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Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836 (Texas Classics) Paperback – 1996

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Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836 (Texas Classics) + Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
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Product Details

  • Series: Texas Classics
  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292731027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292731028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


In Texian Iliad you smell the smoke of battle. (Paula Mitchell Marks Texas Monthly)

Hardin has succeeded admirably in writing a balanced military history of the revolution, making an important contribution to the extensive body of work on the struggle that eventually led to Texas' becoming part of the United States. (Mike Cox Austin American-Statesman)


I look forward to consulting this book for the rest of my career! (David J. Weber, Robert and Nancy Dedman Professor of History, Southern Methodist University)

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Customer Reviews

This book was so easy to read!
Jacob Cuellar(jncuellar@yahoo.com)
Illustrations by Zaboly greatly enhance the book as each drawing is given an in-depth description.
Randall Holland
All in all, a must read for any Texas History teacher or serious student of the Texas Revolution.
Lewis Hal Davis III

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Russell McGee on April 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Finally, an easy-to-read book that reads like a story, not a textbook. TEXIAN ILIAD is a wholly appropriate title. And Dr. Hardin is the right man to write the Iliad of Texas. It is a story worthy of the manner in which it is told.
Hardin's captivating writing style is the key to this book's success. He clearly describes events in colorful detail that provide a masterful interpretation of this key era in Texas History. His approach to the Texas Revolution has just the right mix of political, social, and military perspectives to provide a refreshing well-balanced look at the birth of Texas. It is a joy to read.
At last, the Battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto are put into their proper context with the Battles of Gonzales, Conception, San Antonio, Goliad, the Grass Fight, and the ill-fated Matamoros Expedition. Hardin expertly pieces these events and others together to form the patchwork quilt that is the Texas Revolution. The roles of unsung heroes like James Neill, Robert Williamson, and true military professionals like Mexican General Jose Urrea are finally brought to light. Hardin enables the readers to a new level of understanding about this difficult period.
Hardin's chapter on the Alamo is the most honest and detailed to date and is worth the cost of the book alone. Gary Zaboly's illustrations and Hardins narrative paint a picture that allows us to understand the detailed flow of the final assault.
Reading TEXIAN ILIAD is a MUST for all Texans and students of history. Not only is it extremely enjoyable reading, it is a well-balanced, accurately-told history. If I were a Texas history teacher, this would be my primary text.
Even though it doesn't read like a textbook.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vekert on August 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
If all you know of the Alamo is via Walt Disney and John Wayne, you will probably find this book a shocker. Both the Mexicans and the Texians were courageous and cowardly, brilliant and stupid by turns. This book is real history. But in the final analysis, real people are better heros than Hollywood images.
I can't claim to have read every book written on the Alamo battle, but I have read a few. This book is the best I know of.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Reading this book, seeing his numerous appearances in historical documentaries and hearing him lecture, has set Stephen Hardin apart as the consummate authority on Texas history. In his book, TEXIAN ILIAD: A MILITARY HISTORY OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION, Hardin goes far beyond the usual narratives on Texas history, which often tend to narrow their scope to selected events such as the Alamo, San Jacinto, or possibly Goliad. Here, you will find a detailed account of the events, which led up to the revolution as Hardin begins his narrative with the 1824 overthrow of the constitutional government by Santa Anna and ends with his capture at San Jacinto.

Of particular note is how dysfunctional the Texian militia was. Hardin concisely depicts the seemingly endless power struggle and how many of the volunteers followed their own leader and ignored "high command", such as it was. Most people are fairly familiar of the power struggle between Travis and Bowie, but those two merely scratched the surface of squabbles among the Texian forces. Hardin also does a much better job than most historians at portraying the valuable contributions of the tejanos, led by Juan Seguin.

The book is also laden with wonderful illustrations, maps, photographs and portraits. It concludes with forty pages of author's notes and perhaps the most comprehensive bibliography available on Texas' struggle for independence. If your goal is the best accounting of the Alamo, there may well be superior sources, but for an overall narrative of the entire history of the Texas Revolution, this book is at the top of the list.

Monty Rainey

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
To do justice to this excellent book would require a much longer review than I'm sure Amazon visitors are prepared to read. Put quite simply, anyone interested in Texas history in particular, or 19th century America in general, should own Texian Iliad.
Stephen L. Hardin's book, meticulously researched and carefully written, successfully appeals to both an academic audience and the history reading general public. The author's deft descriptions put you in the midst of the action, whether it's with Travis at the Alamo or riding beside Houston at San Jacinto. And the art work is simply great. Gary S. Zaboly's well researched illustrations are not only a magnificent complement to the text, but rare in the quality of their historical accuracy. His rendition of a Mississippi volunteer in the Texas army, with his purloined chickens and jug of spirits, is alone well worth the price of the book. In addition, Zaboly's maps and illustrations of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto are among the clearest and most useful to be found anywhere.
Texian Iliad has received considerable recognition from the historical profession, including the Kate Broocks Bates Award from the Texas State Historical Association, the Summerfield G. Roberts Award, the T. R. Fehrenbach Award, and the American Association for State and Local History's Certificate of Merit. Professor Hardin's credentials as a historian and writer include membership in the prestigious, invitation-only Texas Institute of Letters as well as numerous other professional organizations.
In short, if you want a good historical read, you'll have a hard time finding one better than Texian Iliad.
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