Continuing on my journey through the bookish legacy from my father, who passed away last month, Duel of Eagles is a nonfiction account of the fight for the Alamo. My dad was an enthusiast of the Wild West, both the true history and the many pop-culture tributes. So many of the books he gave me, and most of those I never actually read, were Texas history-related. This book is preparation for the fiction book he gave me, The Gates of the Alamo.
This one, at least, promises not to be a stereotypically dry history book. Long seems to regard the Dead White Guy approach with tongue in cheek:
Texas seemed to open her prehistoric arms to Old Hickory, to Crockett, Houston, Bowie, and tens of thousands of other Anglo-Americans. She seemed to await their powerful hand, their radical voice, their ax and gun. To await their seed... cotton and otherwise. Texas offered herself as the last Eden, a soil in need of industry, and idea in need of consecration. The Americans visualized Texas in their own image.
The strange thing was not how they needed Texas but how - they testified - Texas needed them. Even those who had never seen the land, and most had not, were transfixed by the thought of saving it. To those pilgrims who actually crossed the Sabine River or sailed down from New Orleans, Texas sang like a flock of naked angels. Texas bewitched and seduced them.