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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


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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: 23.1 x 15.9 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #165,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Wineberg TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 21 2010
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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By A. Brine on June 9 2013
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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By M. Harding on March 24 2013
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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Burman on Aug. 21 2010
Format: Hardcover
A fine work. Vivid, balanced, elegantly written, rife with interesting detail. Highly recommended.
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