Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book had its inception when, after my last research project, I returned to San Antonio, Texas, to begin working on questions of tourism, culture, and the public sphere. After several days of talking to people, it quickly became apparent that the Alamo was not only the most visited site in the city, much less the state of Texas, but also a place that figured large...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxi

I no longer recall the month or the week, only the place. Wrapped in our winter coats, gloves, scarves, and hats, my third-grade class was on its firs tfield trip of the year. The thrill of leaving behind workbooks filled with three-place addition and subtraction problems was electrifying. The trip, like many of those that would follow in my elementary school years, was...

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Chapter 1. The Texas Modern

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pp. 1-12

The nineteenth century was a time of war, of maneuver, position, and outright violence. The seeds of war were scattered alongside the ashes of those killed in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, and local and regional conflicts emerged soon after, but it was not until the early twentieth century that the seeds of conflict would fully germinate. ...

PART ONE. The Alamo as Place, 1836 – 1905

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p. 13

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Chapter 2. History, Memory-Place, and Silence: The Public Construction of the Past

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pp. 15-34

Twenty-seven years after my initial visit I return to the Alamo, sitting in a small, low-ceilinged room, facing a large monitor, waiting for the film to begin. The renovated stone room, what is known as the convento, or long barracks, grows dark as the “officially authorized” story of this place begins. ...

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Chapter 3. From San Fernando de B

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pp. 35-60

In 1854 Frederick Law Olmsted arrived in what is now the city of San Antonio and described what he saw:
From these [the German houses in the center of town] we enter the square of the Alamo. This is all Mexican. ...

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Chapter 4. From Private Visions to Public Culture: The Making of the Alamo

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pp. 61-92

The Alamo is the most visited site in the state of Texas. As a place dedicated to the brave men who fought and died within its walls, this shrine remembers the “Battle of the Alamo” between “Texans” and “Mexicans” in 1836. ...

PART TWO. The Alamo as Project, 1890– 1960

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p. 93

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Chapter 5. Cinematic Images: Frontiers, Nationalism, and the Mexican Question

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pp. 95-129

The changing state of relations between Anglos and Mexicans in 1915 required the formation of new strategies to support the emerging racial culture of the Texas Modern. The story of the Alamo, stripped of the tensions and historical ambiguities of 1836, played a strategic role in this process. ...

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Chapter 6. Why Does Davy Live? Modernity and its Heroics

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pp. 130-152

Since shortly before his death at the Alamo in 1836 and continuing to the present, David Crockett, former congressman from Tennessee, writer, and adventurer, has captured the imagination of people across the United States. Not one to hide from controversy in life, the exact means of his death have been disputed since 1836. ...

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Conclusion: The Alamo as Tex(Mex) Master Symbol of Modernity

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pp. 153-161

By 1960 and Wayne’s production of The Alamo, modernity was in a state of flux. I even suggest that the intense interest in Crockett coupled with the Alamo films of the 1950s—almost as intense as the years from 1909 to 1926—was an attempt to hold firm the eroding conditions of American modern social life by embracing one of its key symbols. With-...

Notes

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pp. 163-171

References

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pp. 173-183

Index

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pp. 185-192