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Comment: Good readable copy. Retired From Library, typical library markings.All interior pages and overall book is clean.Average wear from light use. Signed by the Author. A good copy for reference, research or reading enjoyment. Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order.
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Sam Houston Paperback – August 30, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

There is no shortage of good biographies of Houston, and the bicentennial of his birth (1993) created a cottage industry of lives, such as Marshall de Bruhl's Sword of San Jacinto (LJ 2/15/93) and John Hoyt Williams's Sam Houston: A Biography of the Father of Texas (LJ 12/92), both out of print. Haley (Texas: From Frontier to Spindletop) argues that most biographies fail to provide a completely accurate picture of the man and that, despite over 60 biographies, Houston remains a mystery in many ways. Using an amazing array of primary source materials, including many recently discovered Houston papers in scattered collections, Haley explores a more personal angle, looking at what "made Houston tick" by examining topics that were important to Houston himself (e.g., Native American dealings). From his rise and fall in Tennessee politics and through his many roles in Texas, Haley paints a lively picture of a sometimes deeply troubled man. While this is not a definitive biography, it is a refreshing, important look at a weighty yet often overlooked figure in American politics. Ample illustrations and Haley's easy style make the book accessible to lay readers, while his exhaustive research should appeal to academics. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Mike Miller, Dallas P.L.
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).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 2nd Printing edition (August 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806136448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806136448
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
James Haley's "Sam Houston" is a study into a man's soul. Using new resources he has humanized the man and the legend. Mr. Haley has done the best possible job of getting into the head of Sam Houston and explaining his life long habits without falling into the easy trap of revisionism. As a matter of fact in my mind he is a champion of the facts, using common sense logic when faced with the incompleteness of facts that is often found in history. He often has to navigate through the propaganda of the day and connect the dots with the straight edge of reality. This is well demonstrated by the facts presented about the biggest Sam Houston mystery of all, why his marriage with Miss Eliza Allen failed. You will have to read the book to find the answers.
Easy to read for the casual reader, well noted for the serous researcher. James Haley's "Sam Houston" is a great read.
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By A Customer on March 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The question begs asking -- "Who is James L. Haley?" -- because this author has come forward without a lofty academic post and shown the cheek to produce what is probably the finest modern biography of Houston yet written.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Sam Houston is a figure who aroused great passions beginning in his own day and continuing to the present. Jim Haley's well written biography, supported by fifteen years of research in original archives not available (or used) by past researchers, joins the ranks of major works on this interesting figure. The book should join the library of anyone interested in the Texas Revolution and its heroes. With impressive scholarship, the book is well written and enjoyable to read. A major achievement, worth the wait.
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Format: Hardcover
Sam Houston was larger than life! Prof. H.W. Brands has stated that you could never write a novel based on Sam Houston's life because nobody would believe it: He was right! What a great figure! Admirable with all his flaws, a true hero. Mr. Haley's book is written well, though not perfect, I recommend it to anyone looking for a great story and a great and well lived life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on the thorough life of Samuel Houston. From boyhood to soldier, respected leader, role at San Jacinto, president of the Republic of Texas to governor of Texas. This book reflects Sam Houston's love of Texas and it's people. This book has 421 pages of solid story and another 91 pages of references. Every bit of this book is interesting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been interested over the years of Sam Houston biographers seeming to almost compete in their fervor to join the anti-Houston group think. It frustrated me because it was always at the expense of the facts (which were seldom cited) and with a great deal of subjectivity and supposition. In historical biographies, supposition is often required where facts are scant or non-existant.....but why was James L. Haley able to find the facts and not the other guys? It makes one think..... In an attempt at graciousness, lets just assume that all the facts available to Haley hadn't been found yet.
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.
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