Crisp, James E. Sleuthing the Alamo: Davey Crockett's Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2005.
Sleuthing the Alamo: Davey Crockett’s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution is more about the issue of racism than it is about history itself. The author does make several good points and gives historical documentation to back up his points such as the diary of Jose` Enrique de la Pena. However, the book has a lot of opinion mixed in with fact. Crisp does not get an overview of the battle of the Alamo from both sides but takes his opinion from the Mexican standpoint and the standpoint of a German soldier. There is just enough fact to confuse a person who has not studied the history of the Alamo. Attention needs to be given to the few survivors of the Alamo on the Texas side.
The whole first chapter of this book is devoted to the author’s childhood and racism during the civil rights movement which has nothing at all to do with the Alamo. This being said, I would not read this book again due to so many factors that lean towards the author’s own opinion. The Alamo was a turning point in the history of Texas in its quest to become free and independent of Mexico. Crisp does bring this point up and then turns it towards it being a racial war between Mexicans and Anglo-Saxons. The Alamo battle began February 23, 1836 and lasted 13 days until March 6, 1836. Crisp shows the account in the most part through the eyes of a Mexican soldier, de la Pena. According to de la Pena’s recount of the battle, the Alamo was a disgrace due to Santa Anna’s dictatorship and lack of compassion. There were seven hostages taken, including Davey Crockett, and they were immediately executed, according to de la Pena. Historians have debated over this since the war ended. Crisp in his book is defending his point of view instead of giving complete factual...