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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 - S. C. Gwynne

Empire of the Summer Moon

Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Paperback

Published: 10th May 2011
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In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.

S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.

Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun.

The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being.

Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend.

S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.

About the Author

Sam Gwynne is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared extensively in Time, for which he worked as bureau chief, national correspondent and senior editor from 1988 to 2000, and in Texas Monthly, where he was executive editor. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, and California Magazine. His previous book Outlaw Bank (co-authored with Jonathan Beaty) detailed the rise and fall of the corrupt global bank BCCI. He attended Princeton and Johns Hopkins and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Katie and daughter Maisie.

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Empire of the Summer Moon
 
5.0

(based on 1 review)

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5.0

Very touching story,lovely

By Dicky

from Sydney, OZ

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Understand
  • Inspirational
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older Readers
    • Reference
    • Younger Readers

    Comments about Empire of the Summer Moon:

    This book was a great read, so informative about the early days in American settlement and the Comanche Indians

    Comment on this 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."

    -Larry McMurtry

    One A NEW KIND OF WAR 1

    Two A LETHAL PARADISE 12

    Three WORLDS IN COLLISION 23

    Four HIGH LONESOME 36

    Five THE WOLF'S HOWL 53

    Six BLOOD AND SMOKE 73

    Seven DREAM VISIONS AND APOCALYPSE 89

    Eight WHITE SQUAW 102

    Nine CHASING THE WIND 119

    Ten DEATH'S INNOCENT FACE 128

    Eleven WAR TO THE KNIFE 151

    Twelve WHITE QUEEN OF THE COMANCHES 173

    Thirteen THE RISE OF QUANAH 194

    Fourteen UNCIVIL WARS 207

    Fifteen PEACE, AND OTHER HORRORS 222

    Sixteen THE ANTI-CUSTER 235

    Seventeen MACKENZIE UNBOUND 250

    Eighteen THE HIDE MEN AND THE MESSIAH 258

    Nineteen THE RED RIVER WAR 274

    Twenty FORWARD, IN DEFEAT 288

    Twenty-one THIS WAS A MAN 308

    Twenty-two RESTING HERE UNTIL DAY BREAKS 316

    NOTES 321

    BIBLIOGRAPHY 343

    INDEX 356

    ISBN: 9781416591061
    ISBN-10: 1416591060
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 371
    Published: 10th May 2011
    Dimensions (cm): 21.3 x 14.0  x 2.5
    Weight (kg): 0.36