Yet another episode in history has been singled out for a close-up, day to day account, as it actually happened -- and that one of the most poignant, dramatic events in American history, the siege of the Alamo, when 183 determined men waited for reenforce-ments that never came. In Lon Tinkle, book editor of the Dallas News and a descendant of one of the heroes, there is found the ideal interpreter of the story. He has tapped primary sources, personal records left by the proponents, known facts about the men themselves, and the result is a minutely detailed story of the gallant stand made by a handful of American soldiers, whose chief training had been small game hunting in their own home ranges of Texas, against the army of the ruthless dictator of Mexico, Santa Anna. Mexican intrigue, the tangled skein of United States and Texan politics, the personal resentments of settlers and empire builders all entered the picture, as a segment of the Texas Volunteer Army waited in the half-ruined fortress mission of the Alamo. Here, too, was dissension between the two colonels,- Jim Bowie, remembered today for the weapon which bears his name, and young William Travis. On February 23, 1836, Santa Anna's army appeared without warning, and a few civilians threw in their lot with the waiting soldiers. From the start the fight was hopeless; by March 6th it was over, when the Mexican broke through and slaughtered every soldier, sparing only civilian woman and children. Bowie, Travis, Davy Crockett and 180 others were among the dead. There have been other moving records of the historic siege, but no others that sustained both the authenticity and the high pitch of excitement. A few purists may object to the recording of the private thoughts of men long dead, but the unquestionable documentation, the scepticism concerning some of the legends, gives this rousing tale high rating for all Texans and all students of the American West.