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Posted April 19, 2010
First let me say that the editing of this book is just terrible. Now my complaints. 1. Dr. Tucker wants the reader to believe that he is the 1st historian to suggest that members of the Alamo tried to escape. By looking at his bibliography and notes, he knows that this is not true. 2. According to him, his account his the "historical Alamo", while Walter Lord, Stephin Hardin, Allan Huffines, and Jeff Long writes about the "mythological Alamo". 3. Throughout the book he stands how great the Mexican Army and Santa Anna is. He also states how the Texas general and army is so bad. But he never explains how the battle of San Jacinto turned into a Mexican massacre. 4. On pages 228 - 238 the author describes why he believes Travis commited suicide at the north wall. On page 213, he has David Crockett killed early at the norht wall. On page 242, he describes how Crockett dies in front of the chapel. On page 274, he has Travis and Crockett leading the escape from the Alamo, and them being killed outside the Alamo. 5. According to Dr. Tucker, the reason Santa Anna attacks, before his siege cannons came, was he heard the Texans were going to try to escape the Alamo, or surrender. If this is true, then Santa Anna is a complete fool. Why not just attack the Texans in the open field, like General Urrea did at Goliad. 6. Dr. Tucker states what historians conveniently overlook is that the Texans brought the no quarter concept into the picture (page 174). What Dr. Tucker convenintly overlooks is all of his examples are words, not deeds. He also overlooks that the men of the Alamo, released General Cos and his troops, only asking that he does not re-enter the battle. A promise he latter dis-honored. 7. He condemns the Texans for killing 600 Mexicans at San Jancinto, 3 times as many than the Texan dead at the Alamo. Again he conveniently forgets about the Goliad massacre (350 men), and that the Mexicans committed these attrocities first.
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Posted May 3, 2010
As person who grew-up in Texas with a long-time interest in the Alamo, I'm always interested in new books. Based on the initial review, "Exodus" does not sound good. Please know, I'm a Texan, but I'm open to the truth about the battle, but I don't want another money-making story, like Bowie was taken by aliens. Should I buy this book -- feedback?
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Posted August 2, 2013
Great historical analaysis makes this worthwile. It may just change you perspective on the legend. The authors one flaw, to repetative after he's already made his point.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2010
I had trouble getting through the introductions & first few chapters as Mr. Tucker, who writes well, spent most of his time demonizing the "Anglo-Celts" culture, some of it deservedly so. Once I got past that and the obvious lionizing of Santa Anna and the Mexican army, I found the basic thesis very credible.
Mr. Tucker contradicts himself quite often however, oft times within the same chapter. Since this is not a scholarly review, I'll just say the most glaring was his assertion that the garrison of the Alamo was an undisciplined rabble incapable of defending themselves and then asserting that they were highly organized in their pre-planned escape attempts.
The other issue I had related to descriptions of the participant's individual demeanor or personalities that had inadequate footnotes to verify those statements. I felt he was speculating but maybe that should have been stated more clearly. I must say however, that there are many other examples of very credible & excellent footnotes.
Bottom line: This is a very interesting and thought provoking book regarding the "Last Stand" at the Alamo. If one brings a totally skeptical yet objective eye to the reading experience, as one should have with all historical writing, you'll have a wonderful read.
Posted October 14, 2010
Phillip Tucker has done an admirable job of analyzing the massacre at the Alamo with fresh eyes. He shows commendable mastery of the wealth of scholarly writing that has examined the defense of the Alamo in particular, and the Texan war for independence generally. He has also dug deep into Mexican sources, including newspapers and memoirs. From the start, Mr. Tucker makes his position clear -- the Alamo was a tragic battle that never should have been fought. He paints Jim Bowie and William Travis as criminally inept leaders who failed to recognize the indefensible design of the Alamo complex and did little to improve its defenses. Davie Crockett is portrayed as a washed-up politician seeking new life as a founding father of Texas. He provides a balanced account of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, describing him as a capable and talented, though undeniably ruthless and opportunistic, military and political figure. Mr. Tucker does a fine job of describing Gen. Santa Anna's role in the larger context of early 19th century Mexican history.
For those who like detailed historical works, this will be a gold mine. It identifies a bonanza of source materials, and is well-noted. The book could have benefitted from more attentive editing. A surprising number of grammatical errors and curious word choices are springkled throughout the book. Mr. Tucker likes long, run-on sentences that are sometimes hard to parse. He has also elevated the art of beating a dead horse to new heights. When he has a point to make, he MAKES it... and MAKES it... and -- well, you get the idea. It seems, to me, that about 60-70 pages could have been shaved by judicious editing without diminishing the content of the book. It was this duplication of effort that induced me to give the book three stars instead of four.
A more enjoyable read that reaches many similar conclusions is William C. Davis' "Three Roads to the Alamo -- The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie and William Barret Travis."
While obviously incredibly well researched, the author's writing "style" is tedious at best and middle-school in general.
Mr. Tucker unnecessarily annoyingly repeats himself, giving his narrative a feeling of disorganization.
Additionally, he presents a "pro-Mexican/anti-Texan-U.S." bias and uses a heavy-handed prose style that is often as distracting as his above mentioned repetition of facts.
The arrangement of the material in the "term-paper-like" chapters reads as if he had word-count more in mind than narrative flow. One can almost see the linking of index-card notes as one labors through.
Mr. Tucker would be well served by reading Nathaniel Philbrick's _The Last Stand - Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Little Bighorn_ as an excellent example of revisiting a story already "well known" but in need of updating with newly discovered sources (an EXCELLENT read, by the way...)
A better editor could have turned this into a far better book, especially given the number of spelling and gramatical errors encountered along the way.
My high school English or history teachers would have returned this series of "papers" with grades of C or C-, all well marked with red-ink underlinings, circled words and phrases, and multiple marginal notes on the aforementioned style, spelling, and grammar. Had I not been reading a copy from the library, I would have marked up my copy accordingly and sent it to the publisher asking for a refund.
Posted May 14, 2010
Many readers, especially Anglo-Texans, will despise this book because it attacks almost everything they have been told since the first grade about the 1836 battle at the Alamo. But you should read it none-the-less because it is stimulating and provocative. Despite that, however, I found it quite difficult to read, not because of the content, but due to Tucker's writing style. I'm not sure if he was just short on words for his publisher, or if his writing style is such that he feels it necessary to constantly repeat the same details over and over and over again. Despite this irritation, I do recommend this book for its coverage of new historical perspectives.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2012
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Posted May 4, 2011
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Posted December 13, 2010
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