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Blood and Thunder Audiobook

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

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Publisher's Summary

In the fall of 1846, the venerable Navajo warrior Narbona, greatest of his people's chieftains, looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole long life. He had come to see if the rumors were true, if an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the East and utterly defeated his ancestral enemies. As Narbona gazed down on the battlements and cannons of a mighty fort the invaders had built, he realized his foes had been vanquished. But what did the arrival of these "new men" portend for the Navajo?

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

What the Critics Say

"An excellent addition to collections on western history." (Booklist)
"[Sides] eloquently paints the landscape and history of the 19th-century Southwest." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (727 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bradley Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 03-26-16
    Bradley Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 03-26-16 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Best!"

    This is the best historical nonfiction I have ever had the pleasure to listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martina Padilla 03-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Outstanding Book Covering New Mexico Heritage"

    Totally explained my New Mexico heritage and why we are the way we are in the state. Loved every single chapter.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. B. Thompson Roseville, CA 02-28-16
    J. B. Thompson Roseville, CA 02-28-16 Member Since 2013

    Husband for 40 years, retired CHP sergeant, photographer, father of 2, grandfather of 3. Love audiobooks. My interests are dominated, but not exclusively historical.

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    "So Much More Than I Expected"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-03-15 Member Since 2011
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    "True grit in the West"

    Well written book, expertly narrated. It covers an interesting portion of frontier and western American history in the 19th century.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario La Femina Rome, Italy 09-01-10
    Mario La Femina Rome, Italy 09-01-10 Member Since 2010
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    10
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    "What a book!"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 11-11-09
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 11-11-09
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    "Good story--a bit long"

    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.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sukie Moore 03-12-15
    Sukie Moore 03-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A flawed hero, Kit Carson's incredible story"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neuron Sweden 07-13-14
    Neuron Sweden 07-13-14 Member Since 2016

    Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decent, but too long"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dih-Yng San Francisco, CA, USA 04-16-07
    Dih-Yng San Francisco, CA, USA 04-16-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exciting and informative"

    Exiciting and informative story with excellent narrative.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold 04-06-07
    Harold 04-06-07
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    "Enjoyed every minute"

    This book was very good and well read.
    I had no idea of all the things Kit Carson had done.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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