It seems that, in the past few years, several books have been published about the siege of the Alamo. I have read all of them, as best I know, and they all, each in their own way, have added to my knowledge of this tragic and heroic event in our history.
This latest book is quite comprehensive, in my estimation, and gave me new information that I had not known before reading it. I find that is normally true, particularly when a book covers a relatively well-known event. The author feels that he or she must present something new, or at least a new viewpoint to the event, or what is the purpose of doing a book, just to repeat what others have said?
In addition to going over the events both prior, and subsequent, to the actual siege, the author gives me, at least , new information on the folks involved, and their actions and motivations. He also presents a very long and inclusive set of "notes" at the end of the book. I would have preferred if these notes had been numbered as footnotes in the places where they were applicable, but he has chosen his format, and I must respect that. His extensive coverage of the death of David Crockett, either during the fighting or afterwards, is very well thought out, and quite convincing. He also devotes an end chapter to the famous "line in the sand" story of Colonel Travis, and the one man who supposedly refused to cross the line, and escaped from the Alamo before the final Mexican attack. This was new to me, and I found it fascinating.
If you like your history well told, and well written, I am sure that you will enjoy this book. To those of us who grew up on Disney's Davy Crockett series, we can come away from this book with a renewed admiration for him, and for all of those brave souls who, knowing they were going to die, stubbornly stayed and fought at the Alamo to give the fledgling Texas nation a chance to survive its birth pangs.
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About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka (frankiethek)
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
"Donovan's book readsfast, like a gallop through South Texas. You are carried through it. The Alamo is one of the greatest American stories, and he tells it in a sweeping, propulsive narrative that includes fine portraits of all of those wonderful, larger-than-life figures that have embedded themselves in the national lexicon: General Santa Anna, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and William Barret Travis. A first-rate read from a fine historian." (author ofEmpire of the Summer MoonS.C. Gwynne)
"The best book on Texas history....This is a big deal.... It's probably the best nonfiction I have read about Texas, history told in a way that reads like fiction....The Blood of Heroesis a good book for anyone with a love of history." (Dallas Morning NewsMichael Merschel)
"The Blood of Heroesis surely the best account to date, one that presents plenty of new insights while acting as a corrective-or at least an alternative viewpoint-to previous accounts....Donovan combines that vital blend of authoritative scholarship with the vivid writing necessary to make an oft-told tale seem fresh." (Military History QuarterlyWilliam C. Davis)
"The best book on the battle [of the Alamo]...Donovan has a splendid sense of historical narrative...Those making their entrance into Alamo lore for the first time are well advised to begin withThe Blood of Heroes." (Houston ChronicleAllen Barra)
"Jim Donovan combines two exceptional talents-those of a first rate story teller and a first rate historian. InThe Blood of ...