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Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of the American Myth – Author Talk

Oct 22, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Three noted Texan writers combine forces to tell the real story of the Alamo, dispelling the myths, exploring why they had their day for so long, and explaining why the ugly fight about its meaning is now coming to a head.
The City of Austin’s Museums and Cultural Programs Division of the Parks and Recreation Department is delighted to host a socially-distanced outdoor event in honor of this important and timely project, with three writers who make their home in Austin, Texas.
About the Authors:
Bryan Burrough is the author of six books, including The Big Rich, Days of Rage, Public Enemies, and the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Barbarians at the Gate.
Chris Tomlinson is a columnist for the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News and the author of the New York Times-bestselling Tomlinson Hill about his family’s slave-owning history in Texas. From 1995-2007, he reported from more than 30 countries and nine wars for the Associated Press.
Jason Stanford is a writer whose bylines have appeared in Texas Monthly, the Austin-American Statesman, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, the Texas Tribune, and Texas Highways. The former communications director for Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Stanford previously worked as a political consultant and helped elect or re-elect more than 30 members of congress. He now publishes a weekly newsletter called The Experiment.
Most Americans know the story of the Battle of the Alamo as the iconic stand led by Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Barret Travis, and other rebels who gallantly fought for independence from Mexico, losing the battle but setting Texas up to win the war. It is an origin story that has become the beating heart of Texas exceptionalism. The legend is also an American touchstone, a symbol of national resolve. But as Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford definitively show in a myth-busting new book, that version of event sows more to fantasy than reality. Painstakingly researched and thrillingly told, Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth (Penguin Press), is a clear-eyed and fascinating look at the Alamo myth, its creation and its stubborn endurance—from the historic battle to the present day. Texas, in its first bloody fifteen years as an Anglo colony, profited from slave labor. Stephen F. Austin, known as the “Father of Texas,” felt that Americans would only move to Texas to farm cotton using slave labor. He wasn’t alone. The “heroes” of the Alamo included slave traders, slave owners, drunks, swindlers, and political failures who fought to keep slavery alive and well in Texas; Mexico sought to abolish slavery. And unsurprisingly, few people acknowledge that Tejanos, or Texans of Mexican descent who originally fought alongside the Anglo rebels, played a key role in the battle.
The audiobook is available online.


Zilker Park
2207 Lou Neff Rd
Austin, TX 78746 United States
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