Friday, October 12, 2018

Book Review: 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


Partial synopsis from Good Reads:  S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing 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.

My thoughts:  Invasion.  War.  Genocide.  The author is very matter of fact about what happened during brutal battles and attempts to surrender.  There are also details around the torture of captives.  Heinous crimes were committed by both sides.  The book gives insight into the daily lives on the American frontier thru what is known about Rachel Plummer, Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, Quanah, as well as a some of the white soldiers.  The last few chapters of the book chronicle Quanah's life on the reservation after his band surrendered.  Sadly, written documentation is only available from the settlers' point of view.  Very little is known about the Comanches from the Comanche perspective.  While the author attempts balance, there are limits to research from this era.  I learned a lot about the frontier of Texas and Oklahoma during the 1800's.  Displacement of native cultures is such a grim part of American history.  If this is a topic that you find interesting, you would probably enjoy the book.  While I love to learn, especially about this era, it was quite an uncomfortable read for me.

What have you been reading?

;-)  -Marci


  1. If only there was a book from the Comanche perspective. Its all so sad one what we've done in our history to native americans.

  2. It's nearly impossible to find well-informed
    people on this subject, but you seem like you know what you're talking about!

  3. It is true that the displacement and eradication of native peoples is a grim part of our nation's history. I'm learning much more about that issue now that I live in the west.


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