Polemics & Exchanges

On Hope for the Future

My name is Anne Bowie, and I am a 15-year-old freshman in high school.  I am the sports editor of my school newspaper, the Hawk Eye, but I also enjoy writing movie reviews from time to time.  As a descendant of Jim Bowie, who died at the Alamo, I am deeply interested in this portion of our history, which Dr. Roger McGrath covers so well in his column, Sins of Omission.

When I heard that Hollywood was making a new movie about the Alamo, I was excited, but my hopes for an historically accurate depiction of the heroic stand were dashed.  Of course, I wasn’t expecting Hollywood to portray American history in a positive light.  I knew that John Lee Hancock and his screenwriters had gotten their sources from a fraudulent “diary.”  In retaliation, I wrote a review of the film for our paper.

Unfortunately, as Dr. McGrath knows, the theme “evil white man versus noble red man” is prevalent not only in Hollywood but in history classes of all levels of the educational system in America today, including my own.  The next time my U.S. history teacher tells us about the “peaceful Native Americans who are at one with nature,” I intend to pull out Dr. McGrath’s column and read the part about the Red Stick Creeks “grabbing small children by the ankles and, swinging them through the air, dashing their brains out on logs,” and also the part about how the...

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