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Publisher's Summary

The Blood of Heroes is the gripping and definitive chronicle of the iconic battle that inspired a nation - a sweeping saga of 200 brave Americans who stood tall against an overwhelmingly superior Mexican force.
On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a group of roughly 200 Americans holed up in an abandoned mission just east of San Antonio, Texas. For nearly two weeks, the massive force lay siege to the makeshift fort, spraying its occupants with unremitting waves of musket and cannon fire. Then, on March 6th, at 5:30 A.M., the Mexican troops unleashed a final devastating assault: divided into four columns, they rushed into the Alamo and commenced a deadly hand-to-hand fight. The Americans, despite being hugely outnumbered, fought valiantly - for themselves and for a division of an independent Texas. In the end, they were all slaughtered.
Drawing upon newly available primary sources, The Blood of Heroes is the definitive account of this epic battle. Populated by larger-than-life characters - including Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis - it is a dynamic story of courage, sacrifice, and redemption.
©2012 James Donovan (P)2012 Hachette
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Customer Reviews

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By Lynn on 08-25-12

Blood and History Runs Off Every Page

I am a Texan and carry all of that tradition which my birthright entails. I also thought that T. R. Fehrenbach’s Texas History (Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans) was the best book I had read on the state’s history (or the history of The Republic more accurately). Those things remain true, but James Donovan’s The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo – and the Sacrifice that Forged a Nation is a great addition to the literature. On February 23, 1836 Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo. Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis made their stand with about 175 others. This book first reminded me of the stories supporting Wilder’s Bridge of San Luis Rey. Donovan presents the lives of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis along with the forces that brought them to the Alamo and their fates. Then he details the battle. The Mexican perspective takes some prominence here since everyone contained in the Alamo ultimately died during the battle of the Alamo. Certain questions remaining from those fateful days are entertained by Donovan. Did Travis draw a line in the dust? Did Crocket really go down fighting? Was there, indeed, one member of the Alamo’s residents who escaped? Donovan presents the evidence as it is currently available. Fehrenbach is still my favorite historian, but Donovan also makes me appreciate the historian’s task and talent. After reading this volume you will want to visit Bastrop and Nacogdoches for sure. If you are a Texan, don’t miss this book. If you aren’t a Texan you might understand us a little better if you read it. The author reads his own work and does a great job.

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By David S. Mathew on 07-27-17


I wasn't born in Texas, so I never knew much about the Alamo or any of the Texas heroes. After reading Donovan's outstanding book, that is no longer the case.

First of all, this book shockingly well researched, from both the Texas and Mexican sides. Second, Donovan writes this like a novel, which adds more character and excitement than one typically finds in a history book. Also, I'm a big fan of authors reading their own works, especially when they are this good. Very highly recommended!

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By IYER on 12-24-12


Picking up just one episode in American history and building a whole narrative around it would not be an easy task, but the author manages to do it in an interesting manner, by painting wonderful word pictures of the backgrounds of the various protagonists in this history. Even someone (like me) with a limited knowledge of American history found the book both educative and entertaining.

James Donovan has narrated the book himself, and as is often the case when the author and narrator are the same, this adds to the pleasure of listening to the audiobook.

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