John Willingham, A 7th generation texan, is the author of historical novels set in texas and essays on major texas literary figures. He has also contributed op-eds to the History news network, and edited four books on public university honors colleges, cited in the new york times.
In April 2023, the Southwestern historical quarterly will publish his comprehensive essay "Should we 'Forget the Alamo?: Myths, slavery, and the texas Revolution." The essay reexamines major arguments over the role of slavery in causing the revolution and concludes that the legacy of the alamo in Texas today is an ethic that often collides with the complex issues of modernity.
Willingham has a BA with honors and an MA in American history from the university of texas at austin. A native of Waco, he began his writing career as a police reporter for the waco tribune-herald. he is a graduate of richfield high school. For twenty years HE wAS AN ELECTION ADMINISTRATOR IN TEXAS and served as AN OBSERVER and facilitator IN BOSNIA for the 1998 general elections. In 2002, he was a member of a national task force on election reform. After ten years of retirement in portland, oregon, He now lives and writes in georgetown, texas, near austin.
he independently published the edge of freedom, A fact-based novel of the texas revolution, in time to be the featured author for the annual lecture and reenactment at the presidio la Bahia in Goliad in 2011, on the 175th anniversary of the texas revolution. The book is told from the points of view of the texian commander James fannin, the mexican general Jose de urrea, and two business partners who fought on opposite sides in the Goliad campaign, Carlos de la garza and John White Bower.
"TheEdge of Freedom succeeds as a 'fact-based novel' in its compelling blend of historical sequence and imagination: what likely occurred, and why? ....The Edge of Freedom remains closely tethered to actual events. James Michener once argued that meaningful literature inquires into real motives and behavior of humanity. The Edge of Freedom is an inventive glimpse into the choices and dilemmas that plague people caught up in political turbulence....
"Read alongside one of the contemporary general histories of the Texas republic or the Texas revolution, The Edge of Freedom provides an enriching glimpse into the tragedy whose ghosts were evoked thirty-six days later on the San Jacinto prairies."-- bob Cavendish
An updated kindle edition is now available. Link to Book page is below.