H. W. Brands tells the turbulent story of Texas through the eyes of a colorful cast of characters who have become a permanent fixture in the American landscape: Stephen Austin, the state's reluctant founder; Sam Houston, the alcoholic former governor who came to lead the Texas army in its hour of crisis and glory; William Travis, James Bowie, and David Crockett, the unforgettable heroic defenders of the doomed Alamo; Santa Anna, the Mexican generalissimo and dictator whose ruthless tactics galvanized the colonists against him; and the white-haired President Andrew Jackson, whose expansionist aspirations loomed large in the background. Beyond these luminaries, Brands unearths the untold stories of the forgotten Texans, the slaves, women, unknown settlers, and children left out of traditional histories, who played crucial roles in Texas's birth.
By turns bloody and heroic, tragic and triumphant, this riveting history of one of our greatest states reads like the most compelling fiction, and further secures H. W. Brands' position as one of the premier American historians.
©2004 H.W. Brands; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
"It's hard to think that the story could be better told." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brands' impressive integrative account of the fabled Texas revolution of the 1830s relates key incidents and displays trenchant psychological insights, engraving both with the fundamental forces involved....[An] excellent, fair-minded chronicle." (Booklist)
"The author is so conversant with the intricacies of his subject that he assumes a degree of familiarity in the reader....Of the legendary characters who died there, Mr. Brands is notably clear-eyed." (The New York Times)
As a native Texan and student of Texas history I have to give H.W. Brands credit for producing such a comprehensive narrative of the people and events that led to Texas's fight for independence from Mexico and annexation into the United States. I have never seen a better explanation of the role Andrew Jackson and the U. S. government played in these events. I would recommend this book as a 'must read' for anyone with an interest in Texas History.
My only complaint is with the reader. Texas place names are famous for their excentricities of pronunciation. Hearing the reader repeatedly mispronounce the names of places like Bastrop, Brazoria, and San Jacinto, as well as his frequent mistakes with Spanish words and names,is like fingernails on a chalkboard to anyone familiar with the common pronunciations.
As a relatively new resident of Texas, I learned immediately that the people here take their state's history seriously. I consider myself a history buff and have dabbled in Texas History, but I must say that the most comprehensive book I have seen to date is this one. It is not simply filled with arcane facts, but the narrator brings the period to life. An enjoyable read.
I had expected a more wide ranging history of the state. Instead, I recieved an EXTREMELY detailed history of its devlopment around the Alamo fight time period. Good details on the players, and lots of material from the time period.
But I was expecting it to cover a greater period of time. When I got to halfway through the second part of the download and was still hearing about the same people, I gave up. Just sooo much detail of the same period. Good, but not what I washoping for...
So if you are looking for a well done coverage of the creation of the state, rather than a history of the state itself, then you will be happy.
Often an extremely detailed book like this can be boring. Not so with this author and narrator! Fascinating and informative - H.W.Brands brings this period of Texas history to life.
Insightful veiws. Extremely well read. Author doesn't hide anything. Exposes character flaws as well as integrity in some of the most well known figures in American history. Some of the language could have been worded better but over all one of the best books I've read/heard. If only they would have had text books like this one I would have done better in Texas History class. Explains much on the Texas Revolution and the events spawning it. You don't have to be a Texan to enjoy this one!
Yes. As a new Texan resident who's raising children in the Lonestar State, this book gives me a thorough understanding of our new home's heritage.
I enjoyed getting to know the lives of the Texas "founders" before they came to Texas.
As a daily 2-hour commuter, audio books make it possible for me to be a "reader" again. Carving out additional time would be nearly impossible with work and family obligations.
Yes. I looked forward to every drive so I could hear what happens next.
An absorbing history, sweeping in scope, thrilling in incident, uncommonly well written and superbly read. One of the best audiobooks I have encountered.
H W Brands is fast becoming one of the best writers of history. He will not lose any fans with this book. Texas has always been a source of rich history and as usual Bill Brands tells the story with flair.
Fascinating history and extremely well written. But, in the end, when you think about it, we just took it. History has a way of repeating itself everywhere, and memories are short. So it goes.
The history of Texas is unique. This book was a great place to start my study of the state in advance of a visit to Austin, TX.
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