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Forget the Alamo : the rise and fall of an American myth

Call Number

  • 976.403 B9721 (CEN, OSH)

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Publication Information

New York : Penguin Press, 2021.

Physical Description

xxvii, 386 pages : maps ; 25 cm


"Three noted Texan writers combine forces to tell the real story of the Alamo, dispelling the myths, exploring why they had their day for so long, and explaining why the ugly fight about its meaning is now coming to a head. Every nation needs its creation myth, and since Texas was a nation before it was a state, it's no surprise that its myths bite deep. There's no piece of history more important to Texans than the Battle of the Alamo, when Davy Crockett and a band of rebels went down in a blaze of glory fighting for independence from Mexico, losing the battle but setting Texas up to win the war. However, that version of events, as Forget the Alamo definitively shows, owes more to fantasy than reality. Just as the site of the Alamo was left in ruins for decades, its story was forgotten and twisted over time, with the contributions of Tejanos, Texans of Mexican origin who fought alongside the Anglo rebels, scrubbed from the record, and the origin of the conflict over Mexico's push to abolish slavery papered over. Forget the Alamo provocatively explains the true story of the battle against the backdrop of Texas's struggle for independence, then shows us how the sausage of myth got made in the Jim Crow South of the late 19th and early 20th century. As uncomfortable as it may be to hear, celebrating the Alamo has long had an echo of celebrating whiteness. In the last forty-some years, waves of revisionists have come at this topic, and at times have made real progress toward a more nuanced and inclusive story that doesn't alienate anyone. But we are not living in one of those times; the fight over the Alamo's meaning has become more pitched than ever in the past few years, even violent, as Texas's future begins to look more and more different from its past. It's the perfect time for a wise and generous-spirited book that shines the bright light of the truth into a place that's gotten awfully dark"--


  • Bloody Texas
  • The Americans, their cotton, and who picked it
  • The American middle finger, extended
  • "The President Santana is friendly to Texas--"
  • The war dogs
  • San Antonio
  • The worst kind of victory
  • Countdown
  • The final days
  • The battle of the Alamo
  • A first draft of history
  • Remember the Alamo?
  • The second battle of the Alamo
  • The White man's Alamo
  • The Alamo goes global
  • The Alamo supremacists
  • The rise of Alamo revisionism
  • Revisionism unleashed
  • The Alamo under siege
  • The sisters of spite
  • "This politically incorrect nonsense"
  • The Alamo reimagined
  • The problem with Phil
  • Epilogue: Another battle of the Alamo
  • Afterword: We are what we remember

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