After a century of being relegated to books and articles by old ladies and sentimentalists, the Alamo has been given serious treatment twice within the past couple of years. First, Lon Tinkle wrote the story of the Alamo in relationship to an inexorable Greek tragedy in his Thirteen Pays to Glory, and now comes Walter Lord with a more strict reportorial and recreative job in A Time to Stand. Both books deserve plaudits.

In a way the Alamo is just another battle, of which there must have been a million since man first picked up a club and went swinging after his neighbor. But the Alamo merits all the recent attention lavished on it, because it is the stuff of which epics are made, and stands in the history of the struggle for freedom alongside the heroics of Leonidas at Thermopylae, of Roland at Roncevalles, or of the Hungarian freedom fighters of recent Budapest. It is a story with universal meaning wherever men try to stem the advance of tyranny.

Mr. Lord has exhumed just about every tidbit of information on the Alamo that it is possible to find, and has sifted his material with taste. The result is a straightforward account that will have to be consulted by any student of United States-Mexico relations or by any student interested in the westward expansion.