"With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero (1958)

Américo Paredes tells the story of Gregorio Cortez in this book, which is an expansion of his doctoral dissertation. The book not only examines the legend of Gregorio Cortez and its complementary elements of exaggeration and truth but also delves into the documented details surrounding his flight from the Texas Rangers and his life thereafter. Paredes offers perspective on the historical and cultural connections for Mexican Americans of the border with regard to the legend of Cortez and corridos in general. Still celebrated in Mexican cantinas as the "sheriff killer," Cortez and his story represent the U.S.-Mexico border, its people, and their conflict with and resistance against the historically Anglo-dominated power structures of the U.S. borderlands.

With His Pistol in His Hand Bookcover