Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts


J.R Edmondson's The Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts is the millennium's first book to thoroughly examine the famous "Shrine of Texas Liberty" from its origin as a Spanish New World mission to its modern status.

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Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts

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J.R Edmondson's The Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts is the millennium's first book to thoroughly examine the famous "Shrine of Texas Liberty" from its origin as a Spanish New World mission to its modern status.

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Editorial Reviews

James Batson
"Be aware, if you pick this book up you will not be able to set it down until you have read it from cover to cover. This entertaining historical work rivals A Time To Stand by Walter Lord as a leading literary work on the Alamo."
Knife World
Dick Starns
"Accurate, thorough, and insightful. All history books should be this interesting."
Fort Worth Gazette
Judyth Rigler
"Edmondson's story is notable both for its thoroughness and its balance. Up-to-the-minute reading about the little building with the big history."
San Antonio Express-News
William R. Chemerka
" Edmondson's impressive volume is more than a revitalized retelling of an epic tale: it is a careful study of those 'myths, mysteries, and misconceptions' that help us Remember the Alamo!"
The Alamo Journal
Doris Meredith
"An enthralling account, as exciting to read as any historical novel, The Alamo Story is as good, and certainly as accurate if not more so than Walter Lord¹s A Time to Stand or Lon Tinkle¹s 13 Days to Glory. Edmondson includes enough detail to satisfy the scholar while presenting history in such a way that the general reader absorbs a factual and objective account without realizing just how much information he is ingesting in this deceptively readable account. The book should come with a warning not to begin reading at bedtime or else you will never get any sleep."
—lWestern Writers of America Roundup Magazine
Ross McSwain
"For generations, the story of the Alamo has intrigued readers of all ages. But these early stories have left many questions unanswered. Now writer J.R. Edmondson has researched his way through the myths and mysteries and misconceptions of the Alamo to produce a masterful story of those fateful and final hours. Of all the books written about the Alamo, Edmondson's is by far the best of the bunch."
San Angelo Standard-Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556226786
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 775,777
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

J.R. Edmondson authored the pageant "Victory or Death" performed annually at the Alamo. He teaches a course on Alamo history and is nationally recognized as a living historian. His home is in Burleson, Texas.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2000

    'The' Alamo book.

    This book¿s coverage of the Alamo is, in a word, comprehensive. For anyone with even a peripheral interest in Western history, it has the clarity, cohesion, drama, and excitement of the finest historical narrative. Anyone can report dry facts. Not everyone can tell a story well. Fewer still can tell a good story engagingly with important data woven into the tale as an integral part of the textual tapestry (rather than tacked on as footnotes). It would be difficult to envision a more professional, appealing and enjoyable volume than this one by historian J.R. Edmondson. - - Gathering information is only one facet of a researcher¿s work. Finding what he seeks is one of the more time-consuming features of his job. What distinguishes this book from most others is its flow and efficiency, saving time and effort for both the interested reader and the historian. - - A book like this can result when an author combines research findings with aggregate knowledge born of his or her family background, life experience, general environment, personal upbringing and scholarly training. It¿s content is a near-ideal melding of an author¿s acquired professional skills, his evident personal predilections, and exceptional perceptions. To paraphrase a remark by Bill Groneman in his book, Death of a Legend: Edmondson has substantially advanced our understanding of the Alamo in the course of being sensible about it. - - Among the many interesting features of the book are Myths, Mysteries & Misconceptions following each major section. It¿s here that Edmondson encapsulates and sheds light on preceding chapters, offering insights on the thoughts and ideas other historians have dealt and struggled with for decades. He explains, for example, that a man who had an almost accidental connection with the Alamo and took only a relatively small part in its overall defense became its most famous defender. In crystallizing concepts like these into concise and almost revelatory prose, Edmondson has performed a service for which all historians ¿ independent, amateur, and academic ¿ should be indebted to him: he has illuminated some dark rooms through which we were previously stumbling. - - Edmondson identifies the origins of ¿Comanche¿ and ¿santanistas¿; the particular term for the uniquely-shaped hump atop the Alamo¿s façade; the link between Sam Houston and Francis Scott Key; how and why ¿Colonel¿ James Bowie was so titled; the incident in Crockett¿s life that effectively determined his outlook; which president¿s nephew perished at the Alamo; the name of the bugler who played the De Guello before the final assault ¿ all these points and countless more are discussed in this superb book, which contains outstanding illustrations by artists like Joseph Musso, Rod Timanus and Craig Covner. What transpired at the Alamo in 1836 is dramatic enough without the need for Hollywood embellishments, and the screenwriters for the best (but as-yet unmade) Alamo film would distinguish themselves by using this book as their Bible. - - James Bowie is arguably the most misunderstood of the Alamo defenders. Confusion and contradictions about him are legion. The author¿s statement, ¿ historical documentation exists that Bowie had ever fought a duel or killed anyone¿ may initially seem at odds with legend but should also lay to rest some Bowie questions and put things into proper historical perspective. We must remember that a colorful nature like Bowie¿s precludes black & white judgements or descriptions. - - The book is so thoroughly researched one wonders if there were any sources the author didn¿t consult. The final chapters, including the Epilogue, are fascinating and give us a clear, blow-by-blow description of how the Alamo grounds and buildings evolved in the last 17-or-so decades. The 13 chapters on the 1836 battle, one chapter for each day of the siege, are so vividly written and bring us close enough to the action that the reader might find himself looking over his shou

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2000

    A True Textbook of Texas History

    As a Texan and living historian, I read as many books on Texas history as possible. After reading J. R. Edmondson's book, I do not think there is another book necessary to study Texas history from the initial Spanish inroads into 'Tejas' through the Texas Revolution. Mr. Edmondson's historical facts are without reproach and the story is told in readable flowing prose, not the usual dull university literary. The story flows from event to event, person to person with outstanding clarity and leaves you knowing each individual on a 'human' level, meaning you can relate to them as a living person. His treatment of the 13 day siege covered not only the events in the Alamo but the other areas of Texas where dynamic people were creating a new nation. People and events at Goliad, Washington on the Brazos and Gonzalez all are woven into the 13 days of the battle. Mr Edmondson's telling of the actual battle reflects the common Texian and Mexican soldiers' attitude while using all the known documented evidence to show the confusion, fear and desires of desperate men in battle. By continuing the narrative with the weeks after the Alamo, Mr. Edmondson weaves the events that were finally concluded at San Jacinto where Sam Houston and his hodge-podge army of Tejano and Texian soldiers defeated Santa Anna and revenged the Alamo. The continuing saga of the Alamo even today is discussed in intelligent thought provoking dialog. Did Travis draw the famous 'line in the sand'? Did Davy Crockett die in battle or was he executed? Did a deathly ill Bowie use his dreaded knife while lying in bed during the last battle? Mr. Edmondson uses all the facts and references to present opinions for and against each option. To the student of Texas or Southwest American history, this book is a must have. This book should easily rest alongside 'The Alamo, 13 Days of Glory' and other masterpieces of Texas history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    Who Needs Footnotes to Tell this Story?

    I purchased this book the moment it was available, and my enthusiasm for this non-fiction account of the Alamo has not dimmed one Texican bit. Mr. Edmondson is a superlative writer who, after many years of research, placed in one exciting streamer of history the dramatic story of Spanish colonization of North America, the Mexican revolution, the Anglo-colonization of Mexico's provinces, and the Texas Revolution. From the revelation of the extent of the Spanish colonial effort - up to Missouri no less - to the determination and frenzy of the Mexican soldiers as they breached the Alamo's north wall Mr. Edmondson humanizes every character yet holds firmly to the available facts. I've visited many of the locations in this text (Natchitoches to the Great Chihuahuan Desert on the Rio Bravo, the site of the Spanish customs house at Anahuac, the San Jacinto battlefield, San Felipe and Washington-on-the-Brazos, Gonzales to the San Antonia Mission trail), but until now the scope of the journey was overwhelming. Every piece of the puzzle falls into place in Edmondson's factual story. 'Factual story' is an important point to dwell on as at least one critic declaims the absence of footnotes validating the scholarship of the work. Pshaw, balderdash and hrumph. The fact is Edmondson is 10 times the writer of most academic technicians, and he captures the pathos of men and women engaged in struggle. For example: Jack - I may call you Jack? - deftly, subtly explains the importance of metaphor in our discoveries about history. Whereas, technicians may argue ad nauseum whether the line was actually drawn in the sand by William B. Travis, Jack paints a portrait of Hispanic and Anglo men and women facing the question of defending an indefensible position. The fact is they stayed at their post and died. Another vital fact, often overlooked, was the valor and endurance of the Mexican soldiers who eventually won the battle. This was the story of heroes, and a wonderful read to boot.

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