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One Ranger (Bridwell Texas History Series)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  224 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
When his picture appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly, Joaquin Jackson became the icon of the modern Texas Rangers. Nick Nolte modeled his character in the movie Extreme Prejudice on him. Jackson even had a speaking part of his own in The Good Old Boys with Tommy Lee Jones. But the role that Jackson has always played the best is that of the man who wears the silver badge ...more
Published February 1st 2007 by University of Texas Press (first published May 28th 2005)
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Jul 19, 2010 B rated it really liked it
There is more badassery in this single book, than exists in all American males born after 1985 combined. Joaquin is very illustrative, and recreates scenes with vivid detail. This book really makes you understand just how much things have changed in our country in the past 50 years. I'm glad to know there are guys like Joaquin still out there, and I'm saddened to think that my generation is bridging the gap between his, and the current generation.

I really liked the family aspect of the story as
Tara C
Oct 08, 2016 Tara C rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read and trek back into the 60s, 70s & 80s of the Texas Rangers.
Andy Johnson
Sep 29, 2016 Andy Johnson rated it did not like it
He was too preoccupied with describing each and every person in excruciating detail. Read it because of the movie but only 30 pages before stopping.
Jul 01, 2009 Ido rated it it was amazing
I'm about half-way through this book and I love it. This is a wonderful story and Joaquin Jackson is a great story teller. I'll update my review when I finish this book.


This was a wonderful book. Joaquin Jackson tells an amazing story about his life in the Texas Rangers (the REAL Rangers -- not the baseball team). It's somewhat sad in the end as he realizes that Texas is changing and the new Rangers are able to take advantage of the technology around them while he is still of the mold fr
Abby Jones
Mar 21, 2016 Abby Jones rated it really liked it
I think this quick and easy read should be mandatory for every Texan, and probably every teenage boy.

It tracks the life of Joaquin Jackson, one of the last of the real frontier Texas Rangers from his early life as a ranch hand, to watching his son be convicted of murder, and several of the high-profile cases he worked, and some of his more interesting ones.

I think what I loved most about it was his love for Texas and the honor and respect he paid to the Rangers he served with and who came befo
Sep 18, 2013 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. My first clear memories are of Texas. We moved away when I was 8, but I've always called Texas home. If I had it all to do over again, I would aspire to being a ranger. This book gives a glimpse into the life a Texas Ranger. It has ups and downs. Some parts will break your heart, while others will make you laugh.

A sports idol is just that, an idol. Yes, he makes good money, but he spends his life playing a game. A true hero is a man like Joaquin Jackson. A man who put his life on the line
Feb 07, 2013 Gary rated it really liked it
This is a good memoir of a young man that grew up with the fabled Texas Ranger's law enforcers as his heroes - the way many in other parts of the United States may have felt about the fabled Eliot Ness and his 'Untouchables.' As a native Texan, I found the reflections on the changes in Texas over the past half century very interesting. These include changes in the society, culture, law enforcement techniques and the individuals and personalities involved.

If you have any interest in recent histor
Adam Arnold
Aug 06, 2016 Adam Arnold rated it it was amazing
Jackson is a Ranger from a transitional period. He straddled an era with one dusty boot where lawmen's methods were as unsavory as the outlaws they hunted while the other boot strode forward into a future where justice was pursued with practiced precision and scrutiny. One Ranger is a great read with each chapter its own story, a collection of memoirs where you can open read one chapter today and another next year and revel in each entry without the continuity of reading them together.

Great anec
Dec 10, 2007 Pam rated it really liked it
I read this book because I visited Big Bend in November and this book seemed to be an extension of the trip. In one particularly sad story, the author tells how he tracked down the people who had shot at 3 river runners in Colorado Canyon of the Rio Grande in 1988. Other stories of law enforcement are interesting and reveal much about how it works in Texas in modern times. Jackson comes off sounding like a truly honest good guy.
Jun 14, 2012 Doran rated it really liked it
Knowing H. Joaquin before the book was published did not diminish the vast wealth of knowledge I discovered reading One Ranger: A Memoir. I learned so much that completes my admiration and respect for H. Joaquin Jackson. A Man among Men. A Living Legend. The depth of his character and his life is a great read. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in modern history, law enforcement and the Texas Rangers.
Doran W Ingrham
Inactive US Marine
Retired Risk Management Specialist
Apr 03, 2016 Edgar rated it really liked it
If you take it at face value then this a good memoir about a real American gun-toting John Wayne-type with a heart of gold. If you take it with a grain of salt then you have a great book with a narrator who presents himself with a heroic aura -- but whom the reader can suspect is hiding a few secrets in the darkness beyond the spotlight. Recommend.
Feb 22, 2009 Tntbrd rated it really liked it
When a man discovers Johnny Rodriguez on the side of a road drunk before he's even famous, loses a basketball scholarship while in college, goes on to become a Texas Ranger (cop not baseball player-read the book); and then has a son who steals a car, robs two men for $11 and then kills them you have to be interested in his life story.
Belinda Elizondo
Jun 14, 2013 Belinda Elizondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed reading about this iconic Texas Ranger~~a real Texas Ranger. His stories cover Texas from the Rio Grande Valley to the Texas Hill Country. Living in Austin, and growing up in San Antonio with in-laws in South Texas, i took a personal interest in his stories. There's laughter, tragedy and history in this book. Enjoyed his story telling.
Larada Horner-Miller
Dec 10, 2015 Larada Horner-Miller rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of meeting Joaquin Jackson in Ruidoso in October. His compelling story of his life as a Texas Ranger is amazing. His sharing of a personal tragedy shocked me! It will shock you too. The book is captivating and a strong read for anyone who still sees lawmen as heroes.
Kelly Tarr
Sep 15, 2012 Kelly Tarr rated it liked it
I really liked this book, it was a wonderful memoir and most of the stories were captivating. The reason I didn't give it 4 stars is because there was a lot of technical jargon and the beginning was a bit hard to start but it ended up being a great read in the end. What a great man.
Clint Flatt
Apr 12, 2012 Clint Flatt rated it really liked it
Excellent book about a man who gave his life to a great legacy, organization and state. Incredible stories of modern 20th century law enforcement in Texas. Bad guys have changed over the years but the risk and dangers to enfoce the law are still the same.
Jun 21, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
Joaquin Jackson's autobiographical account of his years as a Texas Ranger. A good read, especially for those interested in law enforcement in general, or the Texas Rangers in particular. Replete with true to life stories of Jackson's experiences as a Ranger until his retirement in 1993.
Zac Kurylyk
Jun 20, 2015 Zac Kurylyk rated it liked it
Some chapters were great, some good, but I felt like Jackson held back a lot of tales. I guess I will have to buy the sequel. It didn't make me feel like I was a part of the action, but it did offer a great window into old-time law enforcement and Texas history.
Aug 14, 2015 Art rated it it was amazing
Shelves: law-enforcement
Honest heartfelt story of a 1960s-1990s Texas Ranger,focusing on his life and career, both the failings and the triumphs. I normall read books fast, it's a good book that makes me slow down and read only a chapter a day to make a book last longer. This is one of those books.
Debby Moore
Nov 02, 2015 Debby Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You will laugh, cry and be entertained

Great history on the Texas Rangers, Texas and the man Joaquin Jackson. Well written, with great descriptive story telling, excellent.
Aug 15, 2010 Blixco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic set of stories, really. Bought this on a whim at the LBJ ranch in Stonewall, TX. Wasn't sure what it would be like, but I couldn't put it down. Fantastic.
Apr 14, 2009 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Very interesting account of life as a Texas Ranger and experiences associated with his career. Also incorporates a historical account of Texas settlement and development.
Brenda Bridges
Aug 27, 2015 Brenda Bridges rated it it was amazing
I love Texas and I love history. this autobiography was perfect for me it included facts about so many wonderful Texans, one of whom I went to high school with. I ail definately be reading this agail
Lois Schlehuber
Jan 18, 2015 Lois Schlehuber rated it really liked it
The beginning was slow, and the last few pages got tiresome,but everything in between was a very interesting read. Looking forward to reading his second book.
Sep 02, 2016 Maineguide rated it liked it
Interesting book about Texas Ranger. Author was consultant to Jeff Bridges on upcoming Ranger-relayed movie, Hell or Highwater. Interesting history and plenty of good tales.
David Eller
David Eller rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2014
Jessica White
Jessica White rated it really liked it
Oct 17, 2014
Richard Krause
Richard Krause rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2014
Jeff Ham
Jeff Ham rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2016
Beau Smith
Mar 12, 2010 Beau Smith rated it it was amazing
Both this and Jackson's second book are must reads about modern Texas Rangers.
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Joaquin Jackson was a Texas Ranger from 1966-1993.Joaquin Jackson was assigned to a wide swath of the Texas-Mexico border from 1966 to 1993. He was involved in a shootout at the Carrizo Springs jail that ended a prison revolt. He captured "The See More Kid," an elusive horse thief and burglar who left clean dishes and swept floors in the houses he robbed. He investigated the 1988 shootings in Big ...more
More about H. Joaquin Jackson...

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Bridwell Texas History Series (6 books)
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“It’s an old and sad story. The artist lets the bottle or the dope get between him and his art. He spends half his life achieving success and the second half throwing it all away. How many talents have self-destructed before him? How many more will follow in his wake?” 0 likes
“We evolved perfectly attuned to our time and place—for Texas has long been a sort of human Galapagos, an unsettled country of conflicting cultures and social contradictions, a rugged, ragtag region born with wars raging on two disputed borders.” 0 likes
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