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Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas (Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest) Hardcover – December 1, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“...an important revisionist piece of Texas history that deserves wide readership. No other book does exactly what it does, and while myth has been talked about with regard to Texas history, such a sophisticated ‘meditation’ on the complicated relationship between collective (or folk) memory and scholarly, archives-based history exists no where else in print.”--John Boles, Journal of Southern History
(John Boles, Journal of Southern History )

Review

" . . . it does demonstrate that we built our history and that it is still under construction. It needs to be read by anyone who feels compelled to wade in the next time there's a fight about the propriety of maintaining an old monument to a Confederate soldier or whether modern-day Texas should apologize for slavery, an institution that no living person has anything but a collective, constructed memory of."
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Product Details

  • Series: Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest (Book 27)
  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585445630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585445639
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,129,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Lone Star Past is an excellent collection of essays that consider the topic of historical memory, its impact on Texas History, and how popular perception works to shape social identity in Texas. All of the essays operate under a core assumption: that groups construct memories to meet the present need, rather than out of an attempt to preserve the past. The authors refer to this tendency as a Third Generation characteristic of memory.

This book ponders the question of how we know what we know. In doing so, the contributors attempt to make sense of the historical process, as well as the difference between what we believe and what we chose to believe. The text is very entertaining to read and requires little to no previous knowledge of the subject for the reader to appreciate the arguments made in the book. Each author makes use of ample primary and secondary sources, with each chapter followed by several pages of notes and references related to the preceding text, which is convenient considering the length of the book and the variety of historical perspectives found within the manuscript.

The contributors to Loan Star Past build their arguments around concepts and events familiar to all Texans. Therefore, the books contribution is twofold: it adds yet another voice to an often-overlooked aspect of Texas history, and it does so in a manner that is well within the grasp of the non-academic. Thus, in spite its academic pedigree, this book lacks much of the pretense commonly found in this type of work. Clearly, the authors intended this book to reach a broad audience. Nevertheless, Lone Star Past is a fine piece of historical literature on the subject of collective memory in Texas.
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Format: Hardcover
These are outstanding essays about how the collective memory of Texans have perpetuated, nurtured and maintained its history. As a native Texan who grew up with all the fibs and fables about the Alamo, Texas Rangers, oil barons, the Confederacy, cowboys and cattle, these essays provided illumination on the subjects Texas mythmaking did not; slavery, the murdering, intimidating and discriminating against Indians, Mexicans and enfranchised blacks, the Ku Klux Klan, the fight against civil rights in the 60s and the ongoing manipulation of history in Texas' educational system by the nutjob right wingers that have an iron grip on this state. I found especially interesting the essay on the fate of Lyndon Johnson's image in modern Texas. Despite his herculean efforts to right the wrongs of Jim Crow (or perhaps precisely because of them), Vietnam and its enduring legacy has consumed the memory of all of his social benefit programs that have become so woven into America today. Put simply, neocon Texans (of which my home state has waaay too many), will never forgive a Texas white man for making possible the sharing of Amerika's bounty with non-white people, especially if he allows primitive yellow men to bring ignominious defeat into our history. In sum, this book is really a description of how history and memory interact to create a hybrid reality, part fiction, part wishful thinking and part academic "fact." In no place on earth do these factors weight more heavily than the great state of Texas.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was really inexpensive and was recommended for my Texas History Class. I just love the book so much that I decided to permanently add it to my collection.
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