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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 Hardcover – May 25 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (May 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416591052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416591054
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Empire of the Summer Moon is an exceptionally vivid account of a tumultuous period in the history of the continent. Burns with the intensity of a lit fuse attached to the powder keg that was the western frontier.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Although Quanah Parker doesn't really come into his own until the last 40 pages, Empire of the Summer Moon is a fascinating compendium of everybody's sins - from the bloodthirsty hunter-gatherers to the incompetent armed forces and xenophobic, hypocritical settlers in between.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a family historian I was drawn to the story of Cynthia Parker and her life with the Comanches and of course the fate of her son, Quanah. While I found the brutality appalling the story is very compelling. Quanah seems to have inherited an equal amount of both sides of his heritage. It is a sad story that he lost his mother as a young teenager. His love and respect for her struck a chord with me. Their story will stay me for a long time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in a factual account of the native american during the late 1800's and early 1900's this book is for you.This book does not leave anything to your imagination, it tells what the Indians were like during that time and reasons for it, it is an "in your face" type of book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazing read! Gwynne's book is insightful and reveals an aggressive culture that ironically used their god to legitimize their slaughter of indigenous people. The Comanche, like other indigenous people were systematically eliminated by the greed and wayward notion that the displaced Europeans were entitled to the land. A nation built by thieves who claimed they were civilized because they believed in god may awaken to the reality that their nation spirit will forever be haunted by their misguided, cruel entitled notions.
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By Ryan on Nov. 29 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the best non-fiction books about Native American histroy I've ever read. A great combination of History and an interesting story of a captured child.
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