28 February 2006 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 7 comments

This morning, legendary martial arts star Chuck Norris was on the morning radio show that I listen to on a daily basis. Norris was promoting his new novel, The Justice Riders, set against the backdrop of the Civil War.

Here’s the description of the book from Amazon.com: “The Justice Riders offers action-packed historical fiction from America’s favorite action hero Chuck Norris. Book one in the series takes place as the Civil War ends and the Old West begins. General William T. Sherman commissions Ezra Justice to form a secret band of cavaliers who will help end the war between North and South, and Justice complies with a pro-Union posse of diverse multinationals second to none in their fighting abilities. From dusty canyon shootouts against Confederates to the horrors faced aboard the doomed Sultana steamship, these dynamic men shine as good-hearted heroes who need each other just as much as so many others need them.”

From what Norris was saying on the radio interview, the protagonist is an abolitionist Southerner whose childhood best friend was a slave. He gets this commission from Sherman, and he and the now-freed slave form a band of secret scouts that includes an Englishman who’s a member of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards (Lt. Col. Sir Arthur Fremantle, I wonder?), an Irish immigrant, and twin brothers of gypsy descent.

Let’s see: we’re politically correct, that’s for sure. Never mind that there is absolutely no connection with reality to be found here. The story is preposterous. These guys are all martial arts experts, too. Again, never mind that nobody had ever heard of Tang Su Do (the Korean martial art studied and taught by Norris) in the 1860’s. Never mind, also, that the only one of these guys with any military training is the Englishman. Apparently, the six of them go out and win the war. Give me a break. The only good thing about this whole thing is that Norris said that the proceeds from the book would go to his foundation to teach at-risk children the martial arts, something that I definitely can support.

I wonder who persuaded Chuck Norris that he was a writer. Now, I understand that this is entertainment, but I get worried that people who read this sort of pap will actually believe that it’s the truth or that this has some credibility. Why is it that just because someone is a celebrity, they suddenly think that they’re authors (see that airheaded bimbo Paris Hilton, if you need an example of what I mean here)? This garbage gets published and sells, but legitimate folks who spend large portions of their lives trying to get it right have to struggle to get published at all. What’s wrong with this picture?

Scridb filter


  1. Dave Kelly
    Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 1:29 pm

    Oh I wish I was in the land of Barnum
    High Culture there is soon forgotten,
    Look Away, Look Away, Look Away, Wittenberg

    Some folks dey like dere histry tinglers,
    Mos folks prefers dere Jerry Springers
    Look Away, Look Away, Look Away, Wittenberg

    Some folks wants da truth o’ Custer
    Mos folks prefer dere Errol Flynn ball busta
    Look Away, I’m Away, Look Away, Wittenberg

  2. Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 2:19 pm


    I actually laughed out loud as I read this. Thanks for the perspective.

    Sadly, old PT Barnum was right–there is, in fact, a sucker born every minute, and the sales of books like this only prove the point.


  3. Mike
    Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 2:39 pm

    This has got movie written all over it. I wonder if all the proceeds from the movie will go to the foundation as well? It’s been a long time since we got a new Chuck Norris martial arts action movie. I wonder if Jackie Chan’s agent has contacted Norris yet? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Eric and Dave:

    Personally I can’t wait for the book and its sequel, Justice Riders 2. In that one, Chuck and his merry band of wacky misfits hop on some hot air balloons and fly to Georgia. Their mission: rescue Union prisoners that an ex-Confederate called “The Dragon” inexplicably continued to hold after the war. Chuck and his band don their natty black uniforms (’cause good guys wear black) and rescue the POWs with the help of the martial arts and Matthew Brady’s secret “slo-mo” camera, but on the way out find out about another secret lockdown in the steamy jungles of Alabama, which will be raided with the help of the Texas Rangers in Justice Riders 3: Justice, Justice Ranger, and Justice Riders 4: Justice’s Secret Plan at Gettysburg.

    On a slightly more serious note, one of the biggest–and oddest–crazes on campus these days is making up Chuck Norris “facts.” This website will give you a taste:



  5. Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 3:37 pm


    LOL. Sounds precisely like how I thought it would play out. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 3:40 pm


    Sad, but true. ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. kelly1863
    Tue 28th Feb 2006 at 4:13 pm


    Ya got a real good otline for a TV show there. (Most of the Wild, Wild West crew is dead; they won’t object to the similarities.) Let’s contact Chuck and see if it will wave. Maybe Ron Maxwell would like to produce it ?(shudder)

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