AUSTIN, Texas — After calling for the cancelation of an event centering around the new book "Forget the Alamo" at an Austin museum, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is now calling for the book's authors to join a panel of historians to "debate the facts and get to the truth."
The event was slated for July 1 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
The book was authored by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford.
"Just as the site of the Alamo was left in ruins for decades, its story was forgotten and twisted over time, with the contributions of Tejanos – Texans of Mexican origin, who fought alongside the Anglo rebels – scrubbed from the record, and the origin of the conflict over Mexico’s push to abolish slavery papered over," a synopsis for the book states. "'Forget the Alamo' provocatively explains the true story of the battle against the backdrop of Texas’s struggle for independence, then shows how the sausage of myth got made in the Jim Crow South of the late 19th and early 20th century. As uncomfortable as it may be to hear for some, celebrating the Alamo has long had an echo of celebrating whiteness."
The lieutenant governor's full statement can be read below:
“After learning that the authors of the book 'Forget the Alamo,' which is highly critical of the defenders of the Alamo, had been scheduled to make a presentation at the Texas State History Museum without any rebuttal or critique, I immediately made sure the event was canceled. The Texas State History Museum is overseen by the Texas State Preservation Board on which I serve, but I had not been informed that the event was being held.
“We are all interested in continued study and research on the history of Texas and the people who founded our state, but we must make certain that the information being put forward at state-sponsored events is well-researched and based in fact.
“That is not the case with 'Forget the Alamo,' which has been debunked by a number of professional historians who point to the book’s shoddy research and selective use of facts. Virtually no respected Texas historian agrees with the thesis of this book — that the defenders of the Alamo were fighting for slavery in Texas. With its incendiary title, the authors clearly want to make 'Forget the Alamo' another 1619 Project — a polemic posing as history which has also been debunked.
"The authors of 'Forget the Alamo' are not historians — one is a Democrat operative and the other two are newspaper reporters.
"It is time that these writers are asked tough questions by serious historians about their research and thesis. I have asked the University of Texas if they would host a panel with the Forget the Alamo authors alongside history experts to explore the scholarship of this book, debate the facts and get to the truth. The university has agreed to host this event and I hope it will be scheduled in the next few weeks."
Tomlinson told KVUE he and his fellow authors are confident in how they presented the facts and look forward to updates from the university.
"We look forward to hearing what the University of Texas has in mind," he said. "The state's top historians have already endorsed our book with reviews in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. We interviewed others for the book itself. We are confident in our facts and regret the lieutenant governor has failed to keep up with the latest academic research."
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