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The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land, 1820–1875 Hardcover – November 4, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0806136981 ISBN-10: 0806136987 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; First Edition edition (November 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806136987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806136981
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Clayton Anderson, Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma, is author of The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land, 1820–1875. His book The Indian Southwest, 1580–1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention won the Angie Debo Prize and the publication award from the San Antonio Conservation Society.

Customer Reviews

It is a detailed history and a thoroughly depressing one.
Sven Oliver Roth
Brian DeLay criticizes Anderson for not considering native raids and their effect on Mexico proper, but I find this criticism invalid.
Shawn M. Warswick
Anderson's work revises the old hagiographic view of Texas history written by T.R. Fehrenbach.
Joseph D. Lippert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Rough Customer VINE VOICE on June 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Professor Anderson has written a highly detailed account of early Texas history. His research and relating of detail is superb! I have found details in his book never seen before anywhere. He does have a strong bias in his writing that leans toward the native American's point of view (which is fine), and against various "white" men and groups (Texas rangers mainly). Overlooking this minor complaint, his book is excellant, and I am glad to have it as a reference. Not a "light read" at all, very detailed, almost like reading a thesis. Congratulations to Prof. Anderson for a well documented, well researched book. (the only claim I found objectionable thus far on page 127 where he claims Plains Indian societies never shot down women and children among their own....not true...see the Harrell archaeological site in Texas)

added note May 2013: for a detailed account of north and central Texas Indian depredations, with no bias toward the Rangers, read The Settlers' War by Gregory Michno, published 2011, a good companion book to the Conquest book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shawn M. Warswick on December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gary Clayton Anderson received his Ph.D. from the University of Toledo and studied with Ohio Regents Professor of History W. Eugene Holland. Interestingly Holland, who grew up in Commerce, Texas and studied at the University of Texas, studied with Walter Prescott Webb, who later admitted to Holland that his book, “The Texas Rangers!” was a lie (as Holland later reported to Anderson). Anderson published his first book, Kinsmen of Another Kind: Dakota White Relations in Upper Mississippi Valley 1650-1862 in 1984. Since then he has authored numerous articles and books, including The Indian Southwest 1580-1830: Ethnogenesis and Cultural Reinvention and “Early Dakota Migration and Intertribal Warfare: A Revision”.

In this, his most recent work, Anderson argues that rather than a fight for Independence, the Texas revolution was a “poorly conceived southern land grab that nearly failed.” Furthermore, the constant feuding with Mexico and natives led to a culture of violence. As Texas became militarized “Texans gradually endorsed... a policy of ethnic cleansing that had as its intention the forced removal of certain culturally identified groups from their lands. Anderson’s work offers a third way in between T.R. Fehrenbach’s argument of natives as “savages” and David E. Stannard’s American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World which Anderson refers to as “victim history.” The author himself says it is an “effort to create a new paradigm for understanding the violence that dominated Texas history, especially along its frontier, by utilizing the more moderate and well-understood process of ethnic cleansing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sven Oliver Roth on June 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Before reading this book I had formed my opinion about the conflict between the Anglo-Texans and the Comanches based on Fehrenbach's "Comanche - destruction of a people" and Lucia St. Clair's "Rides the Wind". I had walked away from reading these books with the firm impression that the Comanches were a sort of Huns of the prairie, colorful and admirably somehow in their warrior prowess, loving people amomgst themselves but just as incredibly bloodthirsty and cruel to outsiders as a bunch of Congolese boy soldiers on Crack would be.

Today I know that Lucia St. Clair wrote her rape and bloodthirstiness passages under the influence of Fehrenbach (she would write a different book today with the knoweldge she has now) - and that Fehrenbach apparently invented much of the atrocity lore that sticks so firmly in the minds of every viewer.

Anderson writes chiefly from the perspective of the Anglo-Texians. It is their agency which is in the focus of this book, but this is not your usual Lone Star eulogy. Anderson's narrative is dominated by what he calls the Texas Creed and how the Texas Creed led to a pervasive policy of ethnic cleansing directed at each and every native nation of Texas plus the Hispanic population. It is a detailed history and a thoroughly depressing one.

Anderson's work with the source materials is impressive. One should carefully read the endnotes because they contain real treasures! Just one example: What really electrified me is the background information he gives on an important detail of the infamous 1840 San Antonio "Council House" fight.
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27 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on December 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In line with toher new attempts to place ethic-cleansing, a modern concept, into history, such as Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, this book goes too far and is visciously biased. There may be much truth in what is written here, in the sense that the outcome was the virtual ethnic-cleansing, to use the modern term, of Indians from Texas. But this was not ethnic-cleansing from out of nowhere. Long before 1820 Spain had been the author of deprevations far worse than after 1820. Later Mexico would treat the natives no better.

The conquest of Texas may have resulted in the removal and destruction of native tribes. But that doesn't mean that it should be compared to a form of genocide. The tribespeople also died of sickness and they were not pawns in this conquest. The tribes were active players and the Kiowas and others had important leaders who made choices as well, and many times those choices were not for peaceful coexistence, many times they were for war. In the end that war proved catastrophic. It is too easy to cry 'ethnic-cleansing' and 'racism' rather than examine the context of the time and understand what actually happaned on both sides.

Seth J. Frantzman
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The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land, 1820–1875
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