I went into this book thinking that it might be more than I want to know about one particular person, especially given the length of this book. The author however fleshes out the book with helpful digressions on: the history of Texas, what it was like to be a plains indian in the 1880's, background on the Comanches, information on other tribes in the areas, what happened to captives of the Comanches etc. etc. The book is really a nice balance between a history of the last years of the Comanches and a biography of a single person living during that time. In fact, one could easily make the argument that this book is not really "about" Quanah Parker as you really only get the his story at the end of the book.
The book is nicely balanced between individual interesting anecdotes and material of broad sweep. And there is enough background information to help you really understand the amazing transformation of Quanah for plains indian living the traditional nomadic life to someone trying to adapt to living in white society. Without all of the background information it would have been difficult to appreciate the full tragedy of his story. And clearly the author has done a lot of research for this book.
Now to the reader: In a word, David Drummond is excellent. He reads with enough enthusiasm to convey the wonder of the story, but not the breathless awe that some readers affect that just sounds "off". I haven't enjoyed a reading this much in a long time and will seek out other titles that he's read. Really a pitch-perfect performance.
I often have trouble following histories like this. They tend to be overlong and confusing in the number of people you have to keep track of. Not so with Empire, I really enjoyed this.
Quite a detailed account of about one hundred years of battles between Plains Indians and those of us who arrived later. What struck me was the savagery on both sides, as well as the role played by the US Government in virtually wiping the Indians off of their native lands.
Many details and many battles, all brought together through the story of a single settler family that was attacked by the Indians in the early 1800s.
Spare, rivetting, unforgettable. Driving highway 40 through Amarillo, we put on this tape and were transfixed as the author told this story, effortlessly switching from modern to 19th century to preColumbian American points of view, from ethno-cultural, to military history to language analysis. All this combined with the incredible story of the kidnap, torrture and experience of the Parker females. I can't recommend this more highly.
The book stuck to facts and didn't attempt to make one side appear better. Some gory details. It's hard to feel terribly sorry for a people who are so violent. The treatment of women/children is hard to believe (their own and the Texan's). But I have great respect for these indian warriors and its a shame things turned out the way they did. The Texans and the Comanche's were impressive people. Texan resolve vs Comanche ferocity.
College professor, former police chief.
Interesting, strong, accurte.
The interactions between the indians and the whites.
Most were interesting.
No, then it would be over.
I listened to this and liked so many things I learned but was not totally engrossed the way some books have done for me. It was just...ok.
Just a great book. Comanche Chiefs, Texas Rangers and US Army indian fighters. There is no better story of the taming of the west.
I rely on current reviews before making my selections. It would have been informative if someone indicated that MOST of this book was background on Indian history and not a story of a young girl being taken by the Commanches, etc. While it may be historically correct it was not as described.
This book should be required reading at our universities because it puts to rest the myth of the noble peace-loving savage. The book is informative, factually accurate and entertaining.