Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Empire of the Summer Moon Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History Author:S. C. Gwynne 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 Moonspans two astonis... more »hing 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.« less
Nancy R. (NancyL) reviewed Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
My partner read it first and he was totally engrossed. I am now reading it and also find all of the facts fascinating. I thoroughly enjoy it. Written so well it flows beautifully, not like a normal non-fiction book
Diana B. reviewed Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well worth reading. Descriptions and history of the west and Texas from 1800's to 1900 is compelling. Tells the story of the changes in the lives of the Comanche nation and the last chief who led them, Quanah Parker. He was the son of a pioneer woman camed Cynthia Parker who was kidnapped during a Comanche raid and who grows up with the tribe.