book hack

Forget the Alamo

Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, Jason Stanford

5 mins

3 key insights

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Forget the Alamo deconstructs the white supremacist narrative according to which the only heroes of the battle of the Alamo were the white insurrectionists who lost the fight.

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Forget the Alamo

Forget the Alamo

by Bryan Burrough

Overview

'Remember the Alamo' is a familiar refrain for Americans of a certain age, especially Texans. The myth of the battle in San Antonio, a town in the northeast Mexican province of Tejas, in 1836 has been immortalized in movies by the likes of John Wayne.

The dominant narrative is that the small group of white American colonists who were overwhelmed by Mexican forces was fighting for freedom from an oppressive Mexican regime. This line has infused school history books and social dynamics in Texas ever since.

But it omits the truth, according to authors and journalists Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford. In their 2021 book, Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth, the trio examines the dark, underlying motivation of the colonists, the historical accuracy of the event in its political context, and the continuing fallout over whose version of history is more widely acknowledged.

Favorite quote

Given the fact that its defenders were fighting to form what became the single most militant slave nation in history … one would think the post–George Floyd era might have brought to Texas a long-overdue reevaluation of its history.

- B. Burrough, C. Tomlinson, and J. Stanford

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