Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History Hardcover – May 25 2010
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"S.G. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon is many things—a thrilling account of the Texas frontier in the nineteenth century, a vivid description of the Comanche nation, a fascinating portrait of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, the mysterious, magnificent Quanah—but most of all it is a ripping good read. Gwynne writes history with a pounding pulse and a beating heart. In Empire of the Summer Moon he’s given us an epic frontier peopled with real men and women, living and dying and hoping and dreaming at the bloody edge of civilization. I couldn’t put it down."
--Jake Silverstein, Editor, Texas Monthly, and author of Nothing Happened and Then It Did
"Sam Gwynne is a master story-teller and a dogged reporter, and in this book he makes history come to life in a way that everyone -- not just students of the Texas myth -- will find irresistible. I couldn't put it down."
--Evan Smith, CEO and Editor in Chief, The Texas Tribune
"Man for man, the Comanches were the fiercest and most resourceful warriors in North America, and they held onto their domain with an almost otherworldly tenacity. In this sweeping work, S.C. Gwynne recreates the Comanche's lost world with gusto and style—and without sentimentality. After reading Empire of the Summer Moon, you'll never think about Texas, or the Great Plains, in quite the same way again."
--Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and Hellhound On His Trail
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's journalistic prowess in objectively detailing causes and events fogged by the thick lens of time enlightens the reader.
In times of war history is written by the victors who in battle are often fueled with hate and bent on revenge. Bringing to light the story of a strange culture vanquished from a vast and unforgiving wilderness untouched by modern ways is key to understanding the means by which a nation was forged and the duel nature which modern men still struggle with.
Despite the bloody examples of history, understanding the motivations and complex dynamics of foreign cultures still challenges today's leaders, a lesson waiting to be learned.
From time to time, we in the 21st century need to be reminded that buffalo roamed the endless plains, in herds seventy miles long and five miles wide, That tribes of natives lived off them and commanded huge tracts of land - as any self respecting hunter-gatherer from bald eagle to mountain lion must to survive. That everyone was brutal, thoughtless and cruel comes with the territory. The totality of this makes the book continually compelling.
What I liked best was that over the course of 250 pages, I got used to the idea of the endless plains (a few thousand Comanches unfathomably controlling more than 120 million acres), the criminally brutal weather, and constant movement of people, to fight and to survive. And then in one brief sentence, not highlighted or separated, Gwynne takes it all away again:
"Within a few years, barbed wire would stretch the length and breadth of the plains" (p. 276)
It put everything in perspective, and made the decline and fall of the Comanche bands all that more inevitable, necessary, and tragic.
Extraordinarily well documented, well written and well laid out, this is a fine read.
Most recent customer reviews
Perpetuates outdated and racist stereotypes, again and again not jusy gping for the "truth" but visceral rejection of "the other."Published on Aug. 10 2011 by Evan Hall
....about who was bad (essentially all humans, skin deep underneath tend to be thieves and killers), graphic vocabulary and if presented gory details and facts are 100% accurate. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2010 by Regnal the Caretaker