Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth

Penguin Pr. Jun. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9781984880093. $32. HIST
In this riveting work, three Texan writers—best-selling authors Burrough (Days of Rage) and Tomlinson (Tomlinson Hill) along with journalist and political consultant Stanford—delve into the myth surrounding the Alamo and reveal a truly nuanced history of the battle and the way it is remembered. The authors set out to create a new narrative of the Texas Revolution, built upon an examination of the racial structures existing in 1836 and the present day. This book casts aside the Anglo narrative of ultimate sacrifice, in favor of a broader discussion about the history of slavery in Texas and the impact of Tejano history. The narrative flows seamlessly as it explores the complicated legacies of Stephen F. Austin, known as the Father of Texas, and Sam Houston, the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, as well as the many places and institutions named in their honor. Bringing Mexican voices to the forefront, the authors argue that it is necessary to diversify perspectives in order to create a comprehensive historical narrative of Texas, and especially San Antonio.
VERDICT Not only an essential work of Texas history, but popular history at its best. The book shines when detailing the power of telling one’s own story.
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