Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership
by Bill O'Neal
Fort Worth: Eakin Press, 2016.
258 pp. $19.95 paper.
Historians often marvel at the array of outstanding men who led the American colonies to independence and the creation of a new nation in 1775-1789. There is little doubt that the United States enjoyed great good fortune in its leadership at a critical time. During its revolution and the years of the Republic and early statehood, Texas also had many solid and creative leaders, but none reached the level of Sam Houston. As James L. Haley wrote in his full-scale biography, "One figure only stands like a colossus astride the middle decades of the 1800s: Sam Houston." Bill O'Neal's new study of Houston's leadership reinforces that judgment.
Bill O'Neal, of course, needs no introduction to readers of Texas History. The author of more than forty books and hundreds of articles and book reviews, Bill (a good East Texan will surely forgive the use of his first name here) became the State Historian of Texas in 2012 and is now serving his second term in that position. This study of Houston as a leader grew from a talk that he gave at the Bob...