Forget the Alamo
Every nation needs its creation myth, and since Texas was a nation before it was a state, it's no surprise that its myths bite deep. There's no piece of history more important to Texans than the Battle of the Alamo, when Davy Crockett and a band of rebels went down in a blaze of glory fighting for independence from Mexico, losing the battle but setting Texas up to win the war. However, that version of events, as Forget the Alamo definitively shows, owes more to fantasy than reality. 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. 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 nineteenth and early twentieth century. As uncomfortable as it may be to hear for some, celebrating the Alamo has long had an echo of celebrating whiteness.
In the past forty-some years, waves of revisionists have come at this topic, and at times have made real progress toward a more nuanced and inclusive story that doesn't alienate anyone. But we are not living in one of those times; the fight over the Alamo's meaning has become more pitched than ever in the past few years, even violent, as Texas's future begins to look more and more different from its past. It's the perfect time for a wise and generous-spirited book that shines the bright light of the truth into a place that's gotten awfully dark.
About our speaker:
Jason Stanford is a writer whose bylines have appeared in Texas Monthly, the Texas Tribune, Texas Highways, the Texas Observer, as well as many publications that have nothing whatsoever to do with Texas. Together with Bryan Burrough and Chris Tomlinson, he co-wrote the New York Times-best selling
The former communications director for Austin Mayor Steve Adler, in 2018 he was named by Austin Monthly “Best Man Behind the Curtain." Jason is also credited with writing the Mayor’s widely circulated response to a critic of an all-female screening in Austin of the movie Wonder Woman and with instigating a breakfast taco war with San Antonio that ended without a single egg being broken.
A former political consultant for more than 200 campaigns in 40 states, Stanford contributed a regular column to the Austin American-Statesman, wrote a nationally syndicated column, and in 2011 co-wrote with James Moore Adios, Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush. Currently, publishes a Substack newsletter called The Experiment and is the chief of communications and community engagement for Austin ISD.
Stanford majored in Russian at Lewis & Clark College which led in 1992 to editing the Moscow Guardian, an English-language expatriate tabloid and working as a researcher for the Los Angeles Times bureau.
6:50am - Coffee & Networking
7:10am - Breakfast Buffet
7:25am - Introductions & Announcements
7:50am - Speaker Introduction
8:20am - Q&A
8:30am - Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Directions and Parking
Breakfast Fees & Policy