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Sam Houston Paperback – August 30, 2004
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Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
James L. Haley is an independent scholar living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of numerous books, including The Buffalo War: The History of the Red River Indian Uprising of 1874 and Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait (OU Press).
Top Customer Reviews
Easy to read for the casual reader, well noted for the serous researcher. James Haley's "Sam Houston" is a great read.
With several dozen good biographies of Houston already in print, James L. Haley went the extra mile and built a terrific book based mostly on primary sources, many if not most of them apparently first mined by him. He appears to do research the old-fashioned way -- in archives, accosting private collectors, and pursuing the odd distant family source as well. At a time when the lions of academia are being dragged through the mud of plagiarism and scandal, blithely recasting and repackaging the hard work of others, Haley's work-ethic -- which is purely Puritan -- is pure refreshment to find.
His book has more heart and soul than either Marshall De Bruhl's or J. H. Williams's works. And just as importantly, Haley -- lack of academic-world gravitas notwithstanding -- writes with the strongest sense of voice. He gets carried away a bit when he's feeling his oats, but the result on balance is sterling biography. As the eminent Texas historian Elliott West says on the back cover, all future scholarship on Houston and Texas will have to reckon with this striking, substantial book.
This book debunks a great many "facts" that were rumored to me as a child growing up in Texas-by-Gawd. He was a drunk, a drug addict, a coward who happened into a victory due to Santa Anna's shallowness and arrogance. Santa Anna's shallowness and arrogance turn out to be true. Houston lucking into victory is not. In fact, as I read this biography I was completely amazed at Houston's ability to hold together his army and take them to victory DESPITE every effort made to stop him from doing so.
Houston seems to be a polarizing figure to say the least. One does not attain such a prominant place at the table of history without doing so it seems. As all men and women, he was flawed with some pretty serious problems. One of my favorite aspects of this biography is how he lived his life in spite of his mistakes and flaws. What a character!
I love this book for several reasons. First, it is factually written with citations throughout proving what was being written. Second, it uses the same facts to debunk (and often times hammer) the anti-Houston cliches as well as the unoriginal and inaccurate biographers that lazily furthered those fact-less cliches of old.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very excellent biography of a most unusual man I have long wanted to know more about. Hopefully, most of it is true.Published 7 days ago by J. Allen
I have not finished reading the book, but it is exactly as I expected.Published 1 month ago by Gloria Walker
Authoritative biography of Sam Houston. Author has bent over backwards to reflect as accurately as possible the facts and threads of Houston's life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bill Schweisheimer
Well researched read as a result of tremendous research by academician James Haley. The book is very throrough and yet captivating. Sam Houston is a hero of giant proportions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mimi Coffey
Incredibly detailed, but very boring writing style. I kept waiting for the storytelling to pick up, particularly when we got to the fight for Texas independence, but everything is... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Steven E Derion
Thank you, Mr. Haley, for a totally absorbing biography. Besides being overawed by the extraordinary Sam Houston, I am left wondering how he managed to pack in so much into his 70... Read morePublished 6 months ago by White Rose of York
I'm hardly an academic, but as a native Houstonian I have always had an interest in the General. This book was a great read even for a non-academic like myself. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jared J. Johansen
Excellent book on one of not just Texas but America's greatest figures. If you are interested in learning about Sam Houston I am not aware of a better read.Published 9 months ago by MB in Texas