The book I chose for my report is Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett’s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution by James E. Crisp. In my book, Crisp follows the Texas Revolution along with the battle at the Alamo which took place between 1835 and 1836. He tackles the questions of why and how myths are made and shows how the environment around someone can influence attitudes that people develop about certain historical events. Crisp also challenges are beliefs of history and wants us to realize that just because it’s in a history book doesn’t mean that it’s 100% accurate. Instead, we should judge history just like any other subject and read the facts for ourselves and come up with our own conclusion on whether or not we believe the story.
His main thesis is that each person’s background and upbringing can greatly change how they view one historical event compared to the next person. Crisp begins his analysis with his own life story that began in a small town in southern Texas. Crisp tells of the racism and segregation that happened in his small town and even in college at Rice University, which I believe influences some of his opinions in this book. Crisp also talks of how important legends were in his upbringing as a child. He also says that sometimes we are taught legends in school, even though the actual real history might not even be close to the legend. He does say he would rather know the true historical facts, rather than believe a legend that isn’t true.
Fidel Castro – Biography of Fidel Castro Fidel Castro was born on August 14, 1927 in Mayari, Cuba. His parents were relatively wealthy and owned a sugarcane plantation. During his childhood, he attended private Catholic Schools and graduated to attend the University of Havana in 1945. His teachers immediately noticed Fidel’s amazing memory, which he used to memorize entire books. At ...
He even goes on to say that he was disappointed when he found the truth of Davy Crockett’s end; however he was glad to finally know the real truth of how his end came. Crisp starts his historical analysis out with the topic of the speech made by Sam Houston to his troops regarding Native American’s and Mexican’s. Many articles had accused Houston of being a racist in this speech and using several improper remarks. However Crisp says that the main problem with this speech is that it was written originally in German and a lot of scholars were using the interpretation, which was inaccurate, to assume that Houston was using racial slurs.
After this, Crisp goes on to say that we need to examine the people who actually write these articles for accuracy more. Next, Crisp goes into my favorite parts, which are the De Le Pena diaries. This is a diary, written by Enrique De Le Pena, which claims to be a first hand account of what actually happened at the Alamo, including what happened with Davy Crockett. Pena say’s that the glorious legend of Crockett going out with guns a blazing are simply not true, and that he surrendered, was a prisoner, and then executed. This ruffled a lot of feather when the diary was found, because as Crisp himself was, many Texans and others had been brought up to believe the legend that Crockett did in fact go out fighting. However, Crisp says that once again the previous historians, didn’t actually stick to the facts, because at the time America was in a war with Mexico and the story of Crockett going out fighting sounded better then him surrendering.
This is why Crisp says to know what was going on at the time the paper was written is very important. He says that sometimes historians get sucked into what is going on around them, and writes things inaccurately without even realizing their doing it. He also says that people need to accept the fact that some myths and legends are just that, myths and legends. He tells of author Dan Kilgore getting death threats because in his book, “How Did Davy Die?” he challenged the myth of Crockett going out fighting. I agree with Crisp that I would rather know the real truth, then to go on believing something to be true that is completely inaccurate. In the end of the book, Crisp makes one of my favorite comparisons that historians writing a paper are much like a painter using a paintbrush.
[English Regents-Part I] Recently I heard a speech from Dr. Mortimer Alder about the value of book ownership is that readers can write in their books. I believe that Dr. Mortimer Alder is correct. There are two ways to own a book the first way is the property right you establish by paying for it, just like you pay for clothes and furniture. The second way of owning a book is make it part of ...
The name of the last chapter is actually, the paintbrush and the knife, because he say’s the writer is using a paintbrush to paint history for the audience of what happened at that time in history. Therefore, he says that we have to be careful because that can be dangerous like a knife. You have to make sure what you’re writing is accurate, or you can paint the wrong history for the reader, just as if a painter made a wrong brush stroke and ruined the painting. Overall, this book is a must read for anyone who is interested in history, and thinks they know what really happened. This book may just make you go back, and look up some of your favorite history stories and put them to the test!