Bigfoot” Wallace, John S. Ford, and Lawrence Sul Ross. Hardcover. $39.95 + Tax

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The Ranger Ideal, 1874-1930, Vol. II by Darren L. Ivy, Denton, University of North Texas Press, 2018.

In Volume 2, Darren L. Ivey presents the twelve inductees who served Texas in the latter half of the 19th century. He begins with John B. Jones, who directed his Rangers from state troops to professional lawmen; then covers Leander H. McNelly, John B. Armstrong, James B. Gillett, Jesse Lee Hall, George W. Baylor, Bryan Marsh, and Ira Aten—the men responsible for some of the Rangers’ most legendary feats. Ivey concludes with James A. Brooks, William J. McDonald, John R. Hughes, and John H. Rogers, the “Four Great Captains” who guided the Texas Rangers into the 20th century. Hardcover. $45.00 + Tax

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Old Riot, New Ranger: Captain Jack Dean, Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal by Bob Alexander, Denton, University of North Texas Press, 2018.

Jack Dean, holds the distinction of being one of only five men to serve in both the Officer’s Corps of the Rangers and also as a President‐appointed United States Marshal. His service in Texas Ranger history occurred at a time when society and law enforcement were undergoing change hastened by America’s Civil Rights Movement, landmark Supreme Court decisions, advances in forensic technology, and efforts to diversify and professionalize the Texas Rangers. His biography is packed with tales of the modern Ranger service: murders, suicides, jailbreaks, manhunts, armed robberies, home invasions, kidnappings, public corruption, sexual assaults, illicit gambling, car‐theft rings, dope smuggling, and arms trafficking. Hardcover. $34.95 + Tax

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The Texas Rangers in Transition: From Gunfighters to Criminal Investigators, 1921–1935 by Charles H. Harris and Louis R. Sadler, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2019.

In a Texas awash in Prohibition era oil, booze and crime, the Rangers found themselves riding herd on gamblers and bootleggers, but also tasked with everything from catching murderers to preventing circus performances on Sunday. Texas Rangers in Transition is the story of a time of political turmoil as the largely rural Texas was becoming urban. Law enforcement was facing an epidemic of bank robberies, an increase in organized crime, the growth of the Ku Klux Klan, and Prohibition enforcement—challenges that the Rangers met by transitioning from gunfighters to criminal investigators. The authors document the 1935 change when the Texas Rangers were moved from the governor’s control to the newly created Texas Department of Public Safety. This watershed in the Rangers’ history marked their transformation into the modern, elite investigative force that they remain to this day. Hardcover. $34.95 + Tax

East Texas Troubles

East Texas Troubles: The Allred Rangers’ Cleanup of San Augustine by Jody Edward Ginn, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, Available July 2019.

Between 1931 and 1934 San Augustine County had seen at least three murders in broad daylight, the latest developments in the decade‐long rule of the criminal McClanahan‐Burleson gang. Armed with handguns, Jim Crow regulations, and corrupt special Ranger commissions from Ferguson administrations, the gang racketeered and bootlegged its way into power in San Augustine County, where it took up robbing and extorting local black sharecroppers as its main activity. In 1935, Governor James V. Allred sent a team of qualified Texas Rangers to San Augustine County to investigate organized crime. The author tells of their year‐and‐a‐half‐long cleanup of the county, which was the inaugural effort in Governor Allred’s transformation of the Texas Rangers into a professional law enforcement agency. a multifaceted history of the reform of the Texas Rangers and of an unexpected alliance between the legendary frontier lawmen and black residents of the Jim Crow South.