On June 20, 2021 Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stafford was released. I bought it that morning and read it over the next few days. I thought the book was very good but I must admit I really never cared about the Alamo all that much. The main reason I read it was because I knew my local independent bookseller, who has become an important personal friend, would be fascinated by it. Well, I think I failed to look beyond the obvious and the book has become much, much more important in the short interim.
The book is a very readable but scholarly exploration of the history of the Alamo and Texas. In its latter parts it gets into the considerable and sustained right wing efforts to uphold the myth and suppress the truth. In a nutshell the Alamo wasn’t all that important, the tales of heroism are mostly just that – tales, and Texas was all about slavery with a dose of xenophobia/racism (as if slavery wasn’t racist enough) thrown in.
As part of their book tour the authors were scheduled to speak before what promised to be a large crowd at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Despite, (or perhaps largely because of), several hundred reservations, at close to the eleventh hour the event was cancelled mainly due to the intervention of Republican Lt. Governor Dan Patrick with assists from Republican United States Senator Ted Cruz, Republican Land Commissioner and current candidate for Texas Attorney General George P. Bush (yes, from that Bush family and the only one of them to support Trump), and Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
This is what makes the book more important; it is unmasking the Republicans’ war on the truth. Remember I have repeatedly written that one of the three pillars holding up the current Republican Party is the promotion of ignorance. They are the fake news! Without the myths it is exposed for the lies it is. Why do you think they fought, and continue to fight, critical thinking?
A few weeks ago, the big cry from the right was cancel culture. They contended they were being censored. Remember this is the same crew that claims that whites and Christians are being persecuted in America which happens to be a country where the majority is white, whites certainly have the most wealth and power and of those claiming a religion Christianity is certainly the most prominent. Wouldn’t the cancelling of this event via political pressure be at the least be hypocritical?
Hopefully this maneuver has backfired. I think the book received more publicity in the past few days than pre-release and its first few weeks on the market combined. For my small part I have added it to this site’s Recommended Reading List. I still don’t care all that much about the Alamo but I care about the truth. This trio pulled what I call a Harry Truman – the told the truth on them. As in President Truman’s famous (but under taught) 1948 quip, the Republicans now feel like they are in Hell.
Oh, and to my buddy Dave: make sure you read the book if you haven’t already!
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One thought on “Much More Important”
Texas!…It’s like a whole ‘nother (third world) country!
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