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Sam Houston and the American Southwest, 3rd Edition (Library of American Biography) 3rd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 000-0387096078
ISBN-10: 0321385721
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this biography, Randolph B. Campbell explores the life of Sam Houston and his important role in the development of the Southwest. Governor of two states, president of an independent republic, and for thirteen years a United States senator, Sam Houston forged a life of great adventure, frequent controversy, and lasting achievement. Within the historical context of the emerging West, Houston's story is not only one of courage and fortitude, but also aids in understanding of the possibilities and limitations of leadership in a Democratic society. The titles in the "Library of American Biography Series" make ideal supplements for American History Survey courses or other courses in American history where figures in history are explored. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each interpretive biography in this series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life. In addition, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times.

About the Author

Randolph B. Campbell is Regents Professor of History at the University of North Texas and editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 3rd edition (June 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321385721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321385727
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Watt on May 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Randolph B. Campbell writes about a man I never knew had that much impact on Texas and the United States in Sam Houston and the American Southwest. The writing is quick and simple to read, and flows from one topic to the next easily.

The book covers everything from Sam Houston's beginnings, to his forrays as a military man and finally to his exploits as a political leader. He impacted Texas more than any other person, and was a leading voice in both the War against Mexico and the Civil War. To characterize his impact on Texas, one would only have to look at the political atmosphere of Texas in their early Republic days. Texas was a two party state, those who were Houston supporters and those who were anti-Houston.

I loved learning about Sam Houston's command during Texas's fight for independence, his thoughts on the Civil War (always a Union man, something unusual for a southerner), and the love he had for his wife (his last words will emphasize this). He was the first President of the Republic of Texas, served as a senator after the state was annexed, and is the only man to serve as governor in two states (Texas and Tennessee). I would have never known three fourths of this information if it wasn't for Randolph B. Campbell's Sam Houston and the American Southwest. I highly recommend this read, for literature lovers and history buffs and all those in between. Everyone enjoy!
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This is one of the better books on Sam Houston that I have read. It neither deifies nor demonizes him, but allows the reader to see him as a mere mortal, flawed and very human. I enjoyed it, and found it very informative. Highly recommended for research on Sam Houston or Texas background reading.
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Very well written by a professor from the University of North Texas. I had this book assigned by a Texas History professor, and encourage any such professor to assign it. Easy to read, captures Sam Houston accurately from my understanding of other material, and at times quite entertaining. I will probably look for other books in the series of biographies.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent little book. It's entertaining reading and highly informative. I'm not only glad I read the book but I find myself wanting to know much more about Sam Houston and his era. I think Texans and all Americans are much more indebted to men like him than we realize. Would to God we had some Sam Houstons today!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great read about the life of Sam Houston and the legacy he left for Texas and America during the mid-nineteenth century. Sam definitely had a "full life" living among Native-Americans, governor of two states, defeating the Mexican Army and securing Texas Independence, being instrumental into bringing Texas into the United States, and tragically fortelling fellow Texas what would happen if Texas left the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. The author does a good job into describing the important events of Sam Houston's life without going into detail. This is a short read, however it is an interesting one that I would recommend to educators who teach U.S. History or Texas History. A great read that all can understand and follow and get a deeper appreciation of the legendary Sam Houston. Highly Recommended!
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From his adventurous times as a youth to a defiant Governor, Sam Houston was able to defy all odds when faced with a challenge, and when he was knocked down he got right back up. This biography written by Randolph B. Campbell is a must read book, whether it is for a assignment or out of pure curiosity, you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I read Sam Houston and the American Southwest for two reasons: 1. I’m still working on my personal project of reading and learning more about the literature and history of my state. 2. My wife owned this book when we married, and somehow, as books do, the image of its cover just kept hanging around in the back of my mind until I’d read it. So, I read it and really enjoyed it quite a bit.

Growing up in Texas, I was, of course, exposed to some basic facts about Houston’s personal history and his achievements, and these were delivered with an obviously hagiographical slant. I enjoyed this biography because it went beyond the mere outline of history to which I’d previously been exposed and really filled in some of the gaps that have existed in my knowledge of Houston and of Texas’s founding. Also, I was pleased that, even though Campbell clearly admires Houston, his Houston is no mythic Texas legend but is a real person, grounded in reality.

I guess the main pleasure of the book is that Houston does stand out for being a remarkable person. The book could have been subtitled “The Sane Texan.” Over and over--as Houston has to keep Texan hotheads from invading Mexico, has to hold off politicians from executing Santa Anna (and thereby eliminating their one bit of leverage), has to try to protect Indian interests from the settlers who would always ignore them, has to try to keep the United States and Texas out of the Civil War--Houston comes across as being a person of rare honesty, modesty, foresightedness, and integrity. The other leaders of early Texas, certainly, come across in this book as mean-spirited and bumbling fools compared to Houston.

The limitation of this biography is certainly its narrow scope.
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