My Booklist

General Texas History

  • Documents of Texas History

    by Ernest Wallace, David M. Vigness, and George B. Ward Year Published: Average
    Documents of Texas History, a valuable reference work for students, teachers, scholars and history aficionados, provides and in-depth, first-hand understanding of Texas history. Originally published in 1963, this edition has been updated to cover the last thirty years and includes 141 documents of a broad range of social, cultural and political events which have shaped the history of Texas and often affected the nation. The documents, drawn from a great number of sources, are prefaced by introductions which provide background and interpretation of the event or topic at hand. A valuable addition to libraries and an indispensable supplement to any work of Texas history. Simply a must have book as a teaching and learning tool in the classroom. A plethora of documents are present. No Texas History teacher should be without this book.

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  • Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State

    by Randolph B. Campbell Year Published: Average
    An easy to read and comprehensive account of Texas history. Just an amazing book for anyone wanting to know more about the history of the Lone Star State.

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  • Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans

    by T. R. Fehrenbach Year Published: Easy Reading
    While antiquated and somewhat outdated, Lone Star is still an informative and entertaining read due to T. R. Fehrenbach's narrative style of story telling. This book was responsible for fueling my passion for Texas history.

    Note: This book is available in our Library.
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  • Texas: Crossroads of North America

    by Jes?s F. De la Teja (Author), Paula Marks (Author), Ron Tyler (Author) Year Published: Challenging
    This superbly written book is a great reference tool. To all teachers of Texas History, this is a "must own" book.

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Early Texas History

  • A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca

    by Andre Resendez Year Published: Challenging
    A magnificent translation of Cabeza de Vaca's La Relacion, which delivers the first European account of Texas history. Once you begin reading, you simply can not put it down.

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  • No Settlement, No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada

    by Richard Flint Year Published: Challenging
    Between 1539 and 1542, two thousand indigenous Mexicans, led by Spanish explorers, made an armed reconnaissance of what is now the American Southwest. The Spaniards' goal was to seize control of the people of the region and convert them to the religion, economy, and way of life of sixteenth-century Spain. The new followers were expected to recognize don Francisco Vazquez de Coronado as their leader. The area's unfamiliar terrain and hostile natives doomed the expedition. The surviving Spaniards returned to Nueva España, disillusioned and heavily in debt with a trail of destruction left in their wake that would set the stage for Spain's conflicts in the future. Flint incorporates recent archaeological and documentary discoveries to offer a new interpretation of how Spaniards attempted to conquer the New World and insight into those who resisted conquest. A very good book on topic lacking in resources. Richard Flint does a superlative job of presenting the Coronado Entrada in amazing detail. I am impressed and by the vividness in which Flint conveys the vast trade networks which existed among Native American tribes of the period. This books starts a bit slow, but once you get into it, you can't put it down. A very challenging read.

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Texas History Related

  • A History of Latin America

    by Benjamin Keen and Keith Haynes Year Published: Average
    A good book for an overview of Latin American history. To truly understand Texas and Texans, it is vital to have a basic understanding of Latin American history.

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  • A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

    by Bartolome de Las Casas (Author), Nigel Griffin (Translator), Anthony Pagden (Introduction) Year Published: Challenging
    Published in 1552, Bartolome De Las Casas details the gripping and tragic conquest of the natives of the "Indies". De Las Casas, witnessed both the conquest of Cuba and the Americas. Las Casas became a priest of the Dominican order and went on to become an advocate for the natives in the path of Spain's conquest for land and riches. This book offers an alternative and far more realistic account of spanish conquest in comparison to what is found in "off the shelf" textbooks. A real eye opening read which begs the question, "does might make right?"

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  • Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old M

    Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico

    by Hugh Thomas Year Published: Challenging
    A fascinating and in depth account of Hernan Cortes's conquest of the Aztec empire. Going into more detail than Conquistador by Buddy Levy, Thomas provides more background information on the subject. While it may not be as "fun" as Levy's account of the fall of the Aztec empire, it nevertheless is just as engrossing, albeit for a more advanced reader.

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  • Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and t

    Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs

    by Buddy Levy Year Published: Challenging
    A book that truly proves that actual history is better than fiction. Buddy Levy's account of Hernan Cortes and his conquest of the Aztec empire is one of the most addicting reads I have ever come across. After reading this book, it is easy to see why Spain spent so much time questing for riches during the conquistador period of Texas history.

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  • The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico

    by Portillo, Lysander Kemp, and J. Jorge Klor de Alva Year Published: Challenging
    For hundreds of years, the history of the conquest of Mexico and the defeat of the Aztecs has been told in the words of the Spanish victors. Miguel León-Portilla has long been at the forefront of expanding that history to include the voices of indigenous peoples. In this new and updated edition of his classic The Broken Spears, León-Portilla has included accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries. These texts bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of an oral tradition that preserves the viewpoints of the vanquished instead of the victors. León-Portilla?s new Postscript reflects upon the critical importance of these unexpected historical accounts. A great book that offers the nonconventional point of view from the losing side of Spanish conquest. My only problem with this book is that much of the information came in the form of oral stories passed down from generation to generation, and I feel as though there is definitely information lost in the translation. Even with some flaws, it is still a very solid book.

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  • The Conquest of New Spain

    by Bernal Diaz Year Published: Challenging
    Vivid, powerful and absorbing, this is a first-person account of one of the most startling military episodes in history: the overthrow of Montezuma's doomed Aztec Empire by the ruthless Hernan Cortes and his band of adventurers. Bernal Diaz del Castillo, himself a soldier under Cortes, presents a fascinatingly detailed description of the Spanish landing in Mexico in 1520 and their amazement at the city, the exploitation of the natives for gold and other treasures, the expulsion and flight of the Spaniards, their regrouping and eventual capture of the Aztec capital.

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Alamo History

  • Duel of Eagles

    by Jeffrey Long Year Published: Challenging
    A great book about the history of the Alamo. While it may be true that Long uses a revisionist approach, much truth and useful information comes out of his work. I found this book refreshing, as far too often we are given the romanticized version of this epic event. Revisionist may "cry foul" at Long's approach due to his "Texas hero" bashing, but when used in conjunction with other resources such as Hardin's excellent Texian Iliad, a clear picture of this great historic event begins to develop. History after all is the search for the truth, and any book you pick up on this subject will contain a bias in one form or another. The only true way to get a well rounded understanding of the Alamo is to use multiple sources.

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  • Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution

    by Stephen L. Hardin Year Published: Average
    The Texian Iliad is a wonderful resource for Alamo historians, as it is well balanced and precise in detail. The story of the Alamo is rife with myth. Hardin's great work clarifies and debunks much Alamo myth, while focusing on well documented factual information presented in an easy to read and compelling format. No Alamo historian should miss this book.

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Specific Texas History

  • An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821-1865

    by Randolph B. Campbell Year Published: Challenging
    In the popular mind, Texas conjures up images of the Old West and freedom of the range. Campbell reminds us that Texas grew from Southern roots entangled in human bondage. By the Civil War, Texas had a slave area equal to Alabama and Mississippi and a slave population comparable to Virginia. In the first comprehensive study of slavery in Texas, Campbell offers useful chapters on the law, the domestic slave trade, Indian relations, labor, family, religion, and more, but his book is especially welcome because it pulls the focus on bondage away from the Chesapeake and the Carolinas to show slavery's expansive and adaptive power in the developing West. Slavery knew no bounds, as Lincoln always understood. Recommended for college and university libraries. A great account of the antebellum period (Before the Civil War), An Empire for Slavery demystifies one of the most defining periods of both Texas and American History with "cold hard" facts and data.

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  • From a Watery Grave: The Discovery and Excavation of La Salle's Shipwreck, La Belle

    by James E. Bruseth Toni S. Turner T. R. Fehrenbach(Foreword) Year Published: Average
    On a frigid, stormy day in February of 1686, a small French sailing ship lost control and ran aground in Matagorda Bay. The crew had braved an ocean voyage, attacks by pirates, raids by Native Americans, and ravaging diseases under the command of famed explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, hoping to establish a colony in the New World. Pounded in the Texas bay by gale-force winds and storm surges, La Belle finally slipped beneath the water and sank to the bottom, where it would remain for centuries. More than 300 years later, Texas Historical Commission archaeologists discovered La Belle's resting place. Using cutting-edge technology and scientific innovation, investigators excavated the shipwreck and salvaged from its watery grave more than a million artifacts, including bronze guns, muskets, trade beads, axes, rings, bells, dishes, medicines—everything a New World colony needed for survival. Authors James E. Bruseth and Toni S. Turner use vivid photographs and engaging descriptions to share the excitement of discovery as they piece together both the ship and its tragic story. For those interested in history, archaeology, or the quest for clues to the past, From a Watery Grave tells a riveting tale of nautical adventure in the seventeenth century and reveals modern scientific archaeology at its best. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Civil War Era

  • Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States)

    by James M. McPherson Year Published: Average
    Now featuring a new Afterword by the author, this handy paperback edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom is without question the definitive one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War including the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. From there it moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering by each side, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict. The South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war, slavery, and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty. Published in 1988 to universal acclaim, this single-volume treatment of the Civil War quickly became recognized as the new standard in its field. James M. McPherson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this book, impressively combines a brisk writing style with an admirable thoroughness. He covers the military aspects of the war in all of the necessary detail, and also provides a helpful framework describing the complex economic, political, and social forces behind the conflict. Perhaps more than any other book, this one belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff.

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  • The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set) [Box set]

    by Shelby Foote Year Published: Average
    Foote's comprehensive history of the Civil War includes three compelling volumes: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox. Collected together in a handsome boxed set, this is the perfect gift for any Civil War buff. Fort Sumter to Perryville "Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives of our century, a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters." ?Van Allen Bradley, Chicago Daily News "Anyone who wants to relive the Civil War, as thousands of Americans apparently do, will go through this volume with pleasure.... Years from now, Foote's monumental narrative most likely will continue to be read and remembered as a classic of its kind." ?New York Herald Tribune Book Review Fredericksburg to Meridian "This, then, is narrative history?a kind of history that goes back to an older literary tradition.... The writing is of the historical and literary achievements of our time." ?The Washington Post Book World " described with such meticulous attention to action, terrain, time, and the characters of the various commanders that I understand, at last, what happened in that battle.... Mr. Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist's skill in directing the reader's attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be bettered." ?Atlantic Red River to Appomattox "An unparalleled achievement, an American Iliad, a unique work uniting the scholarship of the historian and the high readability of the first-class novelist." ?Walker Percy "I have never read a better, more vivid, more understandable account of the savage battling between Grant's and Lee's armies.... Foote stays with the human strife and suffering, and unlike most Southern commentators, he does not take sides. In objectivity, in range, in mastery of detail in beauty of language and feeling for the people involved, this work surpasses anything else on the subject.... It stands alongside the work of the best of them." ?New Republic This beautifully written trilogy of books on the American Civil War is not only a piece of first-rate history, but also a marvelous work of literature. Shelby Foote brings a skilled novelist's narrative power to this great epic. Many know Foote for his prominent role as a commentator on Ken Burns's PBS series about the Civil War. These three books, however, are his legacy. His southern sympathies are apparent: the first volume opens by introducing Confederate President Jefferson Davis, rather than Abraham Lincoln. But they hardly get in the way of the great story Foote tells. This hefty three volume set should be on the bookshelf of any Civil War buff. --John Miller

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