Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity, and the Master Symbol

Paperback | June 15, 2002

byRichard R. Flores

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"Remember the Alamo!" reverberates through Texas history and culture, but what exactly are we remembering? Over nearly two centuries, the Mexican victory over an outnumbered band of Alamo defenders has been transformed into an American victory for the love of liberty. Why did the historical battle of 1836 undergo this metamorphosis in memory and mythology to become such a potent master symbol in Texan and American culture?

In this probing book, Richard Flores seeks to answer that question by examining how the Alamo's transformation into an American cultural icon helped to shape social, economic, and political relations between Anglo and Mexican Texans from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. In the first part of the book, he looks at how the attempts of heritage society members and political leaders to define the Alamo as a place have reflected struggles within Texas society over the place and status of Anglos and Mexicans. In the second part, he explores how Alamo movies and the transformation of Davy Crockett into an Alamo hero/martyr have advanced deeply racialized, ambiguous, and even invented understandings of the past.

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"Remember the Alamo!" reverberates through Texas history and culture, but what exactly are we remembering? Over nearly two centuries, the Mexican victory over an outnumbered band of Alamo defenders has been transformed into an American victory for the love of liberty. Why did the historical battle of 1836 undergo this metamorphosis in ...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.75 inPublished:June 15, 2002Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029272540X

ISBN - 13:9780292725409

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Texas ModernPart One. The Alamo as Place, 1836-19052. History, Memory-Place, and Silence: The Public Construction of the Past3. From San Fernando de Béxar to the Alamo City: The Political Unconscious of Plaza Space4. From Private Visions to Public Culture: The Making of the AlamoPart Two. The Alamo as Project, 1890-19605. Cinematic Images: Frontiers, Nationalism, and the Mexican Question6. Why Does Davy Live? Modernity and Its HeroicsConclusion: The Alamo as Tex(Mex) Master Symbol of Modernity NotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Drawing on a broad range of theorists in various fields (geography, social history, semiotics, cultural studies, and anthropology), Flores provides a compelling and quite forceful analysis of various historically produced forms of documenting, recalling, and interpreting the Alamo. - Olga Nájera-Ramírez, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz