The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Book Reviews

volume is heavily weighted to satisfying current public interest in the American
Revolution, the Civil War, the Indian Wars of the West, World War II, and Viet-
nam. Christman is to be commended for ensuring balance by including articles
that acquaint readers with the history of events and wars that have slipped from
public consciousness, such as the Pequot massacres, Braddock's defeat, the War
of 1812, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and the Korean War.
Several articles deserve special notice either for their new interpretations or
for their excellent prose. Stephen E. Ambrose writes about D-Day, the Battle of
the Bulge, and the Christmas bombing offensive of 1972; D'Ann Campbell de-
scribes the role of women in the American military in World War II; John Kee-
gan analyzes naval history in the nuclear age; James M. McPherson describes
Grant's struggle to complete his memoirs; Ronald H. Spector recounts the
botched evacuation of Kham Duc in 1968, and Gerhard L. Weinberg analyzes
the calculations behind Hitler's decision to wage war against the U.S. in 1941.
One of the few criticisms of this edited volume is the lack of articles regarding
the African American military experience. This omission is especially surprising
given the crucial role African American soldiers played in the Civil War and the
historic role of Colin Powell in the modern era. Those interested in the Texas
Revolution will also come away empty-handed. Professional historians are often
suspicious of histories without the scholarly apparatus of footnotes or endnotes,
but this work will serve as an excellent supplementary text in a military history
course to spark student interest. General readers will miss the lavish illustrations
and maps that characterize Military History Quarterly. Nonetheless, one can hope
that these minor quibbles will be remedied in a second edition of this anthology,
which this reviewer hopes will appear in the not too distant future.
Rutgers University G. KURT PIEHLER
Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution, x835-1836. By Stephen L.
Hardin. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994. Pp. xix+321. Preface, illus-
trations, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-292-73086-1. $24.95.)
In recent years a quiet renaissance has been developing in Texas history. New
studies are exploring topics not traditionally regarded as central to the Texas
identity--urban, industrial, ethnic, racial, and gender themes in particular. Fur-
ther, the chronological scope has been widened and deepened in examining pe-
riods from the Spanish and Mexican origins to modern times. Steve Hardin's
Texian Iliad fills another historiographical need. Despite its central place in the
legendary story of Texas, the military history of the war for independence of
1835-1836 has never previously been treated with a satisfactory general study.
This book in fact is more than satisfactory; it has some extraordinary qualities.
It is exceptional in capturing the human side of soldiering. Ten sketches by Gary
S. Zaboly with explanatory notes by Hardin focus on the clothing, weaponry, and
attitudes of combatants on both sides. Maps and battlefield illustrations are also
included, and the extensive diagrams which unfold the storming of the Alamo
provide an understanding superior to any previous descriptions.

1996

593

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed November 24, 2014.