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Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History Paperback – Illustrated, May 10, 2011
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“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
"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."
About the Author
S.C. Gwynne is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Rebel Yell and Empire of the Summer Moon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief, national correspondent, and senior editor, and with Texas Monthly as executive editor. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife.
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EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON really awakened some of those memories - but from both sides. It was a horrible time for the settlers and the Indians! I have read many books on the subject, but this was the BEST, most accurate account, from both sides. It gives true documentation of events as they happened. We have given this book to so many family members and friends. A few weeks ago, we gave it to a Comanche friend. He said he learned so much about his people from this book. We HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone wanting to know the true history of the west from both sides.
The fact that for over 40 years I've lived in the middle of the area primarily concerned makes it more personal to me, as well as that one of my grandmothers was born in "Indian Territory" (as Oklahoma was called at first), & my mother told of some of her childhood memories of meeting Indians in her home town as a young girl, all add to my own interest. But the main attraction is the unbiased telling of the story, "no punches pulled." The author doesn't shy away from the details of the brutallity on both sides, so it can be disturbing at times; but it also shows the admirable aspects of both sides.
There is no question that Quanah was a truly great leader, but you'll have to read the whole story to understand just how great.
I live in the area of Texas and Oklahoma covered in the book. I have family papers used by relatives three generations ago to establish Indian connections for the purpose of personal gain. I have visited the forts and parks, missions, and roadside historical signs related to this time period. This book helped me put the pieces together.
If you think one group is all bad and the other all good, you will hate this book. If you want to take a hard look at what happens when cultures clash, this book tackles the subject in a compelling and interesting way.
When a friend of mine recommended this book, I was delighted to find such an extensively researched account of the Comanche history and how they became North America's most powerful tribe. Gwynne presents a complete panorama of the tribe - from their unm
atched skills as horsemen to their ruthless treatment of their enemies. The Comanche were both "notorious and brutal killers, [yet] there existed a deep and abiding tenderness. Perhaps that should be obvious, since they were, after all, human beings." Gwynne's unbiased and unrevised portrait of what was real and true is neither a judgment against or espousal of the Comanche. Rather, it is an honest, undogged look into the rise and fall of a fascinating people.
I highly recommend this book to any historian - amateur or otherwise - who is interested in the history of America's native tribes.