As someone that talks to the public on a daily basis (about the Alamo) , I find the Texian Iliad is a very important book. It places the Alamo in context and helps explain the many conflicts and politics of Texas at that time.
If we can't add this book to the Five Essential Alamo Books, let's make it # 6.
Post by Allen Wiener on Apr 25, 2009 13:53:06 GMT -5
If you go back to the very first post on this thread you will see that Wolfpack had it at #5; I agree with you whole-heartedly; "Texian Illiad" remains a key Alamo book, especially to a beginner that wants the Alamo placed in a larger context and a thorough military history of the Texas revolution. In truth, I guess most of us would have a hard time narrowing it down to 5, so it's always a tough choice.
“I knew, even as a boy, that to love this world one must keep one’s distance” -- Bishop Daisy - "King of Hearts"
Although this is one of the oldest threads on the forum, I've procrastinated in posting my five most essential titles. These are the ones I reach for the most, so for me they are "essential":
1. Todd Hansen, ed., The Alamo Reader: A Study in History (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2003. It's by no means complete, but it presents an unbelievable amount of documents into its 837 pages.
2. George Nelson, The Alamo: An Illustrated History (Uvalde, Texas: Aldine Press, 1998). Although some of the original paintings are a bit dated and have innacuracies, many, if not most, of the important historic paintings, drawings, maps, and photographs of the Alamo are collected between two covers.
3. Mark Lemon, The Illustrated Alamo 1836 (Abilene, Texas: State House Press, 2008). Want a deeply researched best estimate of the look and feel of the Alamo at the time of the battle? Here you go.
4. Stephen L. Hardin, Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994). IMO, the best synthesis of the military side of the revolution.
5. Vicente Filisola, Memorias para la Historia de la Guerra de Texas (México: Ignacio Cumplido, 1849). A good account from the Mexican side by a participant. Although it's been translated, go for the Cumplido edition if you read Spanish.
If we were going for a top ten essential Alamo books, I'd have to add Lord's A Time to Stand, Huffines' Blood of Noble Men, de la Peña; Fox, Bass and Hester's The Archaeology and History of Alamo Plaza, and Davis' Three Roads to the Alamo. And, from the chapters I've read of Jake Ivey's in-progress "Mission to Fortress," that one will be on many "five best" lists when it's finally published.
Post by Paul Sylvain on Apr 27, 2009 20:27:19 GMT -5
And maybe a Top 10 is the way this should go, given the length and breadth of the subject and the various aspects of the subject covered by the books mentioned. I still enjoy books like A Time To Stand. Even though many newer books reflecting more current research have since been published, it doesn't diminish from the value of Lord's work.
And maybe a Top 10 is the way this should go, given the length and breadth of the subject and the various aspects of the subject covered by the books mentioned.
Well, Five is certainly an arbitrary number, but deliberately so. As stated near the top of this thread, this is a frequently asked question, especially with people fairly new to studying the Alamo. The intent here is to provide only a short list of books that are probably the most valuable, and would allow somebody to fully participate in the debates that "sometimes" take place on the forum.
A much more complete list of works that members have found valuable is listed under the thread "Bibliography".
The list of five essential Alamo books is meant to be a consensus of all the members, so whenever there is a call to make changes, it'll be so.
BTW, Texian Iliad as been listed as a member of the Five Essential Alamo Books. since this thread was started. So far the only person who has objected that it doesn't belong there as been its author!
Some folks learn by reading, some folks learn by seeing, and some folks just got to pee on the electric fence.
Let's not forget Richard Santos' Santa Anna's Campaign in Texas', though out of print, most libraries in Texas carry this work...a fine addition,..also the publications by Roger Borrel and Rene Chartrand....the ultimate biography of the trinity is Davis' Three Roads to the Alamo.....
Finally I still have my Frederick Ray booklet!....Can't help it,....love the illustrations!......adios!
Post by Paul Sylvain on Oct 12, 2009 7:37:26 GMT -5
While at the Alamo Saturday, I picked up George Nelson's "The Alamo -- An Illustrated History". Apparently this is a 2009 edition with forward by Phil Collins. George was present in the gift shop and signed it.
In my opinion this makes a wonderful complimentary volume to Mark Lemon's fantastic book. Mark focuses on individual pieces of the Alamo compound and adds a lot of detail to the various parts. George's book, meanwhile, includes so much background detail. I love the maps and views of Bexar and the compound over the centuries.
To have all these photos and drawings and other material in one volume makes this book a great resource in itself. At a quick glance, the two books might appear to be very similar, but don't judge these books by their covers (in this case literally). They are quite different and both are invaluable to getting a lay of the land and for understanding the evolution of San Antonio and the Plaza. Nelson's book is especially helpful on the latter.
Point is, both books should have a place in an expanded list of "must-have volumes on the Alamo.
Post by Paul Sylvain on Oct 12, 2009 10:34:32 GMT -5
They have hard-back and soft-back, both the same size. I grabbed a soft-back copy only because the hard-bound copy of Mark's book, which I bought earlier in the year, is kind of warping (don't know why) and I find it's easier to flip through and find things in the softer cover version. I'll probably get a soft-cover version of Mark's book at some point in time.
But yes, it's a new edition of George Nelson's book, according to the book's notes.