Sam W. Haynes, "Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, the Struggle for Texas" (Basic Books, 2022)

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The Texas Revolution has long been cast as an epic episode in the origins of the American West. As the story goes, larger-than-life figures like Sam Houston, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis fought to free Texas from repressive Mexican rule. In Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, the Struggle for Texas (Basic Books, 2022), historian Sam Haynes reveals the reality beneath this powerful creation myth. He shows how the lives of ordinary people—white Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and those of African descent—were upended by extraordinary events over twenty-five years. After the battle of San Jacinto, racial lines snapped taut as a new nation, the Lone Star republic, sought to expel Indians, marginalize Mexicans, and tighten its grip on the enslaved.

This is a revelatory and essential new narrative of a major turning point in the history of North America.

Andrew R. Graybill is professor of history and director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West (Liveright, 2013).

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