Texas Tradition by Elmer Kelton
Texas Tradition is a series of western novels by American novelist Elmer Kelton. The first novel in series in chronological order, The Good Old Boys was adapted into a television movie starring Tommy Lee Jones. Kelton would say that the novel was “probably the closest I have ever come to writing from sheer inspiration.” Each novel is an individual story and the series does not follow a lone featured character.

The Texas Tradition series began in 1971 with the novel The Day the Cowboys Quit and concluded in 1991 after nine novels with Honor at Daybreak, although the chronological order of the series is much different from its publication order. The books may be read in either order. Below is a list of Elmer Kelton’s Texas Tradition books in order of when they were first published (as well as in chronological order):

Publication Order of Texas Tradition Books

The Day the Cowboys Quit(1971)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Wagontongue(1972)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Manhunters(1974)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Wolf and the Buffalo(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Stand Proud(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Dark Thicket(1985)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Man Who Rode Midnight(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Honor at Daybreak(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon.com

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Texas Tradition Synopses: The Day the Cowboys Quit is the first novel to be published in the Texas Tradition series by Elmer Kelton and the third novel in chronological order. The series is set in 1883, the year of the Canadian River cowboy strike. The series follows Hugh Hitchcock and the cowboys in the Texas Panhandle as they fight back against employers who wish to change the rules and traditions of working as a cowboy. The book is based on real-life historical events.

The Wolf and the Buffalo is the fifth book to be published in the series and the second book in its chronology. Once a slave, Gideon Ledbetter is now a free man, but he is a man with no land or money. He decides to join the army, which sounded glorious at the time. There, he battles a Comanche warrior – both just pawns of a much greater and very tragic conflict.

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