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Forget the Alamo


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Don't let the title put you off.  Forget the Alamo, Brian Burrough, Jason Stanford, Chris Tomlinson, Penguin Random House, 2021.

The title is borrowed from an art exhibit organized by a collective of Texas based artists mostly from San Antonio. The first third of the book details what is known about the lead up to the revolt against the Government in Mexico City and the factors that precipitated it. The major cause for the revolt was the Mexican government's decision to enforce the abolishion of slavery. This policy would have had a major impact on the economy of Texas.  The book gives a picture of the main participants in the revolt; Austin, Houston, Seguin, Travis and Bowie. David Crocket was new to the state and joined the militia only to qualify for a land grant after six months of service. The book points out that if Travis had obeyed orders and destroyed the Alamo then retreated to join Houston, the defenders would not have found themselves trapped. They procrastinated too long due to a chaotic leadership struggle between Travis and Bowie, allowing the army to surround the compound.

The major part of the book is an examination of the tensions between the propogators of the legends, the revisionists and the actual historians. It is a good, but not excellent historiography. There is a bias favouring the revisionists but is is a well researched and documented work.If you want an example of how "popular" history distorts real history,this is a good read.

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