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review With His Pistol In His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero Ó eBook or Kindle ePUB Ô Gregorio Cortez Lira a ranchhand of Mexican parentage was virtually unknown until one summer day in 1901 when he and a Texas sheriff pistols in hand blazed away at each other after a misunderstanding The sZ pAmeacute;rico Paredes tells the story of Cortez the man and the legend in vivid fascinating detail in With His Pistol in His Hand which also presents a uniue study of a ballad in the making Deftly woven into the story are interpretations of the Border country its history its people and their folkways. Why I decided to read this in August 2014 a week and change into the police brutality crisis in Ferguson Missouri respectable citizens transformed into outlaws by the application of 'Ranger law' according to which a man was killed if he did not defend himself or was tried for murder and hanged if he didBeyond its topical relevance at least the first part of Américo Paredes' classic of Border exceptionalism is a joy to read I'm just old enough to have been raised by mid century Texas Mexicans and the cultural assumptions and uirks that Paredes both relates and implies through his own biases feel strangely cozy to me Reads like a good warm bath

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Gregorio Cortez Lira a ranchhand of Mexican parentage was virtually unknown until one summer day in 1901 when he and a Texas sheriff pistols in hand blazed away at each other after a misunderstanding The sheriff was killed and Gregorio fled immediately realizing that in practice there was one law for An. Written by University of Texas professor Americo Paredes as his dissertation and later published this book is a mainstay of Mexican American literature It centers on legendary Mexican gunfighter Gregorio Cortez who kills a local sheriff in self defense and through his eyes we learn about the injustice hardship and persecution of the people in and along the Texas border Although it is a fictional account and relies upon corridos the story is based upon true events And no the Texas Rangers were not good guys in white hats sorry Among the people that lived in the in between spaces they were feared and hated and known as cowards They killed men women and children and when they were bested by local militias they relied upon the U S Army for protection and support I have recommended this book to many people especially to those who admire the mostly untrue tales and legends of the Texas Rangers It's an eye opener and an alternate narrative that will inform your view of politics and justice on the early Texas frontier

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With His Pistol In His Hand A Border Ballad and Its HeroGlo Texans another for Texas Mexicans The chase capture and imprisonment of Cortez are high drama that cannot easily be forgotten Even today in the cantinas along both sides of the Rio Grande Mexicans sing the praises of the great sheriff killer in the ballad which they call El Corrido de Gregorio Corte. Groundbreaking not a term I use lightly 1950s folklore study by an author who was part of writing from within the culture he was examining Engrossing extremely readable and funny The bits where Parades dunked on establishment white historians and even so the Texas Rangers were pretty great The lines drawn from the legend of Gregorio Cortez to the actual man are fascinating A work of both scholarship and love Highly recommended