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

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A New York Times bestseller!

“Lively and absorbing. . ." — The New York Times Book Review


"Engrossing." —Wall Street Journal

“Entertaining and well-researched . . . ” Houston Chronicle

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 how the sausage of myth got made in the Jim Crow South of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As uncomfortable as it may be to hear for some, celebrating the Alamo has long had an echo of celebrating whiteness.

In the past 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.

About the Author


Bryan Burrough is the author of six books, including The Big Rich, Days of Rage, and Public Enemies, and a coauthor of the number one New York Times bestseller Barbarians at the Gate.

Chris Tomlinson is a columnist for the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News and the author of the New York Times bestselling Tomlinson Hill about his family's slaveholding history in Texas. From 1995 to 2007, he reported from more than thirty countries and nine wars for the Associated Press.

Jason Stanford is a writer and former communications director for the mayor of Austin. As a political consultant, Stanford has helped elect or reelect at least thirty members of Congress.

Praise For…


“Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford, urges us to reconsider the Alamo, a symbol we’ve been taught to fiercely and uncritically remember . . . the book provides strong, provocative critiques of U.S. imperialism and colonialism. The myth of the Alamo, as we know it, is a lie. It’s been a part of the lie students have learned in school, and animates the lies peddled by legislation like the 1836 Project and the critical race theory bill. But if you want to truly remember the past, you first have to forget it.” —Texas Observer

“Engrossing.” —Wall Street Journal

“Lively and absorbing . . . Much of the fun of the book derives from how deftly it strips that varnish off and demolishes the prevailing (white) racist shibboleths—in particular, what the authors call the Heroic Anglo Narrative of Texas history.” New York Times Book Review

“Lively, entertaining and well-researched . . . The greatest surprise of Forget the Alamo is its clear-eyed explication of the ways politicians, educators, writers, filmmakers and TV executives used the Alamo to serve whatever message they were promoting.” Houston Chronicle

“Riveting . . . 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. 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.” —Library Journal
 
“Substantive yet wryly humorous . . . Skillfully drawing on primary and secondary sources, the authors show that Stephen F. Austin, who established a colony of American settlers in Texas in the 1820s, fought to protect slavery from Mexican legislators’ desire to abolish it, and that the independence movement was focused on preserving Texas’s slave-based cotton economy. Enriched by its breezy tone and fair-minded approach, this is an essential look at the Alamo from the perspective of today’s racial reckoning.” —Publishers Weekly

“A zesty, journalistic, half history, half sendup about the battle of the Alamo and the myths that cling to it . . . Burrough, Tomlinson, and Stanford, all Texans, succeed brilliantly in their intent . . . this lively book is sure to cause plenty of interesting conversations in Texas. An iconoclastic, romping, bull’s-eye volley at an enduring sacred cow—popular history at its most engaging and insightful.” —Kirkus (starred)

“Burrough, Tomlinson and Stanford boldly reappraise a legend that is foundational to Texas, and for that matter to America: the battle of the Alamo. What they've unearthed is an astounding century-long effort by the state's Anglo grandees to repackage an embarrassing defeat as the very fountainhead of Lone Star heroism. Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Forget the Alamo is an all-too-timely tale of how a fable, told forcefully and frequently enough, makes its insidious way into the history books.” —Robert Draper, author of To Start A War

Forget the Alamo is all about myth-busting and icon-smashing. But anyone who thinks that in doing so the authors have simply ruined a perfectly good legend needs to think again. The true story of the Alamo is far more entertaining and complexly human than any amount of John Wayne swinging a musket from the battlements of a Texas fort. This is a ripping good tale, well told.” —S. C. Gwynne, author of New York Times bestsellers Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell

“A clear-sighted historical narrative of the founding story of Texas, full of surprising details that bust the Alamo myths we were taught in school. In a time of real racial reckoning, the heroes of the Alamo don't get a pass. The authors deliver a page-turner you'll read with pleasure, packed with insights that stick to your ribs.” —Elise Hu, NPR host-at-large

“As a native San Antonian, I grew up knowing only Hollywood's version of how things went down at what became the ‘shrine of Texas liberty.’ In this lively book, Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford dig deep into Texas history to separate fact from legend—not only about the Alamo, but of the forces that produced Texas itself. It turns out reality is richer and more compelling than mythology.” —Karen Tumulty, Washington Post columnist and author of The Triumph of Nancy Reagan

Product Details
ISBN: 9781984880093
ISBN-10: 1984880098
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: June 8th, 2021
Pages: 416
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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