A Time to Stand. By Walter Lord. New York (Harper & Broth-
ers), 1961. Pp. 255. Illustrations, maps, bibliography, index.
The appearance of Walter Lord's book raises the obvious ques-
tion of why another book about the Alamo within such a short
time after Lon Tinkle's excellent work, Thirteen Days to Glory.
Perhaps the best answer may be found in Tinkle's quotation from
James Atkins Shackford.
I suppose no event in recent historical times, with a basis in fact,
has been more conducive to the creation of legend, fiction, gossip,
error and falsehood than the destruction of the fortress at San An-
tonio de Bexar. ... Except for the date and the fact of its fall, there
is almost no single point about the Alamo upon which the testimony
of the few survivors does not disagree.
There would appear to be a need for both of the books, and a
prior reading of Thirteen Days to Glory made A Time to Stand
even more interesting. Prior to their publication a great deal of
research in an exceptional library would have been necessary to
get anything like a comprehensive story of the battle of the Alamo.
Amelia Williams' excellent work was never published as a book
and other writers have limited the scope of their works. This
reviewer has no intention of making a choice between the books
or even attempting a separate evaluation.
Texans will probably enjoy and appreciate Lord's story, or
rather his interpretation of the story of the Alamo, and he should
rank high among such Texas historians as Porter, De Zavala, De
Shields, Williams, Chabot, Meyers, and Tinkle. Lord is one of
the finest present-day writers who has attempted the Alamo story,
and obviously he has devoted a great deal of time to the study and
research of his subject. Lord is neither a Texan nor a historian,
and his prior experience with Texas history has been limited to
editing of The Freemantle Diary in 1954. A Time to Stand is
convincing proof, however, that neither the historian nor the
Texan classification is a prerequisite for handling one of the most
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed March 10, 2014.