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
Editor: Little, Brown Book Group
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In the tradition of burying My Heart at Wounded Knee, an incredibly vivid historical account of the forty years of battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, focusing on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chiefThe Summer Moon Empire with two amazing storiesThe first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history.The second is the epic saga of pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed blood-son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the ComanchesAlthough readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache, Sioux, it was, in fact, the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined how and when the open American WestComanche boys became adept bareback runners by the age of six; full Comanche braves were considered the best riders who ever rodeThey were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and spears that they stopped the northern route from colonial Spain to Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana.White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the border rolling backwards by the Comanches outraged by the invasion of their tribal landsAgainst this backdrop Gwynne presents forcing the drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a nine-year-old girl who was kidnapped by the Comanches in 1836She grew up to the love of her captors and became infamous as a “White Squaw” who refused to return until her tragic capture by the Texas Rangers in 1860Even more famous than his son was Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrillas in Texas Panhandle made him a legend.SCGwynne’s account of these events is very well documented, intellectually provocative, and, above all, to shape says
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