Has anyone read Robert Morgan's Lions of the West? It came out in October and covers the time period between the birth of Jefferson and the California Gold Rush, with some significant pages (I'm guessing or maybe hoping) spent on Texas.
"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
Post by Allen Wiener on Dec 14, 2011 22:09:50 GMT -5
I've only thumbed through it and I see nothing new. It looks like a glorified version of what's known in the publishing business as a "roundup book," combining chapters and individual subjects that are somehow tied together thematically, although lumping Crockett with Jefferson is a bit of a stretch. From what I saw, it looks like no original research and no new information, but a rehash of older works cast in the author's own efforts to create a theme out of the different lives. Not on my list.
“I knew, even as a boy, that to love this world one must keep one’s distance” -- Bishop Daisy - "King of Hearts"
Thanks for the input Allen and Jim, I will mark that one off my Xmas list. I had an Alamo visitor mention the book and was curious. On the subject of books, have you or any other ASF members read Rise of the Lone Star: The Making of Texas? The author is Andreas V. Reichstein. It was published in German about 20 years ago and translated into English and published by TAMU press. That also was mentioned to me by another visitor.
Post by Allen Wiener on Dec 16, 2011 15:34:12 GMT -5
One of these days I'm going to take on the Morris trilogy, but I am a much slower reader than Jim. I hope he didn't invent characters or dialog, which I heard he had done with the Reagan book.
I just finished End of Empire and have started A New history of the Cold War. Still perusing Zaboly's new tome as well.
I can't find any info on the Lancashire-Alamo connection. Hiram, in your research, how useful is Groneman's Alamo Defenders? Seems there's a lot we don't know about many Alamo defenders, including who they all were.
Nor have I seen or previously heard of Rise of the Lone Star: The Making of Texas; might be worth a look. Here's a link to the paperback (English translation) edition on Amazon:
Post by Jim Boylston on Dec 16, 2011 16:15:18 GMT -5
I found Morris' first volume, "The Rise of TR," to be a more compelling story than, "Theodore Rex," but that has little to do with Morris' style and more to do with the time period he's writing about. In some ways Roosevelt's presidency seems anticlimactic because he'd accomplished so much before his White House years. Roosevelt the politician is, well, a politician. Say no more.
Morris' use of a fictional narrator in his Reagan bio was roundly panned, but it was a literary device. He didn't falsify the historical record, as far as I know. His technique in the Roosevelt trilogy is straightforward...I think he learned his lesson.
"The only thing new in this world is the history that you don't know." -- HST
Post by Allen Wiener on Dec 16, 2011 21:06:50 GMT -5
I think that's the only rap he took for any of his writing and has otherwise received nothing but solid praise. The more I've learned about TR, the more fascinating a character he has become. He seems to be one guy who did not need any false legends built up around him since his actual experiences were so extraordinary. As to his stint as a politician, I found the book "1912" pretty compelling; an election not entirely unlike the one we have embarked on for 2012 (ironically!). TR actually comes off pretty well in that, although Taft does too. Ironically, Wilson, the most manipulative and disingenuous politician of the bunch ended up winning. Had TR not bolted the Republican Party, or had Taft stepped aside for him, the Republicans would have won easily.
I think TR's greatest regret was that his presidency lacked one of the country's most important crises; something of the sort that elevated Washington, Lincoln and FDR to the status of our greatest presidents. The author of "1912" suggests that, had TR won instead of Wilson, the U.S. would have entered WWI much sooner and it thus would have ended sooner with far fewer casualties. TR certainly was quite vocal in his criticism of Wilson's handling of the war, but how much difference he would have made is, at best, an educated guess.