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The Eagle and the Raven

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  485 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Profiles Sam Houston and Santa Anna who figured prominently in the U.S. annexation of Texas and clashed at the decisive battle of San Jacinto.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 15th 1991 by Tor Books (first published September 1st 1990)
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Hugh Centerville
Aug 17, 2014 Hugh Centerville rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a blockbuster

My recommendation anytime you come across a James Michener book that’s something less than a thousand-page blockbuster, read it. He’s that good. And you might want to try one of his longer ones too, if you never have. Don’t be daunted by their size. Michener’s smooth prose will carry you along and you’ll get through it more quickly than what you might have thought.

Michener’s The Eagle and The Raven comes in at just over two hundred pages. Michener calls it narrative fiction, I
Aug 04, 2013 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Dad gave me this book to read, he's awesome, so whether this book was awesome or not (it was) I was going to like it. I now want to show off how much I've learned about the history of Texas, but I just don't know if I'll ever have a chance.
May 15, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My personal level of enjoyment of this book was closer to a 2.5. I chose it thinking that I had missed an unusually short Michener novel and thus, expected a fictionalized comparison of Sam Houston and Santa Anna and how their lives overlapped. Regarding the subject matter I was right, but the book is a historical review and not a novel. In the forward, Michener reveals that he had originally written it as a chapter (!!) of his book "Texas," but was advised to take it out. He admits that it was ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Dale rated it liked it
This is an odd effort in many ways. Coming in at just 211 pages of text (plus about 20 pages of appendices), this is a tiny Michener book. It is even more tiny when you consider that 28 pages of this book is a forward by Michener and about 20 pages of the book are taken up with blank pages between chapters and illustrations.

This Michener paperback was published in 1991 by Tor, a publishing house more well-known for its sci-fi and fantasy offerings. I would imagine that they just wanted to cash i
Jan 05, 2008 rinabeana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a relatively short book (compared to some of Michener's tomes!) and focuses on the lives of Sam Houston and Santa Anna, who only met one time, in the crucial battle of San Jacinto, which liberated Texas from Mexico in 1836. Both parties have long and colorful histories, but this book (called a "novel" on the cover) touches on the salient points, mostly leading up to the meeting at San Jacinto, though we do learn what befell both men for the remainder of their lives. The thing that made i ...more
Mary JL
Mar 14, 2010 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Fan of author
Shelves: fiction-classics
The cover says " a novel" but it is really a segement that Michener origianlly wrote for his book ,Texas, which was cut before that book was printed.

Like most of Michener's work, it is wellw ritten and historically accurate. As noted in the description above it contrasts the careers of Sam Houston and his adversary, Mexican President Santa Ana.

It is a little less detailed that most of Michener's work and much shorter, so it only gets three stars--most Michener books I give four.

It would,however,
Kristian Brockmann
A wonderful read. The story includes the famous battle at the Alamo, although it centres on the lives of the two generas of the war between Texas and Mexico before the independence of Texas as a separate state. The eagle is known as General Santa Anna of Mexico, whilst the raven is Sam Houston of Texas. The story tells the revealing insight into the lives of the two men as they circle in their different spheres of influence, culminating in a battle in which Houston defeats Santa Anna. The battle ...more
Faith Justice
Sep 08, 2010 Faith Justice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: given-away
I've usually enjoyed Michener's style and stories, but this one didn't grab me at all. According to Michener's prologue, this is a chapter that had been taken out of his longer work Texas. A brief read that profoundly blurs the borders of fiction and non-fiction, this "novelette" tells the parallel stories of Sam Houston (the Raven) and Santa Anna (the Eagle.) Because the stories do not intersect except for the battle at San Jacinto, they would have been better told as two longish magazine artic ...more
Feb 28, 2012 Rod rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a possible move to Houston in our future, I ran across this book and decided that I should learn something about Sam Houston himself. Though Michener spends a good share of this surprisingly thin (for Michener!) book talking about his writing in his later years (in the preface), and though he gives more of his own opinions toward the end about the figures of Houston and Santa Anna then he might have in a novel, I found the actual stories that he tells quite entertaining and interesting and ...more
Dianne Merridith
Marginally interesting double biography of Sam Houston and Santa Anna and their roles in Texas history. James Michener is one of my favorite writers, but this didn't seem very much like a novel.
Nov 15, 2013 Ed rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young readers interested in Texas history
What a disappointment. I expected a detailed accurate interesting description of Sam Houston and Santa Ana. Instead I got a by-the-numbers description of the two with very little real insight. Michener was a very good writer of historical fiction based on strong historical fact. This read like a book written for adolescents with little insight or other elucidation.

The first 35 pages were a long rambling description of how he came to write and publish this book. I suspect it was there along with
I enjoy most of Michener's novels and surprisingly the epics the most. This book, as it turns out, was originally written as a part of his novel "Texas". When it got cut from the book because it was written more like historical research instead of fiction, one of Michener's publishers decided to publish it seperately. It is a good piece of research on Sam Houston and Mexico"s famous General and eleven time President........Santa Anna. It is relatively short and filled with black and white artist ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books-read
James Michener writes a short book about Santa Anna and Houston, and does a great job in limited space revealing the character of both men key to the Republic of Texas.
Suzy Bennett
Interesting book about Santa Ana and Sam Houston. Also interesting was his long introduction. I was amazed to learn how productive Michener was in his eighties!
Nov 01, 2015 Juanita rated it liked it
Good for what it was - basically a section deleted from one of his other novels. Seemed to lack a bit of depth to my way of thinking.
Sarah Spelbring
Aug 09, 2012 Sarah Spelbring rated it liked it
I'm torn between labeling this as non-fiction or fiction. The cover says fictitious, but the author has written the book like a historical with references and resources to back up his information.

Apart from my confusion it was an interesting little read into the backstory of Texas in it's formative years. My mother loves most things with Sam Houston (we have several movies to that effect) so it was only natural I'd find a book or two lying around the house.

I don't ready many westerns or histori
Jeff Dickison
Oct 03, 2013 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it
Although the cover refers to this book as a novel, it is actually a history of the two main characters, Sam Houston and Santa Anna. Michener does a compare and contrast between the two and notes how they met for their one fateful day. While there were a lot of similarites between the two men there was one major difference. Houston was a man of honor while Santa Anna was a scoundrel and a mass murderer, always looking out for himself. I think of him as the "Tricky Dick" of 19th century Mexico. Re ...more
Laura Wong
Mar 16, 2016 Laura Wong rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was the worst book I've ever read in my life. It's about history and I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate history books. I do not recommend this if you're interested in more action things. I asked 19 people who have read it "Did you read the book?" Most of the answers are No or I skim read it. There is about only 3 people I know who think this book is good. DO NOT READ THIS HORRIBLE BOOK PLEASE. (That will save you some time. Instead read a better book.)
Jun 17, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't like biographies? Then this the biography (duogrophy?) to read. Michener does a masterful job of painting the intertwined lives of Santa Anna and Sam Houston; both larger than life, and both glorious despite their flaws.

It reads like good fiction. Even the introduction, which goes into great detail about Michener's reasons for writing this book, is interesting (if a bit longer than I would have liked).
Paul Martin
Feb 22, 2013 Paul Martin rated it really liked it
Excellent comparison of two historical giants of Texas history. (Santa Anna and Sam Houston) I think this was originally intended for the novel Texas but was too developed for just a chapter in that already lengthy novel. SA actually outlived Houston for several years, moved in and out of office like it was a revolving door, spent some time in exile, and is credited by many for introducing chewing gum to the US.
The book left on the cutting room floor. This brief novelized parallel biography of Sam Houston and Santa Anna was apparently excised from Michener's (much) longer novel, Texas. While I have read other accounts of Sam Houston, as in Elmer Kelton's Sons of Texas series, this book presents
information on his adversary, Santa Anna, who is often dismissed as merely a 19th Century war criminal.
I have always admired Michener's ability to write historical novels in which the reader hardly realizes that they are - in fact - reading history. However, The Eagle and the Raven claimes to be a 'novel' (which to me means that it would read like a story), but in fact it reads like a history lesson. A well written history lesson, but still a history lesson.
Jaime Contreras
This historical novel by the garndmaster of James Michener tells the tale of the battle for Texas . The main characters Santa Anna and Sam Houstn are charismatic, brave but flawed men whose emotional swings shaped the history of Mexico and the United States. While not his best work, this novel is decent because of the story-telling.
An interesting bite-sized piece of North American history. I have to say, I learned a little more than I thought I would from this one. Not my favourite Michener effort so far, but definitely palatable. So now I know we have General Santa Anna to thank for chewing gum!
Dec 07, 2010 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A historical narrative depicting the lives of Sam Houston (the raven) and Santa Anna (the eagle) which incclude the battle at the Alamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto. Michener gives us some American history, Mexican history and Texas history in a very real & interesting manner.
May 03, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author unravels the character of two leaders and makes them believable. He shows character flaws and "humaness" in Santa Anna and Sam Houston. I found the book interesting and love the history lesson it gave. Good book!
Mark Coates
Mar 31, 2012 Mark Coates rated it it was amazing
This was a great history lesson about Sam Houston and Santa Anna. I did not know alot about these two individuals, but as a result of this book I can now say that I am informed. An easy read.
Dick Edwards
Sam Houston and Santa Anna. Their careers up to and including the decisive battle of San Jacinto. ALso their lives after that. An interesting contrast between two dissimilar men.

Not my favorite Michener by any stretch of the imagination. Some elements are a bit truncated .:: I really enjoyed the introduction. - the story that describes the complexity j
Oct 11, 2009 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A missing chapter from the book, Texas, about Sam Houston and General Santa Anna -- boring prologue, but wth, he was in his 80's. Just a little bio info on the two adversaries.
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James Albert Michener is best known for his sweeping multi-generation historical fiction sagas, usually focusing on and titled after a particular geographical region. His first novel, Tales of the South Pacific , which inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Toward the end of his life, he created the Journey Prize, awarded annually for t
More about James A. Michener...

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