SOLITARY STAR: A Biography of Sam Houston by Donald Braider

SOLITARY STAR: A Biography of Sam Houston

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After churning out fictional and non-fictional biographies of various American and European painters, and, more recently, a book about a river (Niagara, 1972), inveterate professional writer Donald Braider has turned his hand to popular political history with this biography of the liberator of Texas. With characteristic lack of imagination, the author begins his desultory account of events ""Sam Houston was born March 2, 1793, at..."" and it's heavy slogging through the cliche-ridden style from which a palpable portrait never evolves. Houston came to the attention of Andrew Jackson as a young soldier and enjoyed his patronage throughout a brilliant political career as U.S. Congressman and governor from Tennessee, colorful representative of the Cherokee Indians who had adopted him as a boy, commander in chief of the revolutionary Texan army, president of the short-lived republic of Texas, U.S. Senator and governor of the Lone Star State. Braider makes very little of the issues of patronage, Indian exploitation, the early imperialistic policies of the country, Houston's adamant Unionism in the face of imminent secession, moving inexorably toward the ""Sunday evening, July 26, 1863, [when] Sam Houston died in his sleep."" This book offers no new information or interpretation of the material, but draws heavily on several other more than adequate Houston biographies, in particular a best-selling 1929 Pulitzer-prize winner by Marquis James. An odd season for resurrecting Texas heroes.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1974
Publisher: Putnam