Three Roads to the AlamoPosted: 2008/04/17
Davis, C. William, Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis. New York: HarperPerennial, 1999.
When I first picked up Three Roads I thought to myself there is no way I want to carry this thing around with me. It’s nearly 800 pages long, and despite the pages being super thin, it’s a heavy book. However, when I quickly calculated that in order to finish Three Roads by the end of March (the month Texas became a state), I would need to read over 40 pages a day I decided carry it around, I would!
When I read the reviews for Davis’s book one word always seemed to pop up: exhaustive. Exhaustive research, exhaustive detail, exhaustive portraits, exhaustive this, exhaustive that. It’s true. There is so much detail given to not only the personalities and lives of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis, but to the culture and landscape of both politics and era as well. It’s as if the reader is witness to the pioneering growth of Louisiana, Texas and Virginia by default. History, politics and geography all rolled into one book.
Because not much is known about Crockett, Bowie and Travis each has become a legend beyond compare. Using as much information as he was able to research (exhaustively) Davis does a great job trying to dispel rumor and myth surrounding each man, admitting that these are men of folklorish proportions, but not much of it can be substantiated.
Confession: knowing there was no way I was going to finish this in time I skipped to the last chapter of the book. It is, of course, the end of Crockett, Bowie and Travis. Davis paints a tragic picture of what their last days must have been like in Alamo, Texas. The one image that kept playing in my mind was the uncertainty of their fates. When their families did not hear from them they could only speculate and worry. Word travelled slowly in those days. A telegram dispatched two weeks earlier can give loved ones the impression you are still alive despite the fact you died the next day.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter “Texas: Lone Star State of Mind” (p 233).
HUGE woops. This was supposed to be published last month!