Three Roads to the Alamo and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.99
  • Save: $8.31 (38%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Three Roads to the Alamo:... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis Paperback – April 7, 1999

88 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.68
$9.73 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$39.95

America's Historian: Featured Books by David McCullough
Browse books by the revered author, including his latest release, The Wright Brothers. Learn more
$13.68 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis + Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836 (Texas Classics)
Price for both: $30.48

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ever since the day in March 1836 when an obscure Spanish mission in Texas fell to Mexican forces led by President Santa Anna, Americans have been exhorted to "remember the Alamo." And remember it we do--primarily as the place where American folk legends Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Travis met their end fighting for Texas independence. Though it is primarily the Alamo we remember today, the battle itself takes up just a few pages of William C. Davis's Three Roads to the Alamo; Davis is far more interested in what brought three such disparate men as Crockett, Bowie, and Travis to Texas in the first place than in how they died there. As any schoolchild knows, Davy Crockett was the "king of the wild frontier," a bona fide folk hero in his own time who rode his legend to political office first in Tennessee and then as a United States congressman. Bowie was both less well known and less heroic--a land speculator not above resorting to fraud and forgery to get what he wanted, while William Travis, the youngest of the three, brought little but potential with him to Texas.

Davis does a good job of illuminating both the personalities of his subjects and the situation in which they found themselves in Texas. He thoroughly explores the lives of these three men--their successes, their failures, their hopes for the future--and lays out the arguments for and against Texan independence from Mexico in which they found themselves embroiled. By the time Crockett, Bowie, and Travis finally arrive at the Alamo, it seems the inevitable conclusion to the roads they each have been traveling over the course of their lifetimes. Three Roads to the Alamo is a fine piece of historical research and an entertaining read, as well. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1836, Bowie and Travis, who would lead the 200 doomed Texas rebels at the Alamo, met for the first time at the walled adobe buildings that were largely comprised of the church of San Jose y Santiago del Alamo de Parras. A few days later, David Crockett wandered in from Tennessee, where he had lost his bid for reelection to Congress and vowed never to return. In the siege of the compound, all three would die violently in the predawn hours of March 6. Crockett had long been a legend in his own time when he turned up in San Antonio to join Bowie and Travis in the pantheon of frontier gallants. Davis, a much-published historian of 19th-century America, contends that we "part reluctantly with our myths, and the more so when by removing the fable, we leave a hole in the story that we cannot fill with fact." In weaving the three strands of his narrative, which come together only in the last pages as the frontiersman, con man and entrepreneur join forces in the Alamo, Davis evokes boisterous Jacksonian America. His 187 pages of notes attest to the thoroughness of his research. Of the three, Crockett comes off the best, as inventive, yet not immoral like the other two. Bowie, a forger of land claims, and Travis, an unscrupulous country lawyer, hardly fit our prescription for heroes after Davis is done with them. His relentless search for facts sometimes bogs down the reader in excessive detail, yet that may be the best way to reduce romantic myths to reality. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 79%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (April 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060930942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060930943
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Steven Hargrave on April 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I sheepishly admit to being one of those people for whom a 790-page book on the Alamo is not at all excessive. In "Three Roads to the Alamo" William C. Davis fills those many pages with a narrative that seems to me the most authentic, objective, and substantiated account connected to the well-known but often-distorted events of 1836.
As the title indicates, Davies' organizing focus is on the biographies of the three American principals at San Antonio: David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Travis. He traces their lives in interleaved chapters that follow a generally chronological path. None of the three turn out to be anything near the paragons of virtue and/or honesty depicted in the standard accounting. Courage they most certainly had, but in Davies' retelling it was a courage born of self-interest and opportunism. Of the three, only Crockett's story leaves us feeling any great sympathy toward its subject. Still, even in this revisionist account, their lives maintain an unsurpassed power to both instruct and excite.
Bowie is depicted as a land-speculator of the most dishonest kind. He achieved his fortune largely by forging Spanish Land Grants in Louisiana. Davies shows that in this he was hardly unique, although perhaps an over-achiever.
Travis led a short and mysterious life, and his character remains elusive despite Davies' prodigious research. Like many of the Alamo defenders, he came to Texas to reinvent himself and to leave behind a failed past. Davies does his best to sort out the details of that abandoned past life.
Crockett's road to a legendary death is well-told here in all its diversity. Davies is especially convincing in dealing with Crockett's political career, characterizing it as one marked by "naïveté, miscalculations, and simple blunders.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Chris K. Wilson on February 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure if William C. Davis' "Three Roads to the Alamo" is a reinterpretation of the 1836 Alamo siege more than it is a truly exhaustive study of the three men who define that battle. A detailed and fascinating examination of the lives of David Crockett, James Bowie and William Barret Travis, "Three Roads to the Alamo" cuts through the myth and legend, revealing the dirt and substance of these men's lives en route to their eventual deaths in San Antonio.
Certainly the myth of Crockett is dented somewhat, as we see that he is a man clumsy in politics, impatient with family life, seeking the next adventure. Bowie also comes across as a rather scandalous man, involved in shady land and slave dealings which would have most certainly placed him in jail today. And finally Travis, whose life has never before been examined with such detail, comes across as a rather poor businessman, constantly in debt and a obsessive womanizer to boot.
Like all great historical figures shrouded in myth, it was only a matter of time before modern-day historians placed these Texas revolutionary heroes beneath a very un-romantic, yet 21st century microscope. So it comes as a rather stunning surprise that after these three statue-like figures are dressed down in human fashion, by battle's end they still, somehow, manage to put their past behind them and become heroes in spite of their many flaws.
I'm not sure if Mr. Davis did this intentionally, just as I'm not sure if you could truly draw a portrait of these men and this battle and not find shades of extraordinary heroism within the walls of that mission fortress.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Texas Bob on January 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How close did David Crockett come to being presidient of the United States? Closer than you might think. That's one of the many interesting issues covered in "Three Roads to the Alamo" This book is deep and well researched. The foot notes were as interesting as the book itself. Most Bubba Texas history buffs never considered Crockett, Bowie and Travis until they bite the big bullet. We sometimes forget that Davy Crockett was not much more than a tourist. He had just lost an election and made one campaign promise that he kept. He said, "If I lose this election I'll either go to hell or Texas." He chose Texas. His travels led him to San Antonio at a time that coincided with the defense of the Alamo. James Bowie was a land swindler that forged a lot of Spanish land grants in Louisiana and did a poor job of that. He was kind of hiding out from creditors and enjoying his new squeeze, a pretty local girl from a influential San Antonio family. She died of typhus that rampaged the area and Jim went into a depression that kept him from a timely exit from San Antonio. William Travis was thriving in Texas with a law practice. Only after he had sneaked out of Alabama leaving a family and lots of debt. This book does a great job of explaining how these three men came together and rose above their short comings to lead a brave defense of the Alamo.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
The story of the Alamo has become the stuff of legend. The names most associated with the Alamo-James Bowie, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis-have taken on a mythological aura-especially in Texas. Davis' goal here is not to tell the story of the Alamo again (the actual battle covers very few pages) but to take a look behind the legends and attempt to draw a human portrait of these three heroes of the Alamo with flaws (and there are a lot of flaws here) and all.

David Crockett had already become the stuff of legend by the time he made his way to the Alamo. Davis implies he only referred to himself as Davy to further the popular image of himself as a naïve back woodsman. David further implied that Crockett was inept and selfish at best in politics and neglectful of family. Of the three, however, Crockett does emerge as the most sympathetic. Bowie is presented as shady at best. In his pre-Alamo days, Bowie was a greedy speculator who was not above slave-trading or colossal dishonesty in the attempt to acquire land. There is little source material for Travis' life. Yet, Davis is able to draw a convincing picture of this failed lawyer who fled his native state to flee financial collapse and professional ruin.

Ultimately, what will cause this book to become a classic on this near-mythological battle will be that Davis examines these three guys as human and not as solely legends. If he had chosen to write one book on each of these three it would have been a good book; by choosing to write about all three in one book he has produced a great book.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
This item: Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
Price: $13.68
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: arm van buren