SAM HOUSTON by Paul Hollander


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A flat-footed paean to a controversial personality. In the course of tracing his career, it underlines his preference for reading over farming or shopkeeping, his attachment to Indians and Indian life, his opposition to secession from the Union. Accurate in biographical outline, it is far less dependable as history, wrongly attributing the Texas rebellion to Mexican insistence on expelling the American settlers (rather than disciplining them) and omitting all mention of the difficulty over Texas annexation either in Congress or with Mexico (""In 1844 Sam Houston asked the United States to take Texas in. The next year it was done""). In minor matters it is less than circumspect also; the city of Houston was named (by speculators) before it was built and before it became the capital, not the other way around, making the parallel with George Washington more panegyric. Young children will have to unlearn or relearn much of what they read here and the fiery Houston is only half seen.

Pub Date: July 3rd, 1968
Publisher: Putnam