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Exodus from the Alamo : The Anatomy of the Last Stand Myth
A Selection of the Military and History Book Clubs
A startling new analysis of one of America's most glorious battles . . .
Contrary to movie and legend, we now know that the defenders of the Alamo in the war for Texan independence--including Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and William B. Travis--did not die under brilliant sunlight, defending their positions against hordes of Mexican infantry. Instead the Mexicans launched a predawn attack, surmounting the walls in darkness, forcing a wild melee inside the fort before many of its defenders had even awoken.
In this book, Dr. Tucker, after deep research into recently discovered Mexican accounts and the forensic evidence, informs us that the traditional myth of the Alamo is even more off-base: most of the Alamo's defenders died in breakouts from the fort, cut down by Santa Anna's cavalry that had been pre-positioned to intercept the escapees.
To be clear, a number of the Alamo's defenders hung on inside the fort, fighting back every way they could. Captain Dickinson, with cannon atop the chapel (in which his wife hid), fired repeatedly into the Mexican throng of enemy cavalry until he was finally cut down. The controversy on Crockett still remains, though the recently authenticated diary of the Mexican de la Pena offers evidence that he surrendered.
The most startling aspect of this book is that most of the Texans, in two gallantly led groups, broke out of the fort after the enemy had broken in, and the primary fights took place on the plain outside. Still fighting desperately, the Texans' retreat was halted by cavalry, and afterward Mexican lancers plied their trade with bloodcurdling charges into the midst of the remaining resisters.
Notoriously, Santa Anna burned the bodies of the Texans who had dared stand against him. As this book proves in thorough detail, the funeral pyres were well outside the fort--that is, where the two separate groups of escapers fell on the plain, rather than in the Alamo itself.
PHILLIP THOMAS TUCKER earned his Ph.D. in American History from St. Louis University in 1990. The author or editor of more than 20 books on military history, several of which have won national and state awards for scholarship, he has worked as a U.S. Air Force Historian for nearly two decades in Washington, DC.
Part of the Casemate fall blow-out sale.
"...an eye opening reappraisal of what really happened during the Alamo siege, final assault and aftermath...Tucker's well researched account dramatically rewrites long-accepted history and shatters some of the most cherished and enduring myths about the 1836 battle. "
ARMCHAIR GENERAL , 2010-08-20
"I disagree with many things in Exodus from the Alamo but it deserves a reading."
THE ALAMO JOURNAL , 2010-06-01
"Those convinced that the 1836 Alamo battle was a heroic last stand will hate this book. Readers open to new interpretations, however, will find compelling arguments within its well-researched pages. The author, a historian who has written or edited many books involving 19th-century military campaigns, believes the Alamo defenders were overwhelmed in a surprise night attack, not a daylight assault, and many of them died outside the fort while trying to escape through Mexican lines."
DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2010-04-25
provides long overdue corrections to the Alamo story, this should be read by scholars and lay people alike
LIBRARY JOURNAL , 2010-03-15
"Over the years, a few scholars and history buffs have indicated that some aspects of the Alamo story may not have occurred as commonly believed. Now military historian Tucker (Burnside's Bridge) has used letters and reports of Mexican officers written immediately after the skirmish to show that almost everything we know about the fight at the Alamo is a myth. He explains that what drew Americans to Texas was cheap land that could be used for plantations worked by slaves, indicating that the Texas independence movement was designed to preserve slavery in Texas against a Mexican government that wanted to abolish the institution. Tucker demonstrates that the battle of the Alamo was in reality a 20-minute predawn skirmish of no military significance, one that literally caught the militarily inexperienced and overconfident defenders asleep in their beds. When aroused, they resorted to their natural instincts and fled (hence the title here), only to be cut down by Mexican cavalry. VERDICT As Tucker provides long-overdue corrections to the Alamo story unknown to most readers, this should be read by scholars and lay readers alike. . . ."
LIBRARY JOURNAL , 2010-03-01
An interesting, detailed study. Recommended
CHOICE , 2011-01-01
"...uses recently discovered Mexican accounts and archaeological and forensic evidence to break down the "Last Stand Myth"...By recounting the Battle from a new point of view, Tucker attempts to break down the racism against the Tejano and Mexican people fueled by Alamo legends."
UNIVERSITAS, SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY , 2011-01-01
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Casemate Publishers & Book Distributors, LLC
March 15, 2010
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