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Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West Paperback – October 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The historian Sides is scrupulously even-handed in the telling of this tale and spares us no details, proving that history is often a messy business where sometimes the bad and good intermingle in the same person and event, and one can perhaps never know the whole truth. Nowhere in this work is this more clearly shown than in the person of Christopher Carson, the quiet, unassuming, and illiterate central figure in this drama who had an urge at a young age to take off to parts unknown.Read more ›
At the center is Christopher "Kit" Carson, who was a pivotal figure in the events and whose life has been so distorted by legend most today have little inkling of just how complex an individual and how heroic--in the true sense of the word--the man really was.
There are also telling portraits of others: President James Polk, engineer of Manifest Destiny, who believed it was his nation's biblical right to seize real estate all the way to the Pacific, no matter who else might claim the land; Stephen Watts Kearny, father of the U.S. Cavalry and one of the most underrated officers produced by this country, who Polk used to spearhead his land lust; the equally ambitious John C. Fremont and his father-in-law, Sen. Thomas Hart Benton, the apostle of Manifest Destiny; the energetic and interesting Brig. Gen. James H. Carleton, whose well-meaning dream of a refuge for the Navajo led them to Bosque Redondo and near extinction; the great Navajo leaders Narbona, Manuelito and Barboncito, and many others.
Diminutive in stature, Carson was--as Sides describes him early on: "...a lovable man...loyal, honest, and kind. In many pinpointable incidents, he acted bravely and with much physical grace. More than once, he saved people's lives without seeking recognition or pay. He was a dashing good Samaritan--a hero, even."
In the very next paragraph, Sides says, "He was also a natural born killer."
Carson was all of that. A humble man, a brave man, loyal to his friends, a demon to his enemies. He was a man of his times, yet stood head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries.Read more ›
I found it amazingly relevant that the Mexican War was our nation's first war of choice. Fought to support manifest destiny and to bring democracy and freedom to Mexico. That once defeated the Catholic Church supported a revolt of insurgency against American rule which was crunched after its violent backlash. President Polk for good or bad certainly changed the map of history, and you can certainly see why many Mexicans feel California was stolen for $11 million dollars.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting story of one of the earliest and one of the best known American explorers in the mid-19th century, Kit Carson. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Glenn Kraus
Well presented history of New Mexico in the 1800's. Easy read and a good resource bookPublished 12 days ago by cap hurlbutt
Very good. Well-written and comprehensive. I had always viewed the Navajos as a peaceful, agrarian people. This book demonstrates their history as warriors. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Peter J. Keiser
Detailed and engrossing. I could read this again sometime soon just to absorb some more of the rich depth of historical knowledge. Read morePublished 16 days ago by C. Barber
Best account of Carson's activities ever read as well as events surrounding the Pueblo tribes.Published 18 days ago by Steve A. Young