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.
... requires a tolerance for some lowbrow jocularity, especially in the opening chapters...But the narrative soon hits its stride, and the story becomes a lively and absorbing one ... Much of the fun of the book derives from how deftly it strips that varnish off and demolishes the prevailing (white) racist shibboleths.
... muscular prose that’s heavy on deadpan understatement ... 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 ... Readers may well conclude that reclaiming the Alamo in all its complexity is a long-game proposition. Old stories die hard. What you cannot forget while reading this lively, entertaining and well-researched book is that there will always be another Alamo book, and another, and another after that. Myths take centuries to build and even longer to tear down. Let’s hope readers remember Forget the Alamo.
For readers unfamiliar with either half of the story, the book provides a useful introduction ... At numerous points in their account of the siege and battle, the authors challenge the traditional view. In doing so they follow historians who abandoned the traditional view decades ago. They sometimes appear to be beating a horse that, if not dead, was put to pasture awhile back, at least outside the political classes. It’s no news to anyone, for example, that the commanders at the Alamo, William Barret Travis and James Bowie, were scoundrels before the war with Mexico ... The freshest work in this book deals with the [Phil] Collins controversy and makes a persuasive case that Collins was taken for a ride.