Interview by Julia Aguillon
Article by Jackie Velez
If you think you know the legendary story of the Alamo, think again. At least that’s what authors Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford, of the New York Times best-selling book, “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth,” say.
Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford put in their time and effort to research the history of the Alamo in order to bring readers the deep, hidden truth of the iconic landmark. From William Travis’ famous line in the sand, to the Battle of San Jacinto, the authors shed light on where these famous myths, where they came from, why they exist, how these myths became embedded into the politics and how the Alamo’s history has been taught in schools today.
Co-author and columnist for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, Chris Tomlinson, brought the idea to the table over breakfast with his fellow co-authors.
The idea came to Tomlinson in light of a $450 million plan to renovate Alamo Plaza in San Antonio to create a four-story museum built around Alamo relics and documents donated by Phil Collins. Yes, that Phil Collins.
“Most people didn’t know that Phil Collins was such an Alamo buff and had collected such a collection of purported Alamo memorabilia that it had set the whole chain in motion of what’s going on right now at Alamo Plaza, ” said co-author, Jason Stanford.
Tomlinson pitched the idea over breakfast to his fellow co-authors.
“My contention was that we can’t sell the Alamo lie anymore when soon, the majority of Texans will be of Hispanic/Latin American descent,” Tomlinson said. “This brand of the white cowboy enslaving Africans and slaughtering Mexicans was a bad look going forward.”
The authors uncover surprising new information about the collection that could potentially jeopardize the project’s credibility as well as San Antonio’s tourism industry.
These men know that they are far from the perfect people to tell this story, but despite that and the fact that they have to contend with criticism, they were still willing to take on this project.
“We talked with a lot of smart Mexican-American professors and academics, and along with asking, is it okay for us to be the ones to tell this,” said Bryan Burrough, who has written six other books. “We tried to get our facts right, I think we did and I think it’s fair to say, we’ve got an awful lot of support from the Tejano Community.”
There’s so much more in this book! Whether you love the Alamo’s legacy that has been in place in history or would love to dig in deep for a better understanding behind the iconic story, you’ll definitely find something interesting in “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth.”
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