The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Book Reviews

of these "wars." Hatley provides no explanations for why neighboring Indians
stole animals, harassed boat-landings, and occasionally killed settlers, yet these
are the very events that the author suggests started conflicts in the first place.
Having read Hatley's account, and especially the documents in his appendix,
readers may in any case come to the conclusion that the Indian threat to
Austin's colony was not nearly as organized or significant as Hatley's thesis sug-
gests, and that the only group with dreams of annihilation were the Anglo-Tex-
ans themselves.
Harvard University Brian DeLay
The Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts. By J. R. Edmondson.
(Plano: Republic of Texas Press, 2ooo. Pp. xiii+439. Foreword, preface, ac-
knowledgments, introduction, epilogue, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-
55622-678-0o. $24.95, paper.)
The Alamo, as an institution on the banks of the San Antonio River, is nearly
three hundred years old. But it is the thirteen-day siege in 1836 which domi-
nates its early history as a mission and later history as a United States Army Quar-
termaster's Depot. The same runs true for this 439-page, single-volume history
of the world-famous historic site.
Of course, the 1836 battle probably is the most famous moment of the site's
history. That is what most people want to learn and read about, so it is no won-
der that author Edmonson has devoted most of his work to the period of
1830-1836. To his credit, Edmonson does try to put the entire history of the
Alamo in some historical perspective. The Spanish-Mexican period of the site is
covered in some detail as is the Alamo's later history. Edmonson also tries to
cover the more recent Alamo history or controversies. But here, a support of
Alamo conservative study seems to sneak out of the pages, particularly in the
now somewhat overdone discussion of the de la Pefia diary and the death of
David Crockett.
This is a popular if not sometimes conservative history of the Alamo. While
the book does not appear to be scholarly, the lack of footnotes hampers the
reader from checking out quotes and sources on his or her own. The bibliogra-
phy reveals a heavy use of secondary sources. In many ways the book seems to be
a retelling of the Alamo story from several other secondary sources and formu-
las. The chapter on the Alamo myth, mysteries, and misconceptions follows simi-
lar works done by Walter Lord and Wallace O. Chariton, while the Alamo movies
discussion follows ground already well traveled by Frank Thompson. Perhaps the
most rewarding information is Edmonson's own work on James Bowie, a subject
he has been researching for years. It is nice to see it in published form.
In recent years there has been a wealth of books published on the Alamo. A
few of these have endeavored to take the Alamo story to new ground. While Ed-
monson does take his reader through the history of the Alamo from mission to
fort to shrine, he does not particularly move the story or the discussion to new
ground.

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2001

Landmark Inn State Historical Park

Kevin R. Young

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed September 1, 2014.