Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Few people realize that the Comanche Indians were the greatest warring tribe in American history. Their 40-year battle with settlers held up the development of the new nation. Empire of the Summer Moon tells of the rise and fall of this fierce, powerful, and proud tribe, and begins in 1836 with the kidnapping of a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower blue eyes named Cynthia Ann Parker. She grew to love her captors and eventually became famous as the "White Squaw." She married a powerful Comanche chief, and their son, Quanah, became a warrior who was never defeated and whose bravery and military brilliance in the Texas panhandle made him a legend as one of the greatest of the Plains Indian chiefs.
In this vivid piece of writing, S. C. Gwynne describes in sometimes brutal detail the savagery of both whites and Comanches and, despite the distance of time, demonstrates how truly shocking these events were, juxtaposed against the haunting story of an unforgettable figure of a woman caught between two worlds.
©2010 S.C. Gwynne (P)2010 Tantor
“Rigorously researched and evenhanded, the book paints both the Comanches and Americans in their glory and shame, bravery and savagery.” (Publishers Weekly)
"In Empire of the Summer Moon, Sam Swynne has given us a rich, vividly detailed rendering of an important era in our history and of two great men, Quanah Parker and Ranald Slidel Mackenzie, whose struggles did much to define it." (Larry McMurtry)
“Transcendent . . . Empire of the Summer Moon is nothing short of a revelation . . . will leave dust and blood on your jeans.” (New York Times Book Review)
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.
Caveat: I love historical fiction, AND I love learning about the Plains tribes and nations. I loved this book. Others might find it long or tedious in places, but I didn't at all. And really, this was almost pure history telling, though done very well. Should be a must-read for American History.
Yes, It was so good.
Learning all of the history of it.
Easy to listen to.
I never wanted to stop or have it end.
I'd read another book like this if it were required for a college course. It's a little like listening to Discovery Channel without pictures.
I was expecting a yarn, a narrative, a story with dialog and personal interactions. This isn't it. It's a good history, full of facts and even well-interpreted. But I'm having a hard time staying awake.
I will look more carefully before choosing my next Audible selection.
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