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Empire of the summer moon [sound recording] / S.C. Gwynne.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Hanover Libraries.

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0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Howe Library CD 978 GWY 31254003372154 Upper level Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781400116553
  • ISBN: 1400116554
  • ISBN: 9781508229551
  • Physical Description: 12 sound discs (15 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
  • Edition: Unabridged.
  • Publisher: [Old Saybrook, Conn.] : Tantor Media, p2010.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Compact discs.
Participant or Performer Note:
Read by David Drummond.
Summary, etc.:
Gwynne presents a history of the 40 year battle between the Comanche Indians and white settlers, centering on the Comanche chief Quanah.
Subject: Parker, Quanah, 1845?-1911.
Comanche Indians > Kings and rulers > Biography.
Comanche Indians > Wars.
Comanche Indians > History.
Frontier and pioneer life > West (U.S.)
West (U.S.) > History > 1848-1860.
West (U.S.) > History > 1860-1890.
West (U.S.) > History > 1890-1945.
West (U.S.) > Race relations.

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9781400116553
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
by Gwynne, S. C.; Drummond, David (Narrated by)
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Library Journal Review

Empire of the Summer Moon : Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Texas-based journalist Gwynne's first book is a fascinating, lively account of Quanah Parker, the son of the Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman whose abduction at a young age by the Comanche Indians and eventual love of her captors cast her as a pivotal figure in the 40-year battle between the Comanches and white settlers for control of the American West. Veteran actor David Drummond effectively narrates Gwynne's evenhanded coverage of atrocities committed on both sides in this unforgettable story of the Comanches. Highly recommended for all audiences, especially those interested in Native American history. [The New York Times best-selling Scribner hc was described as being "at its best as a Texas-centric militaristic interpretation of the 19th-century Comanche wars of the southern Plains," LJ 2/15/10.-Ed.]-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9781400116553
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
by Gwynne, S. C.; Drummond, David (Narrated by)
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Publishers Weekly Review

Empire of the Summer Moon : Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Journalist Gwynne tracks one of the U.S.'s longest-running military conflicts in this gripping history of the war against the Comanche Indians on the high plains of Texas and Colorado. The Comanches stood for decades as the single most effective military force on the southern plains; their mastery of horseback warfare and their intimate knowledge of the trackless desert of the plains stymied the armies of Spain and Mexico, and blocked American westward expansion for 40 years. Gwynne's account orbits around Quanah Parker (ca. 1852-1911), the brilliant war chief whose resistance raged even as the Comanche, increasingly demoralized by the loss of the buffalo and the American military's policy of total annihilation, retreated into the reservation. Rigorously researched and evenhanded, the book paints both the Comanches and Americans in their glory and shame, bravery and savagery. The author's narrative prowess is marred only by his fondness for outdated anthropological terminology ("low barbarian," "premoral" culture). That aside, the book combines rich historical detail with a keen sense of adventure and of the humanity of its protagonists. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Syndetic Solutions - New York Times Review for ISBN Number 9781400116553
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
by Gwynne, S. C.; Drummond, David (Narrated by)
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New York Times Review

Empire of the Summer Moon : Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

New York Times


August 30, 2019

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company

Why does Custer persist? Nearly 134 years after his last stand, a military debacle that cost the lives of all 210 men under his immediate command, George Armstrong Custer remains such an iconic figure in the American pageant that mere mention of his name evokes an entirely overromanticized era in the American West. By all rights he should be a footnote. That he enjoys the glory of single-name recognition is a testament to the power of personality, show business and savvy public relations. Custer wasn't just an Indian fighter. He was one of the first self-made American celebrities. In "The Last Stand," Nathaniel Philbrick, the author of the popular histories "Mayflower" and "In the Heart of the Sea," offers an account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn that gives appropriate space to Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Maj. Marcus Reno and others who fought that day. But really, Custer steals the show. How could he not? The man was a spectacular piece of work. Ambitious and charismatic, he graduated last in his West Point class but first in socializing. During the Civil War, he emerged as one of the best cavalry officers in the Union Army. His gallant Gettysburg charge ("Come on, you Wolverines!" he shouted to his Michigan volunteers) helped change the course of the battle that turned the tide of the war. Even as a young officer Custer cultivated a flamboyant public persona. He fought at Gettysburg in a black velvet uniform (of his own design) embroidered with gaudy gold lace coils. After the war, when he turned his energies to fighting Indians on the Great Plains, he outfitted himself in fringed white buckskin and wore his hair long. He was a gambler, a probable adulterer, a braggart, a petulant boss and an impulsive blabbermouth. His eccentricity tilted toward stupidity. He once divided up his regiment according to color. Horse color. As you might expect, he wasn't especially beloved by the troops. "I had known General Custer ... for a long time," one of his officers once testified, "and I had no confidence in his ability as a soldier." What he did have was boldness and fortune on his side, up to a point. A force of fate that he himself called "Custer luck" propelled him up the ranks, and his risktaking strategies secured an important victory over the Cheyenne in 1868. Custer imagined the 1876 campaign against Sitting Bull's Lakota Sioux as the capstone to his brilliant military career. If all went well he hoped to ride back East as the hero Indian fighter in time for the nation's July 4, 1876, centennial celebration and a scheduled lecture tour. Custer, then 36, entertained serious notions of running for president one day. Given his personal charisma and genius for publicity, he might well have won. All did not go well, of course. The Lakota conflict began with an old-fashioned land grab inflamed by Custer himself. The Black Hills in present-day South Dakota were declared Indian land in the late 1860s, but white settlers began encroaching by the early 1870s. Custer, sent to investigate, instead escalated things by discovering gold in the Black Hills. News of his find flooded the region with 15,000 white prospectors. At this point, "Custer luck" starts to look more like "Clouseau luck," and it's hard not to imagine the commander in chief, President Ulysses S. Grant, going all eye-twitchy like Herbert Lom in the old Pink Panther movies. Grant tried to defuse the situation by offering to buy the Black Hills from the Lakota, but Sitting Bull wouldn't sell. Faced with a choice between the Indians or the miners, Grant chose to drive off the Indians. And - cue the eye twitch - he sent Custer to help carry out the job. Many books have been written about battlefield strategy at Little Big Horn, a grassland of shallow folding ravines in southeastern Montana, but it boils down to this: Custer was overwhelmingly outnumbered and chose recklessness over prudence. The paradox is that moments before the first shot was fired, Sitting Bull was ready to make peace. He and his followers escaped into Canada a few months after the battle, and ultimately returned to live on the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota. Custer's defeat shocked the nation, and there was little doubt even in 1876 that Little Big Horn represented an ignoble moment in American military history. So how did a monumental disaster turn into a courageous "last stand"? Philbrick's answer: A widow's spin and show business. After her husband's death, Elizabeth Custer, known as Libbie, embarked on a one-woman crusade to rehabilitate her beloved's reputation through books and speaking engagements. Buffalo Bill Cody took the myth nationwide by ending his wildly popular Wild West Show with a Little Big Horn re-enactment and a call to avenge Custer's glorious death. But really there was nothing to avenge but the poor judgment of a dangerously ambitious officer. The Battle of the Little Bighorn -the military engagement - was a foolish and entirely avoidable defeat. Custer's last stand - the myth - was simply good show "business. IF Custer illustrates how the spotlight of history sometimes shines on the wrong actor, Quanah Parker exemplifies the more deserving who get left in the shadows. One hopes a better fate awaits "Empire of the Summer Moon," S. C. Gwynne's transcendent history of Parker and the Comanche nation he led in the mid- to late 1800s. Born the son of an Indian warrior and his white wife (who had been captured at the age of 9 during a raid on a Texas ranch), Parker grew up to become the last and greatest chief of the Comanche, the tribe that ruled the Great Plains for most of the 19th century. That's his onesentence biography. The deeper, richer story that unfolds in "Empire of the Summer Moon" is nothing short of a revelation. Gwynne, a former editor at Time and Texas Monthly, doesn't merely retell the story of Parker's life. He pulls his readers through an American frontier roiling with extreme violence, political intrigue, bravery, anguish, corruption, love, knives, rifles and arrows. Lots and lots of arrows. This book will leave dust and blood on your jeans. Gwynne opens with the May 1836 Comanche raid on the Parker homestead. The Parkers were a clan of Illinois pioneers working 16,100 acres near presentday Dallas. In 1836 they represented the leading edge of white westward expansion into Comanche territory, which the tribe didn't like one bit. They expressed their displeasure by killing the Parker men (though a few escaped) and taking two women and three children captive. The term "Indian raid" glosses over the atrocities. Men and babies were killed as a matter of course. Mutilation, rape and torture were common. The lucky died quickly. "This was the actual, and often quite grim, reality of the frontier," Gwynne writes. "This treatment was not reserved for whites or Mexicans; it was practiced just as energetically on rival Indian tribes." The Comanche weren't merely one of many tribes steamrolled by Manifest Destiny. They were a Native American superpower, a thesis put forth in Pekka Hamalainen's Bancroft Prize-winning study, "The Comanche Empire," oddly not cited here. Gwynne presents the Great Plains wars of the mid-19th century as the clash of three empires: the United States, Mexico and the Comanche nation, which controlled most of modern-day Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. "They held sway over some 20 different tribes who had been either conquered, driven off or reduced to vassal status," Gwynne writes. "Such imperial dominance was no accident of geography. It was the product of over 150 years of deliberate, sustained combat against a series of enemies over a singular piece of land that contained the country's largest buffalo herds." At the height of their power in the late 1830s, the Comanche contemplated a full-scale invasion of Texas and Mexico. Native American tribes weren't - and still aren't - static entities. They waxed, they waned. Some gained power and territory, others lost it. The rise of the Comanche was the kind of case study of timing and technology that Jared Diamond described in "Guns, Germs, and Steel." They came from Wyoming; short, squat-legged, with little of the social or cultural development of neighboring tribes. Then everything changed. "What happened to the tribe between roughly 1625 and 1750 was one of the great social and military transformations in history," Gwynne writes. What happened was the horse. Spanish conquistadors introduced the animals to Mexico in the 16th century, and they quickly dispersed northward. The Comanche adapted to this transformative technology more quickly and completely than any other Plains tribe. "No one could outride them or outshoot them from the back of a horse," Gwynne relates. The key was a Comanche warrior's ability to attack and shoot arrows while at full gallop, a skill few others could master. On the Great Plains this was the equivalent of attacking from tanks, and the Comanche used their military advantage to become wealthy traders in horses and buffalo hides. Which brings us back to the raid on the Parker ranch. The Comanche didn't raid for sport. They had specific political and economic ends in mind. The political goal was to drive the white settlers (squatters and land thieves, from the tribe's point of view) out of Comanche territory. To that end, death, terror and torture proved to be effective. By the 1860s the Comanche were actually rolling the frontier backward in Texas. The economics of raiding were equally straightforward. Young Cynthia Ann Parker was captured and not killed partly because the Comanche needed women to keep their buffalo economy humming. The men killed the bison, but the women, Gwynne writes, "did all the value-added work: preparing the hides and decorating the robes." The more captives and wives - as with Cynthia Parker, the former sometimes became the latter - the more product a man could produce. Parker had a son named Quanah. Quanah grew up quickly. When he was 12, his father was killed in battle and his mother was captured by white troops. (They saw it as a rescue, but Parker was forever trying to escape back to the Comanche.) A vengeful Quanah began raiding white settlements. He was good at it, too. But skill in battle wasn't his problem. Timing was. He happened to rise as a leader just as the whites acquired their own transformative technology: the railroad and the repeating firearm. The railroad could cheaply transport valuable buffalo hides to Eastern markets, which made it profitable for men like Buffalo Bill to massacre the great herds. Between 1868 and 1881, 31 million buffalo were slaughtered, destroying the source of Comanche wealth and food. Meanwhile, the nimble Colt revolver and the powerful Sharps .50-caliber rifle countered the Comanche's once-superior weaponry. The empire crumbled. Quanah Parker's second act was, if anything, more remarkable than his first. Resigned to reservation life, he transformed himself from a death-dealing warrior to a prosperous cattleman and a hard-bargaining politician who earned the respect and friendship of Teddy Roosevelt. He played a leading role in establishing the Native American Church and its practice of peyotism, the use of hallucinogenic peyote cactus in religious ritual. "The white man goes into his church and talks about Jesus," Parker once said, "but the Indian goes into his tipi and talks to Jesus." In a 370-page biography, Gwynne devotes but a single paragraph to Parker and peyote. There are simply too many other good stories to tell. WE may never shake Custer's place in the American story. He's just too colorful a character, and "The Last Stand" will introduce him to a generation too young to have encountered him in Evan S. Connell's classic biography, "Son of the Morning Star," or the movie "Little Big Man." But thanks to Gwynne, the story of Quanah Parker may assume a more fittingly prominent role in the history of the American West. "Empire of the Summer Moon" isn't just a biography. It's a forceful argument about the place of Native American tribes in geopolitical history. The word "nation" is sometimes used today to refer to a specific tribe, and it can be confusing to non-Indians. Does it mean a belonging, like Red Sox nation? Or state power, like Germany? The Comanche of the 1800s were truly a nation more like Germany. And you crossed them at your peril. Parker became the greatest chief of the Comanches, who ruled the Great Plains for most of the 19th century. Bruce Barcott, author of "The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw," is writing a book about the battle over salmon and Indian treaties in the Pacific Northwest.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9781400116553
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
by Gwynne, S. C.; Drummond, David (Narrated by)
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BookList Review

Empire of the Summer Moon : Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

The vast, semi-arid grasslands of the southern Great Plains could be dominated by hunters and warriors on horseback. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the Comanches, often referred to as lords of the Plains, were the single most powerful military force in the region, to the frustration of both the Mexican and U.S. governments. In this engrossing chronicle, award-winning journalist Gwynne traces the rise of the Comanche people from their roots as primitive bands of hunter-gatherers to their mastery of the horse and emergence as the feared power brokers of the area. At the center of the narrative is the charismatic Quanah Parker, who skillfully navigated the gaps between his traditional culture and the emerging, settled culture of the late-nineteenth century. Quanah was the son of a Comanche warrior and a woman named Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped at the age of nine and chose to stay with the Comanches. Quanah was a brilliant, feared war chief who guided his people in adapting to new realities after their final suppression by the U.S. Calvary. An outstanding addition to western-history collections.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9781400116553
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
by Gwynne, S. C.; Drummond, David (Narrated by)
Rate this title:
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Kirkus Review

Empire of the Summer Moon : Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

An appropriately fast-paced life of Comanche leader Quanah Parker and his band, the last Native free riders on the plains. Former Time editor and correspondent Gwynne (The Outlaw Bank: A Wild Ride into the Secret Heart of BCCI, 1993, etc.) approaches Parker's life as news, opening with an intriguing gambitnamely, that Parker, who died in 1911, had an Anglo mother who, as he said, "love Indian and wild life so well, no want to go back to white folks." Where his mixed blood might have been a demerit in other Indian groupsand certainly in white society of the timeParker rose quickly to the leadership of the Quahadi band of Comanches as a young man of perhaps only 20. As Gwynne notes, the Comanches kept the Spanish empire from spreading onto the plains beyond Texas, making even the Apaches farther west seem a mild threat by comparison. The Quahadi band, whom he characterizes as "magnificently aloof," were the toughest of the lot. When Americans entered the picture in the 1830s and beyond, the Quahadis fought them so hard that by the 1870s whole counties formerly settled by Texas ranchers and farmers were depopulated. Parker's tough leadership eventually proved no match for the combined weight of Texas Rangers, the U.S. Army and other heavily armed enemies, who finally broke the Quahadi resistance after removing other Comanche bands to reservations and reducing their number to no more than 2,000. After surrender, Parker continued to insist on preserving Comanche ways, particularly an illegal peyote cult. Gwynne considers Parker alongside Geronimo, the better-known Apache leader, and finds the latter wanting in the comparison. Parker remained a leader of his people to the end, writes the author, one who "looked resolutely forward toward something better" rather than surrendering to embitterment or allowing himself to be put on display as a wild Indian now tamed. "I no monkey," he insisted. A welcome contribution to the history of Texas, Westward expansion and Native America. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


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