Richard B. McCaslin is the 2011 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award winner for his book “Fighting Stock: John S. ‘Rip’ Ford of Texas.” The Pate Award is presented each year by the Fort Worth Civil War Round Table for what is judged to be the best new book on Civil War history in the Trans-Mississippi theater. A committee of members of the Round Table serve as judges. The objective of the award is to promote original scholarship and research in this area.
“Fighting Stock” is a carefully researched, well-written biography of the “larger than life” 19th Century Texan – “Rip” Ford. It not only covers Ford’s identity as a Texas Ranger, participant in the Mexican War and Civil War hero but the book also gives a good account of Ford’s other personnas as physician, lawyer, newspaperman and politician.
Here is what others say about the book:
“McCaslin’s biography of Ford ranks among the best manuscripts I have reviewed in many years. The research is extraordinarily broad, the writing clear, the organization solid and the identification of key themes in Ford’s life well-chosen. Perhaps more important, the author portrays his subject sympathetically, without drifting into hagiography. . . . A legendary Texan, Ford now has the biography he deserves.”Robert Wooster, Regents Professor of History, Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi
“. . . in telling Ford’s story, McCaslin takes the reader through many of the most important events in the history of Texas during its formative period, and thus satisfies two key criteria for a successful and satisfying biography: a clear sense of the subject and a rich picture of the age in which he lived.”Andrew R. Graybill, Associate Professor of History, University of Nebraska
“Richard McCaslin’s Fighting Stock is a superb addition to TCU Press’s The Texas Biography Series, admirably fulfilling the series dictate of examining a subject’s life in full. So much of Civil War biography sandwiches the war years with weak bookends, but McCaslin’s look at Ford, while acknowledging the paramount importance of that time, recognizes that the 1861-65 period comprises a brief interlude in a long and eventful life. Both Civil War specialists and those with a much broader interest in Texas history will find much to admire in this volume. “Andrew Wagenhofer, Editor, Civil War Books and Authors
Richard McCaslin is a professor of History at the University of North Texas. He is also the author of “Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862” which won the Tullis Prize. He has also written “Lee in the Shadow of Washington'” which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Slatten Award and the Laney Prize.
The Pate Award will be presented at the January 10th meeting of the Fort Worth Civil War Round Table. The award presentation will be followed by a talk by the author on the subject of his book. Copies of “Fighting Stock” will be available for purchase and for signing by Dr. McCaslin