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The Big Thicket Guidebook: Exploring the Backroads and History of Southeast Texas

The Big Thicket Guidebook: Exploring the Backroads and History of Southeast Texas

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Date: October 15, 2011
Creator: Bonney, Lorraine G.
Description: Start your engines and follow the backroads, the historical paths, and the scenic landscape that were fashioned by geologic Ice Ages and traveled by Big Thicket explorers as well as contemporary park advocates—all as diverse as the Big Thicket itself. From Spanish missionaries to Jayhawkers, and from timber barons to public officials, you will meet some unusual characters who inhabited an exceptional region. The Big Thicket and its National Preserve contain plants and animals from deserts and swamps and ecosystems in between, all together in one amazing Biological Crossroad. The fifteen tours included with maps will take you through them all. Visitors curious about a legendary area will find this book an essential companion in their cars. Libraries will use the book as a reference to locate information on ghost towns, historic events, and National Preserve features. “A result of a prodigious amount of local research as well as a great deal of driving and tramping around, this book might end up as a classic.”—Thad Sitton, author of Backwoodsmen: Stockmen and Hunters along a Big Thicket River Valley
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Written in Blood: the History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen

Written in Blood: the History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen

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Date: October 15, 2011
Creator: Selcer, Richard F. & Foster, Kevin S.
Description: In 2010 Written in Blood: The History of Fort Worth’s Fallen Lawmen, Volume 1, told the stories of thirteen Fort Worth law officers who died in the line of duty between 1861 and 1909. Now Richard F. Selcer and Kevin S. Foster are back with Volume 2 covering another baker’s dozen line-of-duty deaths that occurred between 1910 and 1928. Not counting the two officers who died of natural causes, these are more tales of murder, mayhem, and dirty work from all branches of local law enforcement: police, sheriff’s deputies, constables, and special officers, just like in Volume 1. This era was, if anything, bloodier than the preceding era of the first volume. Fort Worth experienced a race riot, two lynchings, and martial law imposed by the U.S. Army while Camp Bowie was operating. Bushwhacking (such as happened to Peter Howard in 1915) and assassinations (such as happened to Jeff Couch in 1920) replaced blood feuds and old-fashioned shootouts as leading causes of death among lawmen. Violence was not confined to the streets either; a Police Commissioner was gunned down in his city hall office in 1917. Even the new category of “vehicular homicide” claimed a lawman’s life.
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Constables, Marshals, and More: Forgotten Offices in Texas Law Enforcement

Constables, Marshals, and More: Forgotten Offices in Texas Law Enforcement

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Date: September 15, 2011
Creator: Rubenser, Lorie & Priddy, Gloria
Description: Most students of criminal justice, and the general public as well, think of policing along the three basic types of municipal, sheriff, and state police. Little is known about other avenues of police work, such as the constable. In policing textbooks, when a position such as constable is mentioned, only a line or two is presented, hardly enough to indicate it is of any importance. And yet constables and numerous other alternative policing positions are of vital importance to law enforcement in Texas and in other states. Constables, Marshals, and More seeks to remedy that imbalance in the literature on policing by starting with the state of Texas, home of more than 68,000 registered peace officers. Lorie Rubenser and Gloria Priddy first lay the groundwork for how to become a peace officer. A guest chapter by Raymond Kessler discusses legal issues in alternative police work. Rubenser and Priddy then examine the oft-overlooked offices of constable, railroad police, racing commission, cattle brand inspector, university police, fire marshal, city marshal, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, bailiff, game warden, and district/county attorney investigators. This book will be useful for any general policing courses at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. It will provide ...
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Finish Forty and Home: the Untold World War II Story of B-24s in the Pacific

Finish Forty and Home: the Untold World War II Story of B-24s in the Pacific

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Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Scearce, Phil
Description: During the early years of World War II in the Pacific theatre, against overwhelming odds, young American airmen flew the longest and most perilous bombing missions of the war. They faced determined Japanese fighters without fighter escort, relentless anti-aircraft fire with no deviations from target, and thousands of miles of over-water flying with no alternative landing sites. Finish Forty and Home is the true story of the men and missions of the 11th Bombardment Group as it fought alone and unheralded in the South Central Pacific, while America had its eyes on the war in Europe. After bombing Nauru, the squadron moves on to bomb Wake Island, Tarawa, and finally Iwo Jima. These missions bring American forces closer and closer to the Japanese home islands and precede the critical American invasions of Tarawa and Iwo Jima. The 42nd Squadron’s losses through 1943 were staggering: 50 out of 110 airmen killed. “Finish Forty and Home is a treasure: poignant, thrilling, and illuminating.”—Laura Hillenbrand, best-selling author of Unbroken and Seabiscuit
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Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten: Enforcing Law on the Texas Frontier

Rawhide Ranger, Ira Aten: Enforcing Law on the Texas Frontier

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Date: July 15, 2011
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Description: Ira Aten (1862-1953) was the epitome of a frontier lawman. At age twenty he enrolled in Company D during the transition of the Rangers from Indian fighters to topnotch peace officers. This unit—and Aten—would have a lively time making their mark in nineteenth-century Texas. The preponderance of Texas Ranger treatments center on the outfit as an institution or spotlight the narratives of specific captains. Bob Alexander aptly demonstrated in Winchester Warriors: Texas Rangers of Company D, 1874-1901 that there is merit in probing the lives of everyday working Rangers. Aten is an ideal example. The years Ira spent as a Ranger are jam-packed with adventure, border troubles, shoot-outs, solving major crimes—a quadruple homicide—and manhunts. Aten’s role in these and epochal Texas events such as the racially insensitive Jaybird/Woodpecker Feud and the bloody Fence Cutting Wars earned Ira’s spot in the Ranger Hall of Fame. His law enforcing deeds transcend days with the Rangers. Ira served two counties as sheriff, terms spiked with excitement. Afterward, for ten years on the XIT, he was tasked with clearing the ranch’s Escarbada Division of cattle thieves. Aten’s story spins on an axis of spine-tingling Texas history. Moving to California, Ira was active in transforming ...
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Vengeance Is Mine: the Scandalous Love Triangle That Triggered the Boyce-sneed Feud

Vengeance Is Mine: the Scandalous Love Triangle That Triggered the Boyce-sneed Feud

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Date: July 15, 2011
Creator: Neal, Bill
Description: The 1912 Boyce-Sneed feud in West Texas began with a torrid sex scandal at the core of a love triangle, featuring Lena Snyder Sneed, the high-spirited, headstrong wife; Al Boyce, Jr., Lena’s reckless, romantic lover; and John Beal Sneed, Lena’s arrogant, grim, and vindictive husband, who responded to Lena’s plea for a divorce by having her locked up in an insane asylum on grounds of “moral insanity.” The chase was on after Al rescued Lena from the asylum and the lovers fled to Canada. That’s when the killings began. No one who knew the vengeful John Beal Sneed doubted for a moment that he would go after his wife’s lover with lethal intent. Frustrated by Al’s escape to Canada, Sneed assassinated Al’s aged and unarmed father, Colonel Albert Boyce, a wealthy Amarillo banker and former manager of the huge XIT Ranch in the Panhandle during the late nineteenth century, who had been defending his son against Sneed’s legal machinations. Newspaper headlines predicted the upcoming murder trial would be the “greatest legal battle ever fought in Texas Courts.” Sneed’s well-paid legal team first earned him a mistrial. While awaiting his second trial, Sneed ambushed and killed Al Boyce, Jr., who had ...
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Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for World War II

Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for World War II

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Date: June 15, 2011
Creator: Muth, Jörg
Description: In Command Culture, Jörg Muth examines the different paths the United States Army and the German Armed Forces traveled to select, educate, and promote their officers in the crucial time before World War II. Muth demonstrates that the military education system in Germany represented an organized effort where each school and examination provided the stepping stone for the next. But in the United States, there existed no communication about teaching contents or didactical matters among the various schools and academies, and they existed in a self chosen insular environment. American officers who finally made their way through an erratic selection process and past West Point to the important Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, found themselves usually deeply disappointed, because they were faced again with a rather below average faculty who forced them after every exercise to accept the approved “school solution.” Command Culture explores the paradox that in Germany officers came from a closed authoritarian society but received an extremely open minded military education, whereas their counterparts in the United States came from one of the most democratic societies but received an outdated military education that harnessed their minds and limited their initiative. On the other ...
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Dennis Brain: a Life in Music

Dennis Brain: a Life in Music

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Date: May 15, 2011
Creator: Gamble, Stephen & Lynch, William C.
Description: The British horn player Dennis Brain (1921–1957) is commonly described by such statements as “the greatest horn player of the 20th Century,” “a genius,” and “a legend.” He was both a prodigy and popularizer, famously performing a concerto on a garden hose in perfect pitch. On his usual concert instrument his tone was of unsurpassed beauty and clarity, complemented by a flawless technique. The recordings he made with Herbert von Karajan of Mozart’s horn concerti are considered the definitive interpretations. Brain enlisted in the English armed forces during World War II for seven years, joining the National Symphony Orchestra in wartime in 1942. After the war he filled the principal horn positions in both the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He later formed his own wind quintet and began conducting. Composers including Benjamin Britten and Paul Hindemith lined up to write music for him. Even fifty years after his tragic death at the age of 36 in an auto accident in 1957, Peter Maxwell Davies was commissioned to write a piece in his honor. Stephen Gamble and William Lynch have conducted numerous interviews with family, friends, and colleagues and uncovered information in the BBC archives and other lesser known sources ...
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A Guide to Sources of Texas Criminal Justice Statistics

A Guide to Sources of Texas Criminal Justice Statistics

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Date: May 15, 2011
Creator: Harnsberger, R. Scott
Description: This reference work is a resource for those needing assistance in locating Texas criminal justice statistics. R. Scott Harnsberger has compiled more than 600 entries describing statistical sources for Texas crime; criminals; law enforcement; courts and sentencing; adult and juvenile corrections; capital punishment and death row; victims of crime; driving/boating under the influence; traffic fatalities; substance abuse and treatment; polls and rankings; and fiscal topics such as appropriations, revenues, expenditures, and federal aid. The sources for these statistics originate primarily, but not exclusively, from federal and State of Texas agencies, boards, bureaus, commissions, and departments. The following types of publications are included: annual, biennial, and biannual reports; reports issued in series; analytic and research reports; statistical compilations; budgets and other fiscal documents; audits, inspections, and investigations; census publications; polls; projections; rankings; surveys; continuously updated online resources; and datasets. Harnsberger has annotated the entries to provide sufficient detail to enable users to decide whether the listed resources merit further investigation. Additional notes contain URLs and information regarding the scope of the published data; title changes; related publications; and the availability of earlier data, previous editions, online tables, and datasets. This book will prove to be a valuable resource for students, faculty, ...
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Circles Where the Head Should Be: Poems

Circles Where the Head Should Be: Poems

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Date: April 15, 2011
Creator: Wilkinson, Caki
Description: The poems in Circles Where the Head Should Be are full of objects and oddities, bits of news, epic catalogues, and a cast of characters hoping to make sense of it all. Underneath the often whimsical surface, however, lies a search for those connections we long for but so often miss, and a wish for art to bridge the gaps. “Circles Where the Head Should Be has its own distinctive voice, a lively intelligence, insatiable curiosity, and a decided command of form. These qualities play off one another in ways that instruct and delight. An irresistible book.”—J. D. McClatchy, author of Mercury Dressing: Poems, judge
Contributing Partner: UNT Press