Cover Image: Forget the Alamo

Forget the Alamo

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Member Reviews

Fascinating book. I never realised the Alamo had such a rich and controversial history, although I do remember being underwhelmed when I visited a few years back. This book is an amusing yet comprehensive attempt to relate the history, dispel the myths, uncover the facts, explore the legends and review the legacy of the storied battle. Occasionally I found the style just a bit too colloquial and light-hearted and I feel that this detracts from the serious historical research, but this didn’t really hinder my overall enjoyment, and I thoroughly appreciated being made aware of all the nuances in the previously accepted narrative. Revisionism is always a good thing if backed up by the research. As expected, there are some who have disagreed with the authors on various points but I did feel that some of the criticisms were somewhat carping rather than helpful. I learnt a lot from my reading and if the authors’ interpretation is sometimes at variance with others’, then surely that simply leads to further informed discussion. A great read.
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This is an excellent piece of revisionist history. Taking one of the sacred myths of American exceptionalism, it lays bare the facts about how conditions were in Texas around the time of the battle and how things are misinterpreted today.
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The information here is very straightforward, but something many of us have never considered: the story we all know of the alamo has been completely whitewashed and “disneyfied”.  We’ve all nodded along at the myth about travis, bowie, and crocket defending the alamo from marauding mexicans. The state of texas has legislated its inclusion in every seventh-grade curriculum for decades.  But the story we all “know” is not the way things went down.  Nor is it an objective or verifiable telling. But it sure does serve to preserve our sense anglocentricity!

This book fleshes out the alamo story, using what few source documents survive (mostly letters and journals).  It reveals the political motivations for what happened - and for continuing to promote “the story” (hint: follow the money).  And it thoroughly covers all angles of the phil collins collection, and the political motivations behind the building of a GLO (ie: taxpayer)-sponsored museum to house it.

As a reading experience, i thought it had a sort of gossipy, sitting-at-your-neighbor’s-kitchen-table tone. Which wasn’t at all bad. But it tended to get off into the weeds a bit. I can solidly recommend this to just about everyone, though. Especially those who’ve been indoctrinated by the texas public school system. It’s about time we all update what we think we know about the alamo.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group The Penguin Press for an advanced copy of this history title.

My hat is off to these three men Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford, who had as much courage as they have to write a book correcting the myth of the Alamo, and the reasons why it occurred. I'm sure there will be whining about anti-white this and anti-America that, all without opening a page of the book. Which is a shame as it is a very interesting book, and well worth reading. 

The book is based on research, both current and from past historians with no real surprising revelations, except that people were educated more on the myth than the reality. And reality is always a little more unseemly and uglier than expected. The writing might be a little breezy in some spots and while I might have preferred a more academic stance, considering some of the vitriol that will probably be tossed at the writers, that seems a minor complaint. 

Plus the book has Phil Collins, a Alamo enthusiast with a huge collection of artifacts, one of them is a knife that a psychic confirmed was once owned by Jim Bowie. History can not get better.  Psychic Provenance for Prog Performers would have been the chapter I would have written about this. 

Again a very interesting book by three brave men who only try to tell the truth. It's sad that the truth could be that divisive to some, but myth busting seems more necessary than ever.
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I received this as an e-galley from NetGalley.

I always tell people I lived in Texas just under a year- and I took Texas history 2x. It is literally taught to every grade every school year- point being Texas takes their history SERIOUSLY.

This was a heavily researched book about the myth of Alamo, historiography, and Phil Collins trivia?! But it all works. I couldn't stop talking to my Dad about this book the whole time I was reading it- which is a good sign for a history book.
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