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Texas Blood : Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands
by Roger D. Hodge


Overview - In the tradition of Ian Frazier's Great Plains, and as vivid as the work of Cormac McCarthy, an intoxicating, singularly illuminating history of the Texas borderlands from their settlement through seven generations of Roger D.  Read more...

 
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More About Texas Blood by Roger D. Hodge
 
 
 
Overview
In the tradition of Ian Frazier's Great Plains, and as vivid as the work of Cormac McCarthy, an intoxicating, singularly illuminating history of the Texas borderlands from their settlement through seven generations of Roger D. Hodge's ranching family.

What brought the author's family to Texas? What is it about Texas that for centuries has exerted a powerful allure for adventurers and scoundrels, dreamers and desperate souls, outlaws and outliers? In search of answers, Hodge travels across his home state--which he loves and hates in shifting measure--tracing the wanderings of his ancestors into forgotten histories along vanished roads. Here is an unsentimental, keenly insightful attempt to grapple with all that makes Texas so magical, punishing, and polarizing. Here is a spellbindingly evocative portrait of the borderlands--with its brutal history of colonization, conquest, and genocide; where stories of death and drugs and desperation play out daily. And here is a contemplation of what it means that the ranching industry that has sustained families like Hodge's for almost two centuries is quickly fading away, taking with it a part of our larger, deep-rooted cultural inheritance. A wholly original fusion of memoir and history--as piercing as it is elegiac--Texas Blood is a triumph.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307961402
  • ISBN-10: 0307961400
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: October 2017
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > History > Social History
Books > History > United States - State & Local - Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)

 
BookPage Reviews

Lone Star saga

Roger D. Hodge couldn’t get out of Texas fast enough. After a boyhood spent doing the things that a South Texas kid from a ranching family does—working with livestock, hell-raising in Mexico—he drove off to college at 18 and didn’t look back. He never planned to become what he calls a “professional Texan.”

But it’s not easy to extract your homeland from your heart. The legendary Texas borderland ranch culture is fading, and Hodge takes an unsparing look at how it developed, what it meant and how it’s dying in Texas Blood.

Texas Blood, a title that refers to the blood of Hodge’s ancestors and the blood of Southwestern violence, is a heady, sometimes humorous mélange of family history, memoir, research and travelogue. In the course of the book, Hodge retraces his forebears’ path south from Missouri, drives pretty much the entirety of the Rio Grande Valley, interviews border patrol agents and his grandma, hangs out with Mexican-American pilgrims at the Cristo Rey shrine and explains why Cormac McCarthy’s novels are more realistic than not.

Hodge’s first Texas ancestor, Perry Wilson, was a typical mid-19th-century roamer, making perilous journeys to California and Arizona as well as Texas. Wilson’s descendants stuck around the general vicinity of Del Rio, Texas. Hodge illustrates what their lives were like with contemporaneous books, letters and diaries, the most moving stories coming from ordinary settlers.

Border history is savage. Everyone was killing everyone: Spanish versus Native Americans, Comanches versus American settlers, scalp bounty hunters versus anyone they could pretend was a Native American. But people like the Wilson-Hodge clan worked incredibly hard and built a community worth remembering in a beautifully austere land.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews