Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers Audiobook, by Doug J. Swanson Play Audiobook Sample

Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers Audiobook

Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers Audiobook, by Doug J. Swanson Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Kaleo Griffith Publisher: Penguin Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 12.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 9.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: June 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780147523143

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

63:57 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

15 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

38:27 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Doug J. Swanson: > View All...

Publisher Description

A twenty-first-century reckoning with the legendary Texas Rangers that does justice to their heroic moments while also documenting atrocities, brutality, and corruption

The Texas Rangers rode into existence in 1823, when Texas was still part of Mexico, and continue today as one of the most famous of all law enforcement agencies. In Cult of Glory, Doug J. Swanson offers a sweeping account of the Rangers that chronicles both their epic, daring escapades and how the white and propertied power structures of Texas have used them as enforcers and protectors.

Fleshing out key episodes and individuals in Texas Ranger history, Swanson begins by covering their birth and emergence as conquerors of the wild and violent Texas frontier, as they skirmished with Apaches and Comanches and assisted the U.S. Army in the Mexican War. Beginning around 1870, the Rangers transformed themselves from a frontier battalion into a state police force. Although the Rangers found themselves rocked by a series of corruption scandals in the 1930s, their reputation soared thanks to pulp novelists, movies, and the radio series and television show "The Lone Ranger."

As the Rangers have entered the contemporary era, they have attempted to present themselves as a modern crime-fighting force, dealing with flashpoints like school integration, farmworkers' strikes, and patrol of the U.S. Mexico border. But they have been stymied by their hidebound ways and the glorification of their past. As Swanson shows, Rangers and their supporters have for decades used propaganda, deception, and outright falsehoods to depict scandalous, oppressive, and illegal Ranger behavior as heroic triumphs. Cult of Glory sets the record straight for the first time.

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“Rigorously chronicles two centuries of Ranger misadventures and atrocities, as well as commendable operations undertaken by the Rangers in recent decades…[and] strives to be as panoramic as possible, telling a big story on a big canvas.”

— Texas Monthly 


  • “Punctures the myth of the Texas Rangers as `quiet, deliberate gentle’ men, describing them instead as `the violent instruments of repression.’e.”

    — Wall Street Journal
  • “Scorches the reputations of such legendary Rangers as Ben McCulloch and William `Bigfoot’ Wallace…Swanson has done a crucial public service by exposing the barbarous side of the Rangers.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “A harrowing deep dive into the Rangers’ darkest moments.”

    — Dallas Morning News
  • “In setting the record straight about the Texas Rangers, Swanson clarifies and enriches the remarkable story of Texas for everyone.”

    — Houston Chronicle


  • New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
  • A #1 bestseller in Law Enforcement Biographies

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About Doug J. Swanson

Doug J. Swanson is the investigative projects editor at the Dallas Morning News and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. He is the author of several crime novels, for which he was a finalist for the Edgar Award and won the 1994 John Creasy Award for Best First Book from the Crime Writers’ Association. He is a recipient of the 2014 ReadWest Award for Literary Excellence in Nonfiction.

About Kaleo Griffith

Kaleo Griffith is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and classically trained actor. He graduated cum laude from Franklin Pierce University with a BA in theater, holds an MFA in acting from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has appeared in such television series as Law & Order and Reggie’s Family & Friends, among others.