Empire of the Summer Moon is a pretty good book – I wouldn’t call it a great book, but it is entertaining enough. If you are looking for a good summarization of relations between Native Americans and white settlers in the 19th Century, this book will provide an unbiased representation of this relationship.
I would have preferred a more personal perspective – I had hoped that this book would focus exclusively on the woman kidnapped by Comanche Indians (her relationship with her captors, how she coped with her new life, etc…). Empire of the Summer Moon revolves around this woman’s story, but only in a very general, vague way. That is my biggest complaint regarding this book – too general (like a history book rather than a good story). I do appreciate the fact that I learned a lot about Native American v white settler relations in the 19th Century.
I will listen to it again. It has a level of detail and compelling facts that make the reader want to fully grasp the story and all its actors.
Part of what is remarkable about this book is its description of many important people, some well known and some little known.
Again there are too many remarkable events to choose from.
The very artful blend of personal and social history woven into the very bloody and brutal conflicts. This was unvarnished and very moving.
Definitely - for anyone who enjoys history or has interest in Texas / Oklahoma it is a MUST read.
When Cynthia Ann died
An American tragedy
I think Quannah would be successful in any era. An amazing man, great war chief, then amazing business man.
Quanah Parker is brought to life. Shown as a great leader, but not in a mythical sense--his flaws are described along with his strengths. The author really seems to be trying to tell a balanced story, without an agenda. Reads like a novel!
Yes. I never appreciated the differences between the tribes, of American Indians. I never knew that we settled both shores before the middle of the country was tamed. Texan's come from stubborn stock.
I have grown up in the Texas Panhandle--Charles Goodnight, Quanah Parker, Cynthia Ann Parker all known to me most of my life. I should say, the names and a mere sketch of the history known to me. I loved this book because it fleshed out the people and times with such vividness.
I learned a lot of American history that w previously unknown to me.
I'd do it again.
Gwynne provides an unsanitized history of the rise and fall of Comanche tribes in Texas and Oklahoma. It weaves together the biographies of Comanche, settler, buffalo hunter and military men (and a few women) in an engaging account. It is less scholarly (and shorter) than Powers' Killing of Crazy Horse, but is a good companion to that book nonetheless.
Killing of Crazy Horse and Destiny Disrupted--historical accounts that challenge stereotypical notions of the histories of peoples and provide what many of our educations left out.
The narrator should stick to voicing insurance advertisements. His voice seemed inappropriate to this work and took away from the listening experience.
optimism is not a rational notion
Enjoyed this book. Work around many of the Texas places in this book so it helped with a history of the area. Narrator did a good job. Listen to this one right after listening to a book on the early years of the Texas Rangers. Very good way of doing this to get a compare and contrast version.
Doesn't soft pedal the actions of the Comanche/Indian the way some native peoples books tend to do and I don't hold that against the book. On the other hand, Gwynne may go a little overboard with his vivid descriptions (parts of this book make Blood Meridian look like a Little Golden Book) of Indian depredations.
Though, to be fair, those descriptions aren't entirely free of context and the author usually gives fair accounts of white atrocities as well. Although I do recall a part, possibly the Sand Creek part, where he writes something like, "the less said about certain army war crimes, the better," or some equally ridiculous statement given his willingness to discuss every white account of Indian crimes in excruciating detail. On the other other hand, shortly after the "less said, the better" statement, he goes on to actually list a bunch of the army atrocities because, I think, he's really interested in the blood and gore stuff of the plains and the Indian wars on both sides.