Narbona could not have known that "The Army of the West", in the midst of the longest march in American military history, was merely the vanguard of an inexorable tide fueled by a self-righteous ideology now known as "Manifest Destiny". For 20 years the Navajo, elusive lords of a huge swath of mountainous desert and pasturelands, would ferociously resist the flood of soldiers and settlers who wished to change their ancient way of life - or destroy them.
©2006 Hampton Sides; (P)2006 Books on Tape
"An excellent addition to collections on western history." (Booklist)
"[Sides] eloquently paints the landscape and history of the 19th-century Southwest." (Publishers Weekly)
Totally explained my New Mexico heritage and why we are the way we are in the state. Loved every single chapter.
Husband for 40 years, retired CHP sergeant, photographer, father of 2, grandfather of 3. Love audiobooks. My interests are dominated, but not exclusively historical.
When I purchased this book I was under the impression that it was a basic history of the Navajo people. While listening to the first chapter I was concerned about the reader's voice as it seemed to be somewhat monotone. But I did not put the book down. I am extremely pleased with myself that I didn't. To me this was an epic story not solely about the history of the Navajo, but the many other Native American peoples of the southwest. Tightly weaved into the story was the life history of Kit Carson with John C Fremont, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Braxton Bragg, Generals Grant and Sherman and many others in their roles. The Civil War as fought in New Mexico, the Sand Creek Massacre and the slaughter of pioneer families by the Mormons of Utah. The beauty of the Southwest or to some its ugliness when compared to the green, fetal lands to the east. I ramble on, but this is a must listen for anyone interested in the history of the American Southwest. As the reader progressed the reader's voice seemed to be exactly what was needed to tell this story.
Well written book, expertly narrated. It covers an interesting portion of frontier and western American history in the 19th century.
Interesting, detailed and fascinating. I am in fond of history, but not familiar with the American one (I’m Italian, I live in Rome): finally I start to understand what all those movies I’ve seen since childhood were about.
The narrator, Don Leslie, is so good. He made me breathe the now gone atmosphere of those times. The grass, the dust, the misery, the simplicity and toughness of their wild livings. The brightness of a new future waiting ahead. This is perhaps the first book I’m so glad not to have red, but listened to.
The story and narration are good. I think that he did a good job of providing a balanced account. It was however, a bit long.
Beautifully written, engaging, and even handed - this book dives deep into a time that we think we know all about, but don't. Alas, this painful part of our history is so much more complex than many know. The friendships and hostilities between European colonial settlers, Americans, and the many Native American tribes they met along the way are beautifully rendered in this book. Tragic, heroic, flawed, funny, wrong-headed, naive, selfish, loyal and courageous - all words that describe the cast of characters in this true story. We honor them by learning more about them. I couldn't put this boom down.
Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.
This book describes what happened in western Mexico (later the United States) between approximately 1845 and 1865. The United States sought to expand their territory so that it would stretch from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific ocean, but Mexico stood in the way. In the resulting conflict Kit Carson, the protagonist in this book, rose to prominence.
The title and the setting made me think that this book would be full of exhilarating action. Sure enough there was some action but there was a lot of drawn out stories in between, some of which were superfluous. While Kit Carson is the protagonist the reader will also learn about Narbona, the famous leader of the Navajo, general Kearny who lead the american army against the mexicans, as well as a number of other surrounding characters. The fact that the book is temporally organized means that the books jumps around a lot between the different characters.
Still despite the hap-hazard feel sometimes associated with this book, there are also some buried gold-grains. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of California. It is an astonishing fact that only a 150 years ago it was a sparsely inhabited and dangerous desert. I was also fascinated by the description of the Indians and how they thought and felt when they encountered the modern american military.
For the reader that seeks an in depth description of the main characters in the Mexican war, including their pre war biographies, this book is a good option. For me, it was too long.
Report Inappropriate Content