Storm over Texas is a great historical novel, written by Joel Silbey, that highlights the issues that came with the annexation of Texas into the United States. One of the key themes of the book is the transition Americans had to make from a partisan to sectional party and how it foreshadowed the crisis of succession and war. As Silbey ends his book with, “Texas annexation turned out to be another sudden, resounding fire bell in the night, one that rang longer and louder, and ultimately with more effect, than any that had preceded it” (181), he sums up perfectly how the Annexation of Texas left the United States, not so united.
One of the things I didn’t like about the book was that it did not focus on the political faces who were involved in the annexation of Texas like Sam Houston. When learning about Texas history, especially it’s annexation, Sam Houston is glorified like no other, however in Silbey’s book, it was mentioned merely twice, described as “former governor of Tennessee, hero of the Texas Revolution against Mexico, and now the republic’s president” (8). I also feel that slavery was the entire basis of the book. Silbey focuses so much into it, to a point where it seems like that was the only thing that caused the Civil War to occur. I agree that it created a tear in the nation as the North wanted it abolished but the Southerners called it a way of life.
Joel Silbey’s qualifications are adequate. He was an educated man, having earned a degree from San Francisco State University and taught in numerous universities like the University of Maryland and Oxford University. Through his writings of Political Ideology and Voting Behavior in the Age of Jackson and The Rise and Fall of Political Parties in the United States, it is quite obvious that he is knowledgeable on all things Jacksonian.