website statistics Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands

Availability: Ready to download

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 the author'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 adventu 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 the author'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.


Compare

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 the author'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 adventu 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 the author'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.

30 review for Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands

  1. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    Very interesting read that is difficult to classify. The author's father and I were playpen babies together, in every class together from first grade through high school and then roomed together our first year in college. Both of our grandfathers and fathers ranched in the Juno country near the Devils River in northern Val Verde County. Roger's book traces six generations of his family asking what drew them to endure the hardships to live in this hard, barren area. He traveled the routes taken be Very interesting read that is difficult to classify. The author's father and I were playpen babies together, in every class together from first grade through high school and then roomed together our first year in college. Both of our grandfathers and fathers ranched in the Juno country near the Devils River in northern Val Verde County. Roger's book traces six generations of his family asking what drew them to endure the hardships to live in this hard, barren area. He traveled the routes taken be his great-great-great grandfather. He interspersed prodigious research of period travelers, artists, journalists, military men, scalpers into his travels. Some of the book--the very interesting account on border security and Trump's wall--are in some respects a digression and in respects probably not. I am left with a lot to think about. I appreciate in the way I never have before what my great grandfather and grandfather had to do to survive and thrive in West Texas in the Late 19th century. I better understand the world views of my father's generation of ranchers. I can see why they were not better stewards of the land. And, from Roger's travels, I have a better understanding of why Trump got elected.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    3.5 stars A visit to Big Bend National Park last Christmas, reached by a long, empty drive from Southern California, spurred my interest in "Texas Blood." This was a month after the election of Donald Trump and you do see a lot of places in desperate need--places so remote and ramshackle it's hard to understand how or why people are living there. "Texas Blood" takes on some of that question by explaining how people got to West Texas and their dedication to staying there. Roger D. Hodge uses his o 3.5 stars A visit to Big Bend National Park last Christmas, reached by a long, empty drive from Southern California, spurred my interest in "Texas Blood." This was a month after the election of Donald Trump and you do see a lot of places in desperate need--places so remote and ramshackle it's hard to understand how or why people are living there. "Texas Blood" takes on some of that question by explaining how people got to West Texas and their dedication to staying there. Roger D. Hodge uses his own family as an example of the kind of people trekked out to this hot, empty, at times beautiful place; their toughness, their passion, their nimble way of grabbing the opportunities that were presented. It's the stuff of a Western, but "Texas Blood"did not rope me in. There's a lot of good anecdotes and good observations but I was never able to connect with Hodge's family stories. The history/genealogy/personal aspect does not feel organic--I wanted to put aspects on 3 x 5 cards and move them around the kitchen table until I found the right layout to propel the story. A little hard going, but if you're hardcore for Texas, this book could be a goldmine for you. ~~Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. A meandering history filled with personal memories of the author. Once I understood the history would be tangled up inside a memoir or was it a memoir tangled up inside history I set back and enjoyed the read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ken Hammond (kenzaz)

    Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands personal history mostly about his own family, bits and pieces of other interesting characters enjoyable loved it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    This book wasn't what I thought it would be. From the title, I was expecting the author to explore the generations of his Texas family who preceded him. More or less (mostly less) this did happen, but the book was filled with a great deal of non-family history, much of which can be obtained in better sources elsewhere.( American Indians. So many American Indians.) There were parts of the book that were very interesting--the various looks at the Border Patrol, and the parts that WERE about the au This book wasn't what I thought it would be. From the title, I was expecting the author to explore the generations of his Texas family who preceded him. More or less (mostly less) this did happen, but the book was filled with a great deal of non-family history, much of which can be obtained in better sources elsewhere.( American Indians. So many American Indians.) There were parts of the book that were very interesting--the various looks at the Border Patrol, and the parts that WERE about the author's family. The vast majority of my family is from Texas, and although I have never lived there, I have been well schooled in Texas history, geography and geneology. ("You come from a line of Texas Rangers and cattle rustlers. Many times, they were the same person."--my Uncle John) Many of the parts of west Texas the author described are familiar to me, and the author must have had a personal connection with much of this book. Unfortunately, his most heartfelt personal connection seemed to be with Cormac McCarthy rather than his family, which detracted from my enjoyment a good deal.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Don Van

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having driven across the State of Texas 5 times in the past few years I became intrigued with the history of its remote areas. From Marfa to Frederiksburg to Mesilla, NM this area sparked my fascination. It was with this in the back of my mind when I saw this book in a New Hampshire bookstore and I picked it up. What a read! The author weaves family and regional history quite seamlessly as well as leaping from past to present. This provided a personal history of the I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having driven across the State of Texas 5 times in the past few years I became intrigued with the history of its remote areas. From Marfa to Frederiksburg to Mesilla, NM this area sparked my fascination. It was with this in the back of my mind when I saw this book in a New Hampshire bookstore and I picked it up. What a read! The author weaves family and regional history quite seamlessly as well as leaping from past to present. This provided a personal history of the region through the eyes and experience of a transplanted native son. I will carry this with me when I retire and traverse this interesting area as a sort of personal guidebook. Highly recommend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Benson

    Though I know this area well having lived two years on the border in Laredo, I found this book disappointing. I have loved books like Ian Frazier's THE GREAT PLAINS, which some reviewers compared this book, too, as he brought out this wide place in essays and stories, but this book, with the author's name, felt just like a "hodgepodge". He begins stories that go on for a long time, but there seems to be little connections to other parts of the book. The book took me far across space, time and pe Though I know this area well having lived two years on the border in Laredo, I found this book disappointing. I have loved books like Ian Frazier's THE GREAT PLAINS, which some reviewers compared this book, too, as he brought out this wide place in essays and stories, but this book, with the author's name, felt just like a "hodgepodge". He begins stories that go on for a long time, but there seems to be little connections to other parts of the book. The book took me far across space, time and people but I found little that connected them. I wish I had liked it better because it was a landscape I felt like I knew well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    TEXAS HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY Roger D. Hodge Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands Alfred A. Knopf Hardcover, 978-0-3079-6140-2 (also available as an e-book and an audiobook), 368 pgs., $28.95 October 10, 2017 Texas, with its expanses of still-wild vistas, lends itself to the mythical. Historical attempts to settle and tame the borderlands have often proved ephemeral. The evidence is found in pictographs and petroglyph TEXAS HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY Roger D. Hodge Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands Alfred A. Knopf Hardcover, 978-0-3079-6140-2 (also available as an e-book and an audiobook), 368 pgs., $28.95 October 10, 2017 Texas, with its expanses of still-wild vistas, lends itself to the mythical. Historical attempts to settle and tame the borderlands have often proved ephemeral. The evidence is found in pictographs and petroglyphs (“North America’s oldest surviving books”) throughout the Trans-Pecos. But Rodger D. Hodge’s family, arriving in the Devils River country in the second half of the nineteenth century, settled and stayed. Why? Why this land? What possessed them to choose such a forbidding landscape, which remains “fantastically inaccessible,” on which to stake their future, working Brangus cattle, Rambouillet sheep, and Angora goats? When he was named editor of Harper’s Magazine in 2006, Hodge was surprised to be described as a “Texan” by a New York Times reporter. “I never expected to be a professional Texan,” he writes, “one of those writers who wear the lone star like a brand.” Who am I? How does the place you are from shape you? Why did Hodge’s ancestors come to Texas? He seems to be trying to make his peace with something, but we’re never quite sure what. Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands, the latest nonfiction from The Intercept’s Hodge, is a combination of journalism and memoir, producing an expansive—almost panoramic—history of Texas viewed through the lens of Hodge family history. The story of his family is a microcosm of the settlement of the American West. Needing more than “epic histories sweep[ing] high above the hard ground of lived experience,” through six states and fifteen Texas counties, Hodge drives in the footsteps of his predecessors, beginning in Missouri, following the Osage Trace to Texas. Having no primary source from his relatives, Hodge employs a Washington Irving (who met Sam Houston) account of his travels on the road to Texas, and Frederick Law Olmsted’s account of his travels through Texas, to illuminate the Hodge pioneer journey. Enhanced by maps and photographs, especially an arresting cover photo of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike in the West Texas mountains lighting up a field of wooden crosses in the foreground, Texas Blood is often mesmerizing, intermittently overwrought, always evocative. Hodge is capable of the lyrical (“the stream turbulent, rapid, pink with mud and minerals, alkaline and briny, searching for the crossing”), though his is an unsentimental journey. Sometimes terse, sometimes voluble, Hodge can drip with derision (“Quakers and German liberals and utopian Frenchmen and Poles who sought to create a New Jerusalem but instead simply added to the entrepreneurial energies of Dallas”), as well as inspire, as in the title of the first chapter, “Southwest Toward Home,” with its nod to Willie Morris’s North Toward Home. Though it can be frustrating and ends abruptly, feeling unfinished, Texas Blood is a remarkable synthesis of the general and the personal, the concrete and the metaphysical. Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Max Knight

    Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands is far more than the genealogy of author Roger D. Hodge’s family. It is the story of the land itself, the past and present history of the border Southwest. It isn’t an easy book to classify. It’s scope is as big as the state – a rambling account that is part memoir, travelogue, and history book. Meticulously researched, it can at times read like a textbook. Moreover, peopl Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands is far more than the genealogy of author Roger D. Hodge’s family. It is the story of the land itself, the past and present history of the border Southwest. It isn’t an easy book to classify. It’s scope is as big as the state – a rambling account that is part memoir, travelogue, and history book. Meticulously researched, it can at times read like a textbook. Moreover, people, places, events, and the author’s thoughts are not presented chronologically and the juxtaposition of time and place can be disconcerting to the reader. However, if you can adjust to the many digressions that result from Hodge’s stream of consciousness style of writing you will encounter a lyrical, unsentimental, and sometimes brutal account of the Lone Star State. The reader must decide whether Texas Blood refers to the blood that runs through Hodge’s veins or the bloodshed that has flowed ever since the conquistadors attempted their conquest of the New World, Native Americans (including the Apache, Comanche, and others) perpetrated depredations against Anglo settlers and each other, or the drug cartels fought to expand their narcotics and human trafficking networks. Violence has always been a part of Texas’ past and present and Hodge is unflinching in his account of its impact on the state. The probability that anyone would choose to live in such rugged country and endure the unbelievably harsh and cruel conditions therein seems unlikely, and for this reason Hodge has retraced the footsteps of his ancestors… to find the answers to their settlement in West Texas. “What was it that brought my people to this particular place? Why would anyone attempt to settle in this unforgiving landscape? What were they searching for that was found here, in the devil’s own country, alongside his namesake river?” His attempt to resolve these questions has yielded a richly descriptive portrait of the contested borderlands along the Rio Grande. It is the story of human habitation. It is the story of a country and its hardships. It is an ode to the land and its people from Native Americans, to European settlers, to today’s occupants. It is the story of the ongoing struggles along the international boundary with Mexico. It is the continuing saga of Texas.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Majetich

    Engrossing, personal meditation on the history and peoples of Texas. Hodges is an eloquent writer, and can make a list of place names compelling. Hodges talks about pre-historic peoples and their enigmatic paintings, as well as the Comanche who were a significant force in shaping the identity of Texas. There was little about the Mexicans who lived there before Texas became independents and I would have liked there to be more about them. I could have done without his digression into the writings Engrossing, personal meditation on the history and peoples of Texas. Hodges is an eloquent writer, and can make a list of place names compelling. Hodges talks about pre-historic peoples and their enigmatic paintings, as well as the Comanche who were a significant force in shaping the identity of Texas. There was little about the Mexicans who lived there before Texas became independents and I would have liked there to be more about them. I could have done without his digression into the writings of Cormac McCarthy. Certainly McCarthy's work fits into the themes of this book, but I felt that the extent of the discussion got in the way of the flow of the narrative. Another interruption that I found both irritating and absorbing was the chapter on current US immigration forces along the border with Mexico. When I lived in San Diego 30 years ago, the Mexican-American border was surreal and just beginning to be fortified. Now, there is larger numbers of personnel, equipped with larger amounts of more sophisticated equipment with little to success in stemming the extra-legal transits of people and goods across the border. This chapter interrupted the romantic descriptive flow of the rest of the book, which depicted Texas as the home of good number of interesting and compelling individuals, which I was enjoying tremendously. Still the book is better for that chapter since this is clearly a major part of Texas' experience today.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Rating purely based on enjoyment...this book was not for me. I picked it up bc of the cool title and cover; I am a Homesick Texan so of course gave it a try. I ended up skipping a decent amount, picking chapters and sections that interested me, but did read most of it. Here are my three main takeaways: 1) This book seems best placed in a college level Texas History class, read in pieces, despite its memoir component. It’s a solid tool in a discussion of the Texas borderlands and Texas history in Rating purely based on enjoyment...this book was not for me. I picked it up bc of the cool title and cover; I am a Homesick Texan so of course gave it a try. I ended up skipping a decent amount, picking chapters and sections that interested me, but did read most of it. Here are my three main takeaways: 1) This book seems best placed in a college level Texas History class, read in pieces, despite its memoir component. It’s a solid tool in a discussion of the Texas borderlands and Texas history in general, but was not that interesting to me. Maybe because... 2) The writing is annoying. Texas Blood has received a good amount of praise for its lyrical prose “in the style of Cormac McCarthy” (one of the reasons I bought it), but I wish I’d just read another CM novel. The author didn’t do anything to actively offend me, but I hated the writing. He uses 10 words where he could use 2, jumps from memory to historical detail to mind numbing description of landscape...perhaps I am a less refined reader for not being smitten with this style of writing as many others seem to be (which is fine!). But again, it was not for me. 3) I appreciate the holistic approach he takes when tackling Texas. The idea behind this book is great: a land where crazy shit happens, and that’s nothing compared to its past.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    This was not what I expected. I was expecting a book about the Hodge family and their history and genealogy. What I got was part travelogue; part history of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico; part family history; part current events. Once the travelogue part was gone over, the history part was interesting. So was the current events where the problems occurring at the border are explained. I was fascinated by what the Border Patrol and Customs are doing to stop illegal aliens from crossing th This was not what I expected. I was expecting a book about the Hodge family and their history and genealogy. What I got was part travelogue; part history of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico; part family history; part current events. Once the travelogue part was gone over, the history part was interesting. So was the current events where the problems occurring at the border are explained. I was fascinated by what the Border Patrol and Customs are doing to stop illegal aliens from crossing the border as well as illicit drugs and contraband. More is being done than we realize so this makes this book timely. I wish there were more of the Hodge/Wilson family history. I would have liked to see how people survived this land where lawlessness reigned. But the tales of the Natives, the Spaniards, the Mexicans, and the Americans coming (more likely clashing) together in these lands made this book. I am glad I read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Cook

    The title is misleading. It leads you to believe he’s going to give us 300 pages of good historical shenanigans about his old school Texas family. He does that somewhat briefly including his own upbringing. But most of the book is about emigrants from other states in the 19th century as well as his thoughts on a road trip along our Mexican border. Also there’s a lot of literary thoughts on Blood Meridian (I think the author is a critic). It’s not what I thought it was but it was interesting anyw The title is misleading. It leads you to believe he’s going to give us 300 pages of good historical shenanigans about his old school Texas family. He does that somewhat briefly including his own upbringing. But most of the book is about emigrants from other states in the 19th century as well as his thoughts on a road trip along our Mexican border. Also there’s a lot of literary thoughts on Blood Meridian (I think the author is a critic). It’s not what I thought it was but it was interesting anyway. I married into a family that still owns a big ranch they homesteaded down near this guy’s family property. It’s interesting to read his take on the area because he grew up there. I’m from Dallas and it’s basically another world down that way. Good read and added to my historical understanding of my state.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Q

    Never expecting to like Texas, I was surprised that after several trips in the state, I became more and more drawn to this part of the country. As have others who also enjoyed the book after having traveled in Texas according to the GR readers’ reviews. It reminded me of a novel I loved titled The Son by Philipp Meyer. There is something about a blooming ocotillo that settles the mind. Or an old windmill, the gentle Rio Grande, small cemeteries with hundred of plastic flowers on the graves, the Never expecting to like Texas, I was surprised that after several trips in the state, I became more and more drawn to this part of the country. As have others who also enjoyed the book after having traveled in Texas according to the GR readers’ reviews. It reminded me of a novel I loved titled The Son by Philipp Meyer. There is something about a blooming ocotillo that settles the mind. Or an old windmill, the gentle Rio Grande, small cemeteries with hundred of plastic flowers on the graves, the sunsets/ sunrises, Adobe dwellings, good cheap gas station fresh food, prickly pears, the edginess of the border situation, the rivers and brushlands, the Llano Estacado, the Hill country, the Gulf Coast, the Hispanic culture....

  15. 5 out of 5

    A

    The place one came from is always their own. Roger Hodge grew up in the SW corner of Texas, in the landscapes described by Cormac McCarthy in exquisite detail. In fact, some of the places in McCarthy's books, belonged to the Hodge family. There is a strong sense of place and history in the telling of Texas Blood. It is rooted in Hodge's family history yet goes beyond it. The border plays an important role in this life. The details of what is happening on the border cannot be side-stepped. Survei The place one came from is always their own. Roger Hodge grew up in the SW corner of Texas, in the landscapes described by Cormac McCarthy in exquisite detail. In fact, some of the places in McCarthy's books, belonged to the Hodge family. There is a strong sense of place and history in the telling of Texas Blood. It is rooted in Hodge's family history yet goes beyond it. The border plays an important role in this life. The details of what is happening on the border cannot be side-stepped. Surveillance now plays a huge role and this is explained in detail. Our world has changed. The wild west is still wild, although in ways we probably couldn't have imagined when the border was more porous.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jim Collett

    The purported premise of this book is that the author is tracing his family's generational travels to and within Texas. While that material is in the book, it is sometimes lost in the author's wandering away from it into many side stories, albeit somewhat related and at times quite fascinating. There is some good historical material, some nice pieces on current events along the Texas-Mexico border (mostly sad and tragic, I'm afraid), and some interesting facts and figures. However, I found the b The purported premise of this book is that the author is tracing his family's generational travels to and within Texas. While that material is in the book, it is sometimes lost in the author's wandering away from it into many side stories, albeit somewhat related and at times quite fascinating. There is some good historical material, some nice pieces on current events along the Texas-Mexico border (mostly sad and tragic, I'm afraid), and some interesting facts and figures. However, I found the book somewhat disjointed and had trouble following some of the author's transitions from one subject or time period to another. Still, I think there is much worth reading in the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jph12

    Unfocused and meandering, this alters between a condescending travelog of the author's current adventures (even worse than his typical condescension, the jackass seems to delight in detailing the degradation of one of his extended family members, going into completely unnecessary detail about the filthy living conditions of an old relative who was trying to help this ungrateful bastard), a history of the Southwest sort of focused on Texas, bits and pieces of the story of his family's history (ma Unfocused and meandering, this alters between a condescending travelog of the author's current adventures (even worse than his typical condescension, the jackass seems to delight in detailing the degradation of one of his extended family members, going into completely unnecessary detail about the filthy living conditions of an old relative who was trying to help this ungrateful bastard), a history of the Southwest sort of focused on Texas, bits and pieces of the story of his family's history (maybe that picked up after I quit), and his oh so interesting views on current politics. And no way in hell does a Texan who grew up on a working ranch think a F150 is huge.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Reader Variety

    Plenty of reasons to like this book, from the way Hodge interweaves his family history with the history of Texas and the American Southwest more broadly, to the vivid and unyielding descriptions of the geography and hardship of the region. For me, the best part of the book was when he also weaved Cormac McCarthy's books into the region, both historically (having read Blood Meridian multiple times, I did not realize that some parts were firmly based in actual people and events) and also by legend Plenty of reasons to like this book, from the way Hodge interweaves his family history with the history of Texas and the American Southwest more broadly, to the vivid and unyielding descriptions of the geography and hardship of the region. For me, the best part of the book was when he also weaved Cormac McCarthy's books into the region, both historically (having read Blood Meridian multiple times, I did not realize that some parts were firmly based in actual people and events) and also by legend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    SouthWestZippy

    Roger D. Hodge tries to walk you through his adventure on figuring out his family history by retracing their steps while visiting places they lived, worked etc... plus he gives you a peek into his childhood and memories. The over-the-top details just kill the stories for me. I did find much of it fascinating just wish he would have stuck to his families history and not try and write a full history lesson with each area he visited. The pictures sprinkled throughout the book were fun to look at, n Roger D. Hodge tries to walk you through his adventure on figuring out his family history by retracing their steps while visiting places they lived, worked etc... plus he gives you a peek into his childhood and memories. The over-the-top details just kill the stories for me. I did find much of it fascinating just wish he would have stuck to his families history and not try and write a full history lesson with each area he visited. The pictures sprinkled throughout the book were fun to look at, nice touch.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason MARTIN

    Texas is big, dangerous and mysterious. sometimes, all of these at the same time. Texans love to expound on their outlaw history and still pretend that they have that wanderlust in their blood when they drive back to their suburban enclaves. No where is this more evident than in the current situation on the border. This book places a modern day window to look through at the politics and the lore of the Texas border.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    This is an interesting narrative of Texas history. It is accomplished using a novel approach. He bases the story on his sparse knowledge of his family's migration to and through Texas in the 19th century. He fills that in with personal accounts of published by other travelers on the same route at about the same time. He follows that with his own observations of the area at the present time. I enjoyed the book and learned more about migration to and through Texas. This is an interesting narrative of Texas history. It is accomplished using a novel approach. He bases the story on his sparse knowledge of his family's migration to and through Texas in the 19th century. He fills that in with personal accounts of published by other travelers on the same route at about the same time. He follows that with his own observations of the area at the present time. I enjoyed the book and learned more about migration to and through Texas.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    As a native Texan and Cormac MCCarthy fan I overall enjoyed the book. There were moments where it dragged with so many historical names and dates I lost track, but brought itself back. When the author describes driving along the Rio Grande, his writing brought me right back to when I traced the same roads earlier this year. Interesting commentary on border security.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Overall a good book. It wandered outside of the state of Texas;contrary to its title, but eventually worked its way back over the border. A good past and present presentation of the West; as well as a good depiction of a family of Texas. I would recommend this book to anyone who has family history that goes back to the beginnings of Texas; such as my family. Well done.

  24. 5 out of 5

    BonnieL

    A book that would be thoroughly enjoyed by people who know Texas better than I - however, once I skimmed past some of the detailed descriptions of landscapes and geography that a Texan would know and enjoy, I discovered little jewels of anecdotes about the history of the Comanche culture and the fascinating story of Sister Maria de Jesus and the Jumano/Apache in the 1620s.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I’m in love with the idea of mixing travel and reading, to read about a location I visit as I’m there feels like more than just a trip, it’s a way to really be there. While this book was a bit more west in Texas than I’ve been for the past couple of months, the quality of writing and the mix of the writer’s personal history makes it a lovely read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Smalltown

    When I read the acknowledgments at the end, it explained a lot. Apparently this was originally a collection of essays which explains why it was so miserably disjoint. In addition, nothing makes me more angry than a Texas native who moves away from Texas and then comes back to tell us how stupid we are. Wish I hadn’t wasted the time or money on this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ulana

    This is a well written and researched book about Hodge's family and the history of Texas. It tells of the hardships of western Texas and the ruthlessness of the some of the early men who traveled here. The Comanches were fearsome. The early settlers were a hardy group of people. It is sometimes a hard book to read because of what the people went through. This is a well written and researched book about Hodge's family and the history of Texas. It tells of the hardships of western Texas and the ruthlessness of the some of the early men who traveled here. The Comanches were fearsome. The early settlers were a hardy group of people. It is sometimes a hard book to read because of what the people went through.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Texas born but only a short term resident. Never the less proud of my birth certificate and love the flag. I am always wanting to learn more about the state. It is not the easiest book to read and does meander. It did however help me to understand the men and women who settled this huge state and what makes it Texas.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    Fascinating read! Hodge mixes historical facts with his family memoirs, taking into account the how and why they ended up in Texas; namely along the Borderlands, which at least for me, reveals some untold history.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I love a story about a place. I love such stories over and against the story of a person. This one rambled through the personal story of a person and his people and the place. And while I wanted to love more than I did, the rambling was too disjointed for me.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.