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William C. Davis
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William C. Davis, a distinguished Civil War historian and biographer, illuminates the great western migration of the early 19th century through these remarkable figures-- representative of the three distinct types of men responsible for pushing American civilization west of the Mississippi.
Through tremendous research and with unprecedented access to Mexican military archives, Davis strips away the many layers of myth, legend and fable that surrounded Crockett, Bowie and Travis during their lives and, even more emphatically, after their deaths, portraying them as they really were-- heroic and unheroic, of great stature and deeply flawed, law abiding and lawbreaking.
Crockett stood for the thousands who were always on the edge of the wilderness, for whom no home was ever permanent. Bowie epitomized those who invariably followed the entrepreneurs and exploiters, the men who profited, often outside the law, and moved on to the next potential bonanza. And Travis was the man of community and society, the lawgiver, the town builder, even the founder of a state or nation-- one of the millions who came to stay and create.
Though Travis, Crockett and Bowie came from different backgrounds and began their lives in different parts of the country at different times, they were united by their Scots-Irish heritage; by the restlessness and ambition that kept pushing them west to the frontier, which moved with them; by their involvement in the Texas settlement and revolution; and most famously by their meeting at the crossroads of the Alamo in the swift and deadly battle of March 6, 1836.
Because of their reputations and actions, these three men are deservedly the most legendary heroes of the Alamo. However, Davis has uncovered and reconstructed much of what actually happened, and he frequently challenges or debunks other versions of the battle, which have prevailed for more than a century.
Revealing, persuasive and controversial, "Three Roads to the Alamo"makes a significant contribution to American history and permanently changes and deepens our understanding and perception of the Alamo and these three American icons. "Three Roads to the Alamo" is a Main Selection of the History Book Club, an Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and an Alternate Selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club
"Exhaustive research by a master practitioner sweeps aside layers of legendry to reveal three giants of the Alamo in their true character and significance. "Three Roads to the Alamo" will occupy the authoritative high ground for years to come." --Robert M. Utley, author of 13 books on western American history
"William C. Davis's "Three Roads to the Alamo" is far and away the best account of the Alamo I have ever read. The portraits of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis are brilliantly sketched in a fast-moving story that keeps the reader riveted to the very last word." --Stephen B. Oates, author of "The Whirlwind of War" and "The Approaching Fury"
"In weaving the three strands of his narrative... Davis evokes boisterous Jacksonian America. His 187 pages of notes attest to the thoroughness of his research.... Davis's] relentless search for facts... may be the best way to reduce romantic myths to reality." --Publishers Weekly
""Three Roads to the Alamo" is a major contribution to both Texas and American history... The mastery of its execution surpasses the book's ambitious scope. The day it appeared, Davis's treatment instantly supplanted all other single biographies of each of these individuals... "What makes this book so valuable is Davis's steadfast refusal to buy into the accepted myth. He provides so much new information on characters Americans thought they knew, it is like meeting them anew.... "The depth and breadth of research that informs the narrative are nothing less than awe inspiring... A brilliant narrative. Davis is a writer of power, wisdom and sensitivity. Every page breathes new life to figures that mythology and sloppy research had all but shrouded... A great book... "Three Roads to the Alamo" stands as an important publishing event that will substantially alter public understanding of its protagonists." --South Texas Studies
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