The Texas Rangers in Transition
From Gunfighters to Criminal Investigators, 1921–1935
$34.95 Hardcover

Official Texas Ranger Bicentennial™ Publication

Newly rich in oil money, and all the trouble it could buy, Texas in the years following World War I underwent momentous changes—and those changes propelled the transformation of the state’s storied Rangers. Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler explore this important but relatively neglected period in the Texas Rangers’ history in this book, a sequel to their award-winning The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910–1920.

In a Texas awash in booze and oil in the Prohibition years, the Rangers found themselves riding herd on gamblers and bootleggers, but also tasked with everything from catching murderers to preventing circus performances on Sunday. The Texas Rangers in Transition takes up the Rangers’ story at a time of political turmoil, as the largely rural state was rapidly becoming urban. At the same time, law enforcement was facing an epidemic of bank robberies, an increase in organized crime, the growth of the Ku Klux Klan, Prohibition enforcement—new challenges that the Rangers met by transitioning from gunfighters to criminal investigators. Steeped in tradition, reluctant to change, the agency was reduced to its nadir in the depths of the Depression, the victim of slashed appropriations, an antagonistic governor, and mediocre personnel.

Harris and Sadler document the further and final change that followed when, in 1935, the Texas Rangers were moved from the governor’s control to the newly created Department of Public Safety. This proved a watershed in the Rangers’ history, marking their transformation into a modern law enforcement agency, the elite investigative force that they remain to this day.

About The Author
Charles H. Harris III, professor emeritus of history at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. He has coauthored half a dozen books, including The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910–1920, The Secret War in El Paso: Mexican Revolutionary Intrigue, 1906–1920, and The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue.
Louis R. Sadler, professor emeritus of history at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. He has coauthored half a dozen books, including The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910–1920, The Secret War in El Paso: Mexican Revolutionary Intrigue, 1906–1920, and The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue.

Reviews & Praise
“Harris and Sadler use multiple important primary and secondary resources to tell the story of the difficult period in which the Texas Rangers transitioned from the early years that created the 'Ranger Mystique' to their inclusion in the Texas Department of Public Safety and their recognition as an elite international law enforcement organization.”—Donaly Brice, co-author of Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy (2017)

Book Information
25 b&w illus., 1 map
656 Pages
Hardcover 978-0-8061-6260-7
Kindle 978-0-8061-6363-5
e-pub 978-0-8061-6364-2
Published April 2019
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