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Empire of the Summer Moon | [S. C. Gwynne]

Empire of the Summer Moon

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1363 )
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4.3 (941 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Forrest Arlington, TX, United States 10-09-12
    Forrest Arlington, TX, United States 10-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "One of the best books I have read in a long time!"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 10-01-12
    Linda 10-01-12
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    "Very revealing."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheri 07-31-12
    Cheri 07-31-12
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    "Native of the Comancheria--and didn't know it!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edwin Windfall, IN, United States 07-30-12
    Edwin Windfall, IN, United States 07-30-12
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    "I liked it"
    What did you love best about Empire of the Summer Moon?

    I learned a lot of American history that w previously unknown to me.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd do it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwen 07-19-12
    Gwen 07-19-12 Member Since 2008
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    "comanche history meets insurance salesman"
    Where does Empire of the Summer Moon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Empire of the Summer Moon to and why?

    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.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator should stick to voicing insurance advertisements. His voice seemed inappropriate to this work and took away from the listening experience.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    optimism is not a rational notion


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Plaisance Buffalo Gap, TX United States 07-11-12
    K. Plaisance Buffalo Gap, TX United States 07-11-12 Member Since 2015

    Hippie Gal

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    "empire of the sun"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek 05-12-12
    Derek 05-12-12 Member Since 2015

    Enthusiast

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    "Truth is bloodier than 'Blood Meridian' fiction"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil 04-27-12
    Neil 04-27-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Great history, great story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Jericho, VT, United States 04-13-12
    Ruth Jericho, VT, United States 04-13-12 Member Since 2011

    ManyGoldens

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    "Fantastic"
    Would you listen to Empire of the Summer Moon again? Why?

    Yes, It was so good.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Empire of the Summer Moon?

    Learning all of the history of it.


    What about David Drummond’s performance did you like?

    Easy to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I never wanted to stop or have it end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McKulty Birmingham, AL, United States 03-28-12
    McKulty Birmingham, AL, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2008

    McKulty

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    "Not what I expected"
    Would you try another book from S. C. Gwynne and/or David Drummond?

    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.


    What could S. C. Gwynne have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by David Drummond?

    Yes.


    Did Empire of the Summer Moon inspire you to do anything?

    I will look more carefully before choosing my next Audible selection.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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