If I was reviewing this book at the time of its original publication, I would give it five stars, but I believe more recent scholarship tends to support the authenticity of Jose de la Pena's "memoir" - if not some of its contents. Indeed, if the De la Pena account was ever considered the best evidence for David Crockett's execution, my impression is that most proponents of the execution theory regard the Dolson letter as more reliable evidence. This book still has much to offer in its many cogent arguments in favour of Crockett's death by combat. I purchased it to see what it said about the location of the executions at the Alamo as I don't think this has been given proper consideration by the proponents of the execution theory, but this is not dealt with in much detail in this book. I have only two minor criticisms. Firstly Bill refers to rumours of Crockett's execution in newspapers at the time, but does not offer a great deal of evidence. My second criticism relates to the setting out of the book: to read the footnotes one has to keep flipping to the back of the book, and I would have prefered them to be at the bottom of the relevant pages.
The "Diary" Fails the Old Smell Test
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 13 years ago
I believe it was the Amazing Randi who once noted academics are the easiest people in the world to fool. It always boggles me how many people have fallen for the De La Pena Diary--it reminds me of all the "scientists" who examined the shroud of turin then swore it was real--probably even created by a mysterious "burst of radiation!" Let's justs use our common sense. There were slightly under two hundred people in the Alamo--around one hundred eighty, right? Give or take a few? The "Diary" says seven of these guys survived. And guess what? One of them was...Elvis! Yes, Elvis, or rather David Crockett, in short the most famous, the most glamorous, the most interesting person in the battle. Golly what a coincidence! Wow! Who would have thunk it! Right out of the pages of a supermarket tabloid. And guess what else--I have a diary that says seven guys survived the little bighorn and guess who one of them was? General Custer! Yup, absolutely. And I bet i can find some academics to agree, somewhere. And OJ is out searching for the real killers, too. I read the "diary" sold for like half a million bucks, even though nobody bothered to explain where it came from and where it was for the one hundred twenty years it was missing. Money well spent, I'm sure. They say it was the work of a famous forger. I believe it. It reminds me of a few years back a notorious forger up in Utah kept coming up with amazing finds from the dim history of mormonism, including a notorious letter written by Joseph Smith that showed he was into witchcraft--it all turned out to be forgies done by the guy who kept amazingly finding the rarest documents for several years. The funny part is in Israel a similar forger came up with two astounding finds--then he offered a third find of astounding proportions and...the Israelis sent THE ARMY to the guy's house immediately and found the kiln he'd been baking the stuff in and all of his forgery equipement. The moral of the story? The Isrealis ain't stupid. However, people who believe in the smazing davy crockett diary I'm afraid are...well,not stupid, just very, very gullible.
Groneman defends to the end
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 24 years ago
Bill Groneman has done yeoman's duty once again. He has risen to the challenge of the "revisionists" and emerged with a victory more complete than Houston's at San Jacinto. Remember the Alamo and take the sage advise " when the legend is larger than life, go with the legend".The "fake" DeLa Pena Diary is exposed for just that. Interesting how it only came to light after Walter Lord's and Lon Tinkle's research in Northern Mexico back in the mid 1950's. Hopefully Texican's will never feel the need to rewrite their history to match that of a liberal revisionist who strives to tear down all that is good and great in heros.Any student of Texana should read this authors works before falling sway to the sensationalism of the revisionsists who have not done their homework.Another 5-star effort from Mr. Groneman.
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