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James Crisp

Unpaid Emeritus

Department of History

View CV 




2004 Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett=s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press). [History Book Club featured selection; Winner of the T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award for 2005 from the Texas Historical Commission].

2009 Confrontando El Alamo: La Ultima Lucha de Davy Crockett y Otros Mitos de la Revolución de Texas, trans. Miguel Angel González Quiroga (Monterrey, México: Fondo Editoral de Nuevo León).

2010 How Did Davy Die? And Why Do We Care So Much? [co-authored with the late Dan Kilgore] (College Station: Texas A&M University Press).

Chapters in Books:

1995 “Race, Revolution, and the Texas Republic: Toward a Reinterpre­tation,” in The Texas Military Experience, ed. Joseph G. Dawson III (College Station: Texas A&M University Press).

1997 “Introduction” and “La Semana Perdida,” in Carmen Perry (ed. & trans.), With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution (Expand­ed edition; College Station: Texas A&M Univer­sity Press).

2002 “Why ‘How He Died’ Became ‘Who We Are’: The Texan Identity and the Contested Iconography of Davy Crockett=s Death at the Alamo.@ in Lucia Carle and Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux (eds.), Situazioni D’Assedio/Cities Under Siege/Etats de Siège(Firenze [Italy]: Pagnini e Martinelli), 385-397, 489-492. [Co-Winner: Premio Migliore Comunicazione]

2007 “Memory, Truth, and Pain: Myth and Censorship in the Celebration of Texas History,” in Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas, Gregg Cantrell and Elizabeth Hayes Turner, eds. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press).

2009 “José Antonio Navarro: The Problem of Tejano Powerlessness,” in Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas, Jesús F. de la Teja, ed. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press), 146-168.

2010 “’Mucho Cuidado!’’: Silencing, Selectivity, and Sensibility in the Utilization of Tejano Voices by Texas Historians,” in Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas, Raúl Ramos and Monica Perales, eds. [for the Hispanic Heritage of Texas Project of the Hispanic Heritage Recovery Project] (Houston: Arte Público Press), 146-168.

2016 “Who Were the Texians?: The Creation of a Texas Identity in the Era of the Republic,” in Single Star of the West: The Republic of Texas, 1836-1845 (University of North Texas Press), 81-109


1993 “Sam Houston’s Speechwriters: The Grad Student, the Teenager, the Editors, and the Historians,” Southwest­ern Historical Quarterly 97, no. 2 (October 1993): 202-237. [Winner of the H. Bailey Carroll Award, 1994]

1994 “The Little Book That Wasn’t There: The Myth and Mys­tery of the de la Peña Diary,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 98, no. 2 (October 1994): 261-296.

1995 “When Revision Becomes Obsession: Bill Groneman and the de la Peña Diary,” Military History of the West 25, no. 2 (Fall 1995), 143-154.

1995 “Davy in Freeze-Frame: Methodology or Madness?,” The Alamo Journal 98 (October).

1995 “Trashing Dolson: The Perils of Tendentious Interpre­tation,” The Alamo Journal 99 (December).

1996 “Back to Basics: Conspiracies, Common Sense, and Occam’s Razor,” The Alamo Journal 100 (March).

1999 “In Pursuit of Herman Ehrenberg: A Research Adventure,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 102, no. 4 (April 1999): 422-439.

2000 “A Fresh Look at the Texas Revolution,” Journal of South Texas 13, no. 1 (Spring 2000), 52-77.

2001 “An Incident in San Antonio: The Contested Iconology of Davy Crockett’s Death at the Alamo,” Journal of the West 40, no. 2 (Spring 2001), 67-77. [Best Article Award]

2007 “Beyond the Battlefield: The Contending Legacies of San Jacinto,” Houston History(Spring, 2007), 12-19.

2007 “Documenting Davy’s Death: The Problematic ‘Dolson Letter’ from Texas, 1836,” Journal of the West 46, no. 2 (Spring, 2007), 22-28.

2007 “The Alamo,” in the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (Macmillan Reference USA).

2007 “Calculated Victory: Sam Houston’s Campaign to Rescue the Texas Revolution,” in The Proceedings of the Annual Meeting at Denton, December 3-5, 2004, Vol. 68 (Austin: The Philosophical Society of Texas), 29-37.

2013 “The Romance of Absolute Truth: Henry McArdle, James DeShields, and the Meaning of Texas History,” Houston History 10, no. 2 (March 2013), 30-35, 44-45.

2016 “Texas Republic,” in the Dictionary of American History, Supplement: America and the World, 1776 to the Present, Edward J. Blum, ed. (Charles Scribner’s Sons, Macmillan Reference USA).

Forthcoming publications:

2019 “Delineating Davy, Defining Ourselves: The Alamo in 1960 and in 2004,” in Writing History with Lightning: Representations of Nineteenth-Century America on Film, John Inscoe and Matthew Hulbert, eds. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press).


B.A. History Rice University 1968

M. Phil. History Yale University 1971

Ph.D. History Yale University 1976