The Texas Rangers Didn’t Invent Police Brutality, Says the Author of a New Book, “They Perfected It”

The cover of Doug J. Swanson's new book, "Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers."(Book design and illustration by Daniel Lagin/Viking)
The cover of Doug J. Swanson's new book, "Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers."(Book design and illustration by Daniel Lagin/Viking)

“This story is being reprinted in Texas Metro News as part of a partnership with The Dallas Morning News.”

By Michael Granberry
Dallas Morning News Writer

Doug J. Swanson documents the history of the state’s leading law enforcement agency in Cult of Glory.

Doug J. Swanson’s new book arrives at an extraordinary time in American history. Its official publication date is June 9, barely two weeks removed from the killing of George Floyd. A 46-year-old black man, Floyd died in police custody after a white officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck, igniting protests across the country.

Swanson’s new book is Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers, who began in 1823 as a 10-man volunteer squad raised to protect the first American settlers in the Mexican territory of Texas. The Rangers, in Swanson’s words, “functioned as executioners” whose “job was to seize and hold Texas for the white man.”

In the same way that author Gerald Posner’s latest book, Pharma, arrived on March 10, three days before the coronavirus provoked a national emergency, and with one of its chapters titled “The Coming Pandemic,” Swanson sees Cult of Glory as being “very timely.”

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