"With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero

With His Pistol in His Hand A Border Ballad and Its Hero Gregorio Cortez Lira a ranchhand of Mexican parentage was virtually unknown until one summer day in when he and a Texas sheriff pistols in hand blazed away at each other after a misunderstand

  • Title: "With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero
  • Author: Américo Paredes
  • ISBN: 9780292734326
  • Page: 160
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 Anglo Texans, another for Texas Mexicans The chase, capture, and iGregorio 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 Anglo 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 Cortez 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 unique 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.p

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    About “Américo Paredes

    • Américo Paredes

      Américo Paredes Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the "With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero book, this is one of the most wanted Américo Paredes author readers around the world.

    880 thoughts on “"With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero


    • This is an excellent work of historical ethnography. I'm from South Texas but I knew nothing of the events, or the oral tradition, described.



    • An enjoyable presentation of the legend and facts regarding Gregorio Cortez and his valiant life on the run. This work not only explains how the legend and corrido differ from the facts, but also attempts to explain why they differ.Further, Paredes puts the corrido into a wider scope and analyzes its effects on the greater ballad scene as a whole. He also analyzes how it was affected by earlier ballads and styles.Overall, Paredes presents the legend and correlated facts in an entertaining fashio [...]


    • 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 did."Beyond 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 M [...]


    • An informative, historical read of the missing pieces of American history or generally American Studies. I cherish the new information and the addition of a new 'hero' to American, if Mexican/Texan-American literature. I was not particularly attracted to the formatting and structure of the book.


    • In methodical, restrained prose, Paredes marshals forensic evidence for how Gregorio Cortez out-rode the Texas Rangers and passed into legend. Fifty years after publication, “Pistol” is still like watching a masterful expert witness change the mood in the courtroom where southwestern history is being tried.


    • This is one of the classic precursors of Chicana/o studies, but it stands on its own as an early work of interdisciplinary scholarship on the border, on vernacular culture, as a work of anthropology, and as an revisionist attempt to counter very negative representations of Mexicans and Mexican Americans especially in Texas by academics like Walter Prescott Webb.


    • I'm not a big non-fiction reader, but I was completely amazed by the power of this ethnography. Americo Paredes examines folklore of the border region to excavate a history of racial terror that occurred there. He disarms you with his professorial voice and then punches you in the gut. And this was written in the 1950s.


    • Study on Gregorio Cortez and the surrounding legend, turned into a well-known corrido, or border ballad. Includes examinations and interpretations of border culture, history, and folklore. Well put together and engaging read.




    • Finally, someone is writing the truth. Loved this book for its honesty and Paredes for putting history down on paper.


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