Announced as a ""new and definitive"" biography, this massive portrait of the controversial protagonist, Sam Houston, is also a history of the early turbulent years of the state of Texas. . Virginia born in 1793, Houston joined the Cherokee Indians as a young man, fought under Andrew Jackson in 1813, educated himself in law, went to Congress and became Governor of Tennessee. Forced to resign because of scandals connected with his disastrous first marriage, he married a Cherokee woman, drank heavily and was called ""Big Drunk"". In 1832 he went to Texas and as commander of its army of brawling adventurers, he fought the Mexicans under Santa Ana, tried to prevent the needless disasters of the Alamo and Goliad, and defeated Santa Ana at San Jacinto. Elected President of the brief Republic of Texas, Houston married a third time, stopped drinking and begot many children. An advocate of annexation by the U.S. after the Mexican War of 1846, he made many enemies; a lover of the Union opposed to the extension of slavery and to secession, he was perhaps the most bitterly hated man in Texas by the start of the Civil War. Today, a century after his death, he is one of the great heroes of the state he helped form. Presenting a less vivid study of Houston than does Marquis James in his brilliant biography, The Raven, but containing material not found in James' book, this overlong but readable volume will be an excellent addition to collections of pre-Civil War Americana and will appeal to students and historians rather than the casual reader.