• Lone Star Nation

  • How a Ragged Army of Courageous Volunteers Won the Battle for Texas Independence
  • By: H.W. Brands
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 17 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (297 ratings)

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Lone Star Nation

By: H.W. Brands
Narrated by: Don Leslie
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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling historian and longtime Texan H. W. Brands, a richly textured history of one of the most fascinating and colorful eras in U.S. history - the Texas Revolution and the forging of a new America.

"For better or for worse, Texas was very much like America. The people ruled, and little could stop them. If they ignored national boundaries, if they trampled the rights of indigenous peoples and of imported bondsmen, if they waged war for motives that started from base self-interest, all this came with the territory of democracy, a realm inhabited by ordinarily imperfect men and women. The one saving grace of democracy - the one that made all the difference in the end - was that sooner or later, sometimes after a terrible strife, democracy corrected its worst mistakes." (Lone Star Nation)

Lone Star Nation is the gripping story of Texas's precarious journey to statehood, from its early colonization in the 1820s to the shocking massacres of Texas loyalists at the Alamo and Goliad by the Mexican army, from its rough-and-tumble years as a land overrun by the Comanches to its day of liberation as an upstart republic. 

H. W. Brands tells the turbulent story of Texas through the eyes of a colorful cast of characters who have become a permanent fixture in the American landscape: Stephen Austin, the state's reluctant founder; Sam Houston, the alcoholic former governor who came to lead the Texas army in its hour of crisis and glory; William Travis, James Bowie, and David Crockett, the unforgettable heroic defenders of the doomed Alamo; Santa Anna, the Mexican generalissimo and dictator whose ruthless tactics galvanized the colonists against him; and the white-haired President Andrew Jackson whose expansionist aspirations loomed large in the background. 

Beyond these luminaries, Brands unearths the untold stories of the forgotten Texans - the slaves, women, unknown settlers, and children left out of traditional histories - who played crucial roles in Texas’s birth. By turns bloody and heroic, tragic and triumphant, this riveting history of one of our greatest states reads like the most compelling fiction, and further secures H. W. Brands's position as one of the premier American historians. 

©2004 H.W. Brands (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"It's hard to think that the story could be better told." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brands' impressive integrative account of the fabled Texas revolution of the 1830s relates key incidents and displays trenchant psychological insights, engraving both with the fundamental forces involved....[An] excellent, fair-minded chronicle." (Booklist)
"The author is so conversant with the intricacies of his subject that he assumes a degree of familiarity in the reader....Of the legendary characters who died there, Mr. Brands is notably clear-eyed." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about Lone Star Nation

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Texas: From Spanish colony to statehood

As a native Texan and student of Texas history I have to give H.W. Brands credit for producing such a comprehensive narrative of the people and events that led to Texas's fight for independence from Mexico and annexation into the United States. I have never seen a better explanation of the role Andrew Jackson and the U. S. government played in these events. I would recommend this book as a 'must read' for anyone with an interest in Texas History.

My only complaint is with the reader. Texas place names are famous for their excentricities of pronunciation. Hearing the reader repeatedly mispronounce the names of places like Bastrop, Brazoria, and San Jacinto, as well as his frequent mistakes with Spanish words and names,is like fingernails on a chalkboard to anyone familiar with the common pronunciations.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

More depth than expected, less breadth.

I had expected a more wide ranging history of the state. Instead, I recieved an EXTREMELY detailed history of its devlopment around the Alamo fight time period. Good details on the players, and lots of material from the time period.

But I was expecting it to cover a greater period of time. When I got to halfway through the second part of the download and was still hearing about the same people, I gave up. Just sooo much detail of the same period. Good, but not what I washoping for...

So if you are looking for a well done coverage of the creation of the state, rather than a history of the state itself, then you will be happy.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Pleasure for a History Buff

As a relatively new resident of Texas, I learned immediately that the people here take their state's history seriously. I consider myself a history buff and have dabbled in Texas History, but I must say that the most comprehensive book I have seen to date is this one. It is not simply filled with arcane facts, but the narrator brings the period to life. An enjoyable read.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

God and Texas!

Insightful veiws. Extremely well read. Author doesn't hide anything. Exposes character flaws as well as integrity in some of the most well known figures in American history. Some of the language could have been worded better but over all one of the best books I've read/heard. If only they would have had text books like this one I would have done better in Texas History class. Explains much on the Texas Revolution and the events spawning it. You don't have to be a Texan to enjoy this one!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Brings History to Life

Often an extremely detailed book like this can be boring. Not so with this author and narrator! Fascinating and informative - H.W.Brands brings this period of Texas history to life.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lone Star Nation is an American story

Would you listen to Lone Star Nation again? Why?

Yes. As a new Texan resident who's raising children in the Lonestar State, this book gives me a thorough understanding of our new home's heritage.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lone Star Nation?

I enjoyed getting to know the lives of the Texas "founders" before they came to Texas.

What does Don Leslie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

As a daily 2-hour commuter, audio books make it possible for me to be a "reader" again. Carving out additional time would be nearly impossible with work and family obligations.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I looked forward to every drive so I could hear what happens next.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

An absorbing history, sweeping in scope, thrilling in incident, uncommonly well written and superbly read. One of the best audiobooks I have encountered.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

ANOTHER Winner

H W Brands is fast becoming one of the best writers of history. He will not lose any fans with this book. Texas has always been a source of rich history and as usual Bill Brands tells the story with flair.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Texas languages butchered

This is not an in-depth study of the Texas Revolution. It is more of a survey. From that perspective, however, it is an excellent survey. What I just couldn't get past was how badly the narrator absolutely butchered the place names. I am a native, whose family has been here over 150 years. I can let you slide in hen you mispronounce 'Bejar', I tolerated the mispronunciation of Tonkawa and Karankawa. Mispronouncing San Saba , was annoying, Butchering Anahuac was irritating, but when he insisted on calling Brazoria "Brazo-rhea", I could no longer listen.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Texas is a whole world to discover

The history of Texas is unique. This book was a great place to start my study of the state in advance of a visit to Austin, TX.

2 people found this helpful