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Sam Houston Paperback – August 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (August 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806136448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806136448
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.7 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

There is no shortage of good biographies of Houston, and the bicentennial of his birth (1993) created a cottage industry of lives, such as Marshall de Bruhl's Sword of San Jacinto (LJ 2/15/93) and John Hoyt Williams's Sam Houston: A Biography of the Father of Texas (LJ 12/92), both out of print. Haley (Texas: From Frontier to Spindletop) argues that most biographies fail to provide a completely accurate picture of the man and that, despite over 60 biographies, Houston remains a mystery in many ways. Using an amazing array of primary source materials, including many recently discovered Houston papers in scattered collections, Haley explores a more personal angle, looking at what "made Houston tick" by examining topics that were important to Houston himself (e.g., Native American dealings). From his rise and fall in Tennessee politics and through his many roles in Texas, Haley paints a lively picture of a sometimes deeply troubled man. While this is not a definitive biography, it is a refreshing, important look at a weighty yet often overlooked figure in American politics. Ample illustrations and Haley's easy style make the book accessible to lay readers, while his exhaustive research should appeal to academics. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Mike Miller, Dallas P.L.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James L. Haley is an independent scholar living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of numerous books, including The Buffalo War: The History of the Red River Indian Uprising of 1874 and Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait (OU Press).


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I love this book for several reasons.
gringogigante
With impressive scholarship, the book is well written and enjoyable to read.
William Allison
James Haley's "Sam Houston" is a great read.
Texas Bob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Texas Bob on May 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
James Haley's "Sam Houston" is a study into a man's soul. Using new resources he has humanized the man and the legend. Mr. Haley has done the best possible job of getting into the head of Sam Houston and explaining his life long habits without falling into the easy trap of revisionism. As a matter of fact in my mind he is a champion of the facts, using common sense logic when faced with the incompleteness of facts that is often found in history. He often has to navigate through the propaganda of the day and connect the dots with the straight edge of reality. This is well demonstrated by the facts presented about the biggest Sam Houston mystery of all, why his marriage with Miss Eliza Allen failed. You will have to read the book to find the answers.
Easy to read for the casual reader, well noted for the serous researcher. James Haley's "Sam Houston" is a great read.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The question begs asking -- "Who is James L. Haley?" -- because this author has come forward without a lofty academic post and shown the cheek to produce what is probably the finest modern biography of Houston yet written.
With several dozen good biographies of Houston already in print, James L. Haley went the extra mile and built a terrific book based mostly on primary sources, many if not most of them apparently first mined by him. He appears to do research the old-fashioned way -- in archives, accosting private collectors, and pursuing the odd distant family source as well. At a time when the lions of academia are being dragged through the mud of plagiarism and scandal, blithely recasting and repackaging the hard work of others, Haley's work-ethic -- which is purely Puritan -- is pure refreshment to find.
His book has more heart and soul than either Marshall De Bruhl's or J. H. Williams's works. And just as importantly, Haley -- lack of academic-world gravitas notwithstanding -- writes with the strongest sense of voice. He gets carried away a bit when he's feeling his oats, but the result on balance is sterling biography. As the eminent Texas historian Elliott West says on the back cover, all future scholarship on Houston and Texas will have to reckon with this striking, substantial book.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By William Allison on May 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sam Houston is a figure who aroused great passions beginning in his own day and continuing to the present. Jim Haley's well written biography, supported by fifteen years of research in original archives not available (or used) by past researchers, joins the ranks of major works on this interesting figure. The book should join the library of anyone interested in the Texas Revolution and its heroes. With impressive scholarship, the book is well written and enjoyable to read. A major achievement, worth the wait.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Grozarks on June 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Sam Houston was larger than life! Prof. H.W. Brands has stated that you could never write a novel based on Sam Houston's life because nobody would believe it: He was right! What a great figure! Admirable with all his flaws, a true hero. Mr. Haley's book is written well, though not perfect, I recommend it to anyone looking for a great story and a great and well lived life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Craig on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
You will learn about Texas, the war with Mexico, Andrew Jackson, and the gritty pioneering Houston. He is more than just a Texas icon; he's a legend. Sam Houston was sensitive to the true Americans yet he was a conqueror, robust and forward thinking. You will be astonished at what you read. I was never taught enough about Texas and U.S. history while in elementary and high school in Texas. History would have been so much more interesting if this book would have been used. This book reads like a novel.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most awesome books I have ever read! I didn't want to put it down! This is a wonderful biography for a history buff or just a person curious in learning about the life of one of this nation's greatest leaders! Great buy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Varalagom on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a true bargain - very well researched and written! I cannot imagine any future attempt at giving us "Sam Houston the person" doing as excellent a job as this author. A great read about a highly fascinating character - entertaining and informative!! Very well done...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Monnie on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on the thorough life of Samuel Houston. From boyhood to soldier, respected leader, role at San Jacinto, president of the Republic of Texas to governor of Texas. This book reflects Sam Houston's love of Texas and it's people. This book has 421 pages of solid story and another 91 pages of references. Every bit of this book is interesting.
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