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)
John G. Griffin
The story of the Comanches and their ongoing war with the Texans is what made the state of Texas the unique place it is. The saga of Cynthia Ann Parker and her abduction by the Comanches and later return to her white filly is the stuff of which legends are made.
The fact that her son, Quanah, became a great chief and later adapted to life on the reservation is incredible.
This book was definitely worth purchasing. Having been raised in the 60s, most of my education about the American Indian came from Sunday afternoon John Wayne movies. Although this book deals almost exclusively with the Comanche Indian tribes, It is in every way an eye-opening examination of the plight and ultimate demise of life as native tribes knew it. For the Comanche, 300 years of refinement came to an abrupt end over a 10 year period, primarily in present-day Texas. That's what 80% of this book covers. It's interesting, it's shocking, it's sad and very entertaining. I learned a lot.
I would recommend this if you grew up in the south-central region of the United States and if "Cowboys and Indians" captured your imagination as a youngster. However, it reads about like a history book and is not really a "story" with a plot, in depth exploration of characters, etc. It is a very well-written history book.
I grew up in North Texas and am very familiar with many of the locations the book describes. It certainly adds to the depth of my understanding of my own homeland.
I will not say it was my favorite but there were many graphic descriptions of the brutal torture on the side of both the Indians and the settlers that brings frontier lifestyle in to sharp relief.
I liked this book a lot, but it was a bit dry. The impression is that it is a 'story', but it's not really that. It is a history. Well-researched with details described that make life on the frontier vivid, but not exactly dramatic story-telling.
As a lifelong lover of Western history and lore, I found this book and this audiobook to be totally amazing. Author Gwynne made clear so many things I had heard and read many times but not completely internalized. You may think you are not really interested in the history of the Comanches, Texas, and the West, but you just haven't had it served up in such an intelligent yet readable manner. As to the audiobook....although I had read the hard book twice, I got new insight from the excellent narration by David Drummond.....this is a must read and must listen!
Not only was the book very well-researched, honest, and well-written, David Drummond performed marvelously as a narrator. He's one of the best I've ever heard, and I've listened to a lot of books here on audible.
Learning about the Plains horse tribes, the glory, horrors and demise of the greatest nation of the American Indians.
Brought me to the reality that we, so called Americans took not only the Indian lands but their entire way of life away from them, very sad that a great nation could not adapt and live in peace with the whites....
Audible has helped me expand my appreciation for history, science and the arts. The Great Courses series are illuminating. More please!!
The Empire of The Summer Moon chronicles the history of Texas settlement bringing the reader through calamitous and desperate times for both settlers and Native Americans. This is facinating and at times unsettling history , well documented in an expertly constructed book. There are important characters highlighted that might have otherwise slipped thru the fingers of time`s grasp. I read the book and when I saw the work on Audible I jumped at the chance to listen to it.
I learned a great deal from reading and from listening to this book. I had no idea how resourceful the Commanches were in opposing settlement by Europeans or by other Native Americans on their hunting grounds.
1st time for me - excellent job from Mr Drummond!
fascinating and unsettling history
For anyone interested in American or Native American history my advice is to Read or Listen to this book!!
I was excited to listen to this book but I am afraid that I did not finish it. It was not written in an interesting manner and did not catch my interest. Even historical books can be interesting but not this one.
I have the first Scribner hardcover edition May 2010. I have noticed that the Audible edition
has been changed from the hardcover paper edition. I really wish the text would not change from one format to another. When these changes refer to events how does one know which version of fact is true?
I enjoyed this book a lot. For the most part it's very well written, and well narrated. There are a few parts in the middle where it seemed to drag a bit and feel like a dry history lesson, but it always picked up in time to keep me hanging on. I really felt like it picked up toward the end.
At times this book made me feel like I understood the times it spoke of, and I really enjoyed learning about the character of Quanah Parker. Here's an important historical figure that was completely left out of my education.
This is not a book that paints the United States as the evil empire and the Native Americans as poor, mistreated, peaceniks. Far, far, from it. This is a book that shows the good and bad side of both sides in the conflict. I recommend it.
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