This book covers so much history of the west. It talks about the wars with the Navajos, the civil war the winning of New Mexico and California. The sheer determination of men and women to settle the western portion of our country is just incredible. One story tells of two men walking in almost bare feet across catus infested country to warn their follow soldiers of an impending attack. This battle was won and may have saved California for the United States. It reminds us of how vunerable we were just 100 years ago when a band of indians could enter the New Mexico govenors home and kill his family over nothing more than a percieved insult. It then tells of how the Americans hunted the Navajos down and forced them out of their native hunting grounds to stop the raids on American settlers a resettlement plan which denied them their very way of life. There is so much in this book. It is not a fast read. It is packed with historical facts that take time to digest.
This has to be one of the most exciting moments in history that I have read in a long time. Hampton Sides covers all the angles and I found myself respecting Kit Carson for all the right reasons, not just for the legends. This was a crucial time for Americans, Mexicans and Indians alike. There are many characters worth rooting for and as in all times of conflict, the winners are not always the good guys. But there are plenty of fascinating good guys and bad guys in this truly "Epic Story" to offer any American historian or anyone else that would enjoy adventure, excitement, colorful people, mysterious rituals, and scenic descriptions of a world few of us can imagine, let alone accept as our own legacy.
An excellent, very well documented story on Kit Carson and his interactions with many historical figures and events. I loved this book from the first paragraph to the last. Could hardly put it down. This book has passed through four friends and two family members so far and everyone agrees - It's the best book we've ever read. We all live in New Mexico and the book has given us all insight into the amazing history of this amazing State.
If you live in NM - you will LOVE this book.
If you have traveled to Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or Taos, NM or northern California(or will) you'll enjoy this book.
If you have a fascination with the old west this book will captivate your imagination like no other.
If you like history this book has it all, to the point and interesting too. Learned a lot about the plight of the Navajo and other tribes fueled by Manifest Destiny and how men were driven crazy with their dreams of greatness.
This is a wonderful book with much detail depicting the demise of the Navajo nation as they once knew it. The book goes into much detail of Kit Carson's life, and I was able to view both sides of the man -- one who had a family and wanted to be there for them, and the other who followed orders and was instrumental in driving out the Navajo from their lands by burning their peach orchards and starving them out. A well-written book that will definitely keep your attention. Anyone who enjoys reading about the historic West will like this book.
After hearing the author interviewed on Book TV, I'm looking forward to hearing his latest book.
Set mainly in New Mexico following the life and exploits of Kit Carson's life with Gen Kearny, Fremont, and the Navajo Indians. You will realize why Kit Carson is so revered and respected by the Americans and the Navajos after reading this true story of his life.