Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
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 Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanche...more
The desert wind would salt their ruins and there would be nothing, no ghost or scribe, to tell any pilgrim in his passing how it was that people had lived in this place and in this place had died.
The date was October 3rd, 1871. Six hundred soldiers and twenty Tonkawa scouts had bivouacked on a bend of the Clear Fork of the Brazos, about one hundred and fifty miles west of Fort Worth, Texas. Though they did not know it at the time their presence marked the beginning of ...more
Gwynne uses the histories of Cynthia Parker (the historic inspiration for Natalie Wood’s character in John Wayne’s The Searchers and the Mary McDonnell character Stands With a Fist in Kevin Costner’s film Dances With Wolves) and her son ...more
"Thus the fateful clash between settlers from the culture of Aristotle, St. Paul, Da Vinci, Luther, and Newton and aboriginal horsemen from the buffalo plains happened as though in a time warp--as though the former were looking backward thousands of years at premoral, pre-Christian, low-barbarian versions of themselves. ...more
Sam C. Gwynne attended Princeton and Johns Hopkins Universities. He's spent most of his life as a journalist. He spent almost twenty years as a correspondent, bureau chief, and Chief Editor for twenty years. Gwynne's work has appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, California, Texas Monthly, among other publications. Gwynne was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for Empire of the Summer Moon ...more
My complaints about this book are many, but I'll try to keep it simple.
Mainly, it's because a "history" written in 2010 contains things like this:
There were no witnesses to this great coming together of Stone Age hunters and horses, nothing to record what happened when they met, or what there was in the soul of the Comanche that underst ...more
Starting with the pre-columbian history the book describes the revolutionary change brought about by the advent of horses on the plains. It enabled the Comanche who had been culturally among the lowliest among the tribes to transform into being the invaders from the north. They were a branch that had separated ...more
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History looks at the situation of the Comanches in 1836, starting at the Fort Parker Massacre. It follows them through to the demise of their last chief in 1911. This massacre can be seen as “the beginning of the end” of both the Indian ...more
Aside from how freaking white this book is, and not even commenting on the occasional racist undertones (or overtones), it's just not even that great of a book. The subtitle leads the reader to believe that this will be about Quanah Parker when in reality that played such a small part of whatever it was Gwynne w ...more
Here are four illustrative examples of the casual racism entrenched in the author's vocabulary throughout the book:
1. “While t ...more
Commancheria - the millions of acres of treeless plains encompassing northern Mexico to present day Nebraska, the land of the 5 principal bands of the Commanches, a culture centuries behind the development of the eastern Indian tribes, and intertwined with the buffalo herds. Commancheria - a region so forcefully held by the Commanches that the westward tide of Anglo-Saxon expansion was held at ...more
There were two things that bothered me about the book. First, were the inaccuracies. I'm not as well read in the History of the American West as many people, but I was finding common mistakes, especially when he was talking about other tribes.
What bothered me more was the fact th ...more
Part of the story is about Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnaped and adopted as a young girl and her son Quanah who became the last and greatest Comanche Chief.
It's a well researched and written account, but it is often pretty gruesome in the telling. If y ...more
Odd and End Thoughts:
GR readers seem to be hotly divided as to whether Gwynn’s depiction of the Comanche is racist or simp ...more
The book tells the story of the Comanche Empire which, having mastered horse warfare, defeated all enemies until the late 19th century. It took the US decades to find a way to defeat them. Much of the story is of two cultures clash ...more
The Sioux and Commanche share some common things as both were horse tribes, they both drove other tribes from the bes ...more
Much of it is repetitive. Chapter 1, the Comanches were bad - stab, burn, rape, kill, steal. Chapter 2, the Comanches were bad - stab, burn, rape, kill, steal. etc etc. It does nothing to move the plot forward. (The ...more
Gwynne’s strength here (apart from just dynamite writing that rivals the best novelists in terms of prose quality, dramatic narrative and compelling characters - all supported by first class scholarship) is his unflinching reckoning of BOTH white and Native American atrocities during this turbulent epoch of conflict. He provides a har ...more
|Is there any accurate book on the Comanche People??||1||9||Jul 24, 2018 11:25AM|
|Around the Year i...: Empire of the Summer Moon - Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanche, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, by S.C. Gwynne||1||9||Apr 15, 2018 04:19AM|
|Madison Mega-Mara...: #23 March Challenge Book Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History||1||2||Mar 08, 2017 03:31AM|
|Non Fiction Book ...: January ~ Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C Gwynne||11||12||Jan 30, 2016 06:37AM|
|You'll love this ...: March 2014 - Empire of the Summer Moon discussion||39||60||Mar 29, 2014 05:13PM|