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The Blood of Heroes

The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo - and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation
Narrated by: James Donovan
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Blood of Heroes is the gripping and definitive chronicle of the iconic battle that inspired a nation - a sweeping saga of 200 brave Americans who stood tall against an overwhelmingly superior Mexican force.

On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a group of roughly 200 Americans holed up in an abandoned mission just east of San Antonio, Texas. For nearly two weeks, the massive force lay siege to the makeshift fort, spraying its occupants with unremitting waves of musket and cannon fire. Then, on March 6th, at 5:30 A.M., the Mexican troops unleashed a final devastating assault: divided into four columns, they rushed into the Alamo and commenced a deadly hand-to-hand fight. The Americans, despite being hugely outnumbered, fought valiantly - for themselves and for a division of an independent Texas. In the end, they were all slaughtered.

Drawing upon newly available primary sources, The Blood of Heroes is the definitive account of this epic battle. Populated by larger-than-life characters - including Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis - it is a dynamic story of courage, sacrifice, and redemption.

©2012 James Donovan (P)2012 Hachette

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Blood and History Runs Off Every Page

I am a Texan and carry all of that tradition which my birthright entails. I also thought that T. R. Fehrenbach’s Texas History (Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans) was the best book I had read on the state’s history (or the history of The Republic more accurately). Those things remain true, but James Donovan’s The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo – and the Sacrifice that Forged a Nation is a great addition to the literature. On February 23, 1836 Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo. Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis made their stand with about 175 others. This book first reminded me of the stories supporting Wilder’s Bridge of San Luis Rey. Donovan presents the lives of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis along with the forces that brought them to the Alamo and their fates. Then he details the battle. The Mexican perspective takes some prominence here since everyone contained in the Alamo ultimately died during the battle of the Alamo. Certain questions remaining from those fateful days are entertained by Donovan. Did Travis draw a line in the dust? Did Crocket really go down fighting? Was there, indeed, one member of the Alamo’s residents who escaped? Donovan presents the evidence as it is currently available. Fehrenbach is still my favorite historian, but Donovan also makes me appreciate the historian’s task and talent. After reading this volume you will want to visit Bastrop and Nacogdoches for sure. If you are a Texan, don’t miss this book. If you aren’t a Texan you might understand us a little better if you read it. The author reads his own work and does a great job.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read

I can't recommend this book enough. It's a meticulously researched and fair history of the Texas revolution and the people who fought on both sides. From the common-man liberty-loving colonists and Tejano volunteers who answered the call of revolution and the Mexican conscripts and prisoners forced to march hundreds of miles to Legendary leaders, Houston, Travis, Crockett, Bowie, Pena and the tyrannical despot Santa Anna, James Donavan brings history to life. Despite the title the book covers more the war from the revolution inciting incidents to final battle at San Jacinto and everything in between, this book presents true story as experienced from both sides of the war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Remember...

I wasn't born in Texas, so I never knew much about the Alamo or any of the Texas heroes. After reading Donovan's outstanding book, that is no longer the case.

First of all, this book shockingly well researched, from both the Texas and Mexican sides. Second, Donovan writes this like a novel, which adds more character and excitement than one typically finds in a history book. Also, I'm a big fan of authors reading their own works, especially when they are this good. Very highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Alamo as it really occurred

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. A well written, engrossing account of the fall of the Alamo. Well researched and reads like a thriller, even though we know the outcome in advance.

What did you like best about this story?

The clear, lucid description of the final assault

Have you listened to any of James Donovan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nono

Any additional comments?

Donovan gives fascinating details and insight into the lives of the main characters involved,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Details of Texas history

Donovan does a great job of researching both sides of this battle and puts together a very detailed account of what likely really happened at the Alamo.

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  • Don Roper
  • Grand Prairie, TX, United States
  • 04-29-19

Great history!

Gives some great details from both sides concerning details of the battle. The best example is the author's detailed research concerning the story of Travis and the line in the sand. After hearing both sides, I am convinced some type of drawing a line was done by Travis and a choice given. Maybe not like the movies but something like that. VERY IMPRESSED with the research done. No bias as so many of the revisionist historians that love trying to just show the bad in historical figures so this is one of the greatest even handed books on the subject.

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  • Tarzan
  • APO, AE, United States
  • 11-29-18

Excellent and detailed

Well written and well researched. Highly recommended.
P.S. James Donovan, it isn’t the ‘CALvary’, its the ‘CAValry’. That just about did my head in hearing you say ‘calvary’ a thousand times

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A Revelation

I'm a born and raised Texan. I never knew some of the details surrounding Texas' independence. This is a well written and told historical book.

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Very enjoyable to listen to.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Follows up in the end with source references about key and controversial elements of the story. Well written and well read.

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Texas history accurately and dramatically told

This is an accurate and well produced Historic account of the Texas Revolution and the Alamo.

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  • IYER
  • 12-24-12

Detailed

Picking up just one episode in American history and building a whole narrative around it would not be an easy task, but the author manages to do it in an interesting manner, by painting wonderful word pictures of the backgrounds of the various protagonists in this history. Even someone (like me) with a limited knowledge of American history found the book both educative and entertaining.

James Donovan has narrated the book himself, and as is often the case when the author and narrator are the same, this adds to the pleasure of listening to the audiobook.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful