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.
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.
The book 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 US came into being.
S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told.