Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
( 490 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(225)

4 Star

(113)

3 Star

(70)

2 Star

(63)

1 Star

(19)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

33 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Best book of summer 2010

There's no story like a true one and one that rings so loud as 'Empire of the Summer Moon" is hard to find. It is a fascinating look into the "new" world's treatment of Native Americans and equally Native American's treatment of "new" world settlers. It is an astonishin...
There's no story like a true one and one that rings so loud as 'Empire of the Summer Moon" is hard to find. It is a fascinating look into the "new" world's treatment of Native Americans and equally Native American's treatment of "new" world settlers. It is an astonishing tale of hardship and loss and horrific brutality. Ultimately it reminds us - tells us - that there was a 300 plus year war to claim this land, one that annihilated entire civilizations and while doing so completely defined the story. "Empire of the Summer Moon" re-tells that story in all of its complexity. A must read for anyone interested in the history of the United States and the culture and world of the people who lived here prior to their destruction.

posted by 3954949 on June 29, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Although the subject matter intrigued me, I was less impressed b

Although the subject matter intrigued me, I was less impressed by the actual book that I hoped I'd be. It's solid, and often interesting, but there is far less in it about Quanah Parker -- son of captured white woman Cynthia Ann Parker and a Comanche chief -- than the s...
Although the subject matter intrigued me, I was less impressed by the actual book that I hoped I'd be. It's solid, and often interesting, but there is far less in it about Quanah Parker -- son of captured white woman Cynthia Ann Parker and a Comanche chief -- than the sub-title leads one to believe. Rather, Gwynne focuses on the Comanche's prowess as warriors -- albeit, in his words, pagan, stone-age warriors -- and their decades-long war against the encroaching whites. He also spends a good deal of time on how the Comanches were the first of the Aboriginal people of America to master the horses first introduced by the Spanish.

Gwynne certainly exposes the brutal violence of all sides in the Plains warfare. There are no moral heroes here. And, while I am glad this isn't another book about First Nations peoples that reduces them to the equivalent of happy little wilderness elves, I was made slightly uncomfortable with the in-depth descriptions of Comanche torture methods as recounted by white survivors. The problem is not that these things did not occur, but that there is no balancing voice from the other side. I can't help but wonder what a survivor of the U.S. Army raids, or the Texas Ranger raids, or any of the ad hoc raids that took place might have revealed about the depth of white savagery, which I can help but suspect was equal. The problem is twofold: of course, neither the Comanches nor the other nations left written reports, on one hand; and on the other, there were virtually no survivors to spread tales even if they had. Still, what Gwynne does tell us is enough to make the reader shudder.

I'm saying only that it is virtually impossible to give a truly balanced view in light of the paucity of Native accounts. No matter how well-researched a book is -- and this is very well researched -- the writer is at the mercy of what's available.

There is also perhaps some unintended irony here, which I mention only because of how obvious I found it: If the settlers/ranchers/pioneers could not be held back by the US government from seeping into Comancheria, then the way present day Texans complain about border crossers seems risible. Even if, as Gwynne suggests, the government had no intention of stopping them, seeing their inexorable march westward as part of Manifest Destiny, it's still a huge boulder of irony.

As I said in the beginning, there is surprisingly little about the Parker family here. Their story becomes a framing device for the rest of the book, which is a mind-numbing recitation of battles, raids and atrocities on both sides, yet it is in these sections (and there are a few more scattered throughout) that I felt most engaged. Cynthia Anne is a remarkable figure and her life is tragic in many ways. Particularly poignant are the sections when Gwynne describes her grief at being 'rescued', torn from her Comanche loved ones and returned to a society she never adjusted to. Then, too, given what Gwynne does tell us in the last few pages of the book about Quanah Parker and his life on a reservation after the destruction of the Comanche nation, and the buffalo (a heart-wrenching section), I was left wanting more. Quanah lives in a large house, is unusually generous and obviously brilliant, even earning the admiration of President Teddy Roosevelt. In the final analysis, it was the human story, and not the battle-litany, which moved me.

posted by LaurenBDavis on April 9, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 495 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 25
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    Best book of summer 2010

    There's no story like a true one and one that rings so loud as 'Empire of the Summer Moon" is hard to find. It is a fascinating look into the "new" world's treatment of Native Americans and equally Native American's treatment of "new" world settlers. It is an astonishing tale of hardship and loss and horrific brutality. Ultimately it reminds us - tells us - that there was a 300 plus year war to claim this land, one that annihilated entire civilizations and while doing so completely defined the story. "Empire of the Summer Moon" re-tells that story in all of its complexity. A must read for anyone interested in the history of the United States and the culture and world of the people who lived here prior to their destruction.

    33 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    Fascinating

    I found this book well researched and fascinating. I didn't want to put it down. Recommended to anyone who has an interest in this subject matter.

    31 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2010

    A Unique Look at the American Frontier

    Although non-fiction, this book is easily as good a read as most any fiction you can think of. It tells an enormously complex tale, spanning at least hundreds of years, yet ties everything together nicely using the interlocking stories of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, Quanah Parker, and that of a Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, a U.S. Army Officer. As other reviews have pointed out, the book tells both sides of the story, warts and all. The broader story of the Comanche people is spun throughout the narrative, as well as that of the American frontier. The nature of the warfare on the frontier - both Indian and Spanish/Mexican/Texan/US Government - and its evolution, is one of the most interesting aspects of the story: how geography influenced strategy & tactics, how changes in technology influenced both sides, and how business interests played a part. If the book has a flaw, it is simply that it raises so many interesting points along its course that I want to know more. As it was, I finished it in 4 days, but that was mainly because I was continually googling this or that. I guess the big question, in the end, for me, is "Was the destruction of the Comanche way of life inevitable?" Of course, this book does not answer that question, since it is probably unanswerable. It also does not offer a judgment on the reservation system (although it does judge the operation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs). All in all, one of the better history books I've ever read - not quite Barbara Tuchman, but in the same ballpark.

    21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    Must-read for South Plains residents

    The scenes range from horrifying to humorous to heartbreaking. If the words "Llano Estacado" mean anything to you, you will be enthralled.

    I often heard fragments of Comanche and Cavalry lore when I was growing up, so I think S.C. Gwynne has done a marvelous thing--sifting, measuring, and packing so much into just one book.

    My hope is that many will read it, share it, and keep the stories alive for the next generation.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I couldn't put it down...

    Having spent much of my life living and traveling over the area where Quanah Parker led his Comanche warriors, this new book by S.C. Gwynne fascinated me. I knew much of the story of the Parker clan and the capture of 9-year-old Cynthia Ann in 1836, but Gwynne's research sheds new light on the details of her life as well as the decades long clash between the lords of the plains and the Texas settlers. He allows the reader to see the mentality of both sides of this long war. The book flows smoothly and I only wish it had been a bit longer.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    GREATEST READ OF THIS SUMMER!

    FROM THE VERY FIRST PAGE TO THE LAST , THIS IS THE GREATEST READ THIS SUMMER. I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW I LOVE THIS BOOK FOR ITS RESEARCH, ITS HONESTY AND NOT HOLDING BACK.
    THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. ANYONE UNDER 18YRS OF AGE SHOULD NOT READ THIS BOOK NOR ANYONE WHO IS PREGNANT NOR SPIRITUAL , FOR IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY AND KNOW ABOUT THE "COMANCHES" THEN YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF.
    I GIVE THE WRITER "THUMBS" UP ON THIS ONE. IF ONLY ALL NON-FICTION AUTHORS COULD FOLLOW YOUR RULE OF THUMB(NO PUN INTENDED) ON WRITING A BOOK THAT WOULD KEEP A PERSON WANTING MORE AFTER EVERY PAGE.IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE GRUESOME NEITHER JUST IN THE WAY ITS WRITTEN WOULD DO IT.I READ A BOOK TITLE" THE NIGHT STALKER" ( CAN NOT REMEMBER THE AUTHOR) BUT AT THE END WHEN THE TOWNSPEOPLE WERE RUNNING AFTER RICHARD, I WAS OUT OF BREATH, THAT'S HOW GOOD A WRITER HE WAS. BUT GRUESOME AND "COMANCHE" GO TOGETHER HAND IN HAND. NOW MY ONLY HOPES IS THAT THEY WOULD DO A MOVIE OF THIS BOOK. THANK YOU!

    9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Although the subject matter intrigued me, I was less impressed b

    Although the subject matter intrigued me, I was less impressed by the actual book that I hoped I'd be. It's solid, and often interesting, but there is far less in it about Quanah Parker -- son of captured white woman Cynthia Ann Parker and a Comanche chief -- than the sub-title leads one to believe. Rather, Gwynne focuses on the Comanche's prowess as warriors -- albeit, in his words, pagan, stone-age warriors -- and their decades-long war against the encroaching whites. He also spends a good deal of time on how the Comanches were the first of the Aboriginal people of America to master the horses first introduced by the Spanish.

    Gwynne certainly exposes the brutal violence of all sides in the Plains warfare. There are no moral heroes here. And, while I am glad this isn't another book about First Nations peoples that reduces them to the equivalent of happy little wilderness elves, I was made slightly uncomfortable with the in-depth descriptions of Comanche torture methods as recounted by white survivors. The problem is not that these things did not occur, but that there is no balancing voice from the other side. I can't help but wonder what a survivor of the U.S. Army raids, or the Texas Ranger raids, or any of the ad hoc raids that took place might have revealed about the depth of white savagery, which I can help but suspect was equal. The problem is twofold: of course, neither the Comanches nor the other nations left written reports, on one hand; and on the other, there were virtually no survivors to spread tales even if they had. Still, what Gwynne does tell us is enough to make the reader shudder.

    I'm saying only that it is virtually impossible to give a truly balanced view in light of the paucity of Native accounts. No matter how well-researched a book is -- and this is very well researched -- the writer is at the mercy of what's available.

    There is also perhaps some unintended irony here, which I mention only because of how obvious I found it: If the settlers/ranchers/pioneers could not be held back by the US government from seeping into Comancheria, then the way present day Texans complain about border crossers seems risible. Even if, as Gwynne suggests, the government had no intention of stopping them, seeing their inexorable march westward as part of Manifest Destiny, it's still a huge boulder of irony.

    As I said in the beginning, there is surprisingly little about the Parker family here. Their story becomes a framing device for the rest of the book, which is a mind-numbing recitation of battles, raids and atrocities on both sides, yet it is in these sections (and there are a few more scattered throughout) that I felt most engaged. Cynthia Anne is a remarkable figure and her life is tragic in many ways. Particularly poignant are the sections when Gwynne describes her grief at being 'rescued', torn from her Comanche loved ones and returned to a society she never adjusted to. Then, too, given what Gwynne does tell us in the last few pages of the book about Quanah Parker and his life on a reservation after the destruction of the Comanche nation, and the buffalo (a heart-wrenching section), I was left wanting more. Quanah lives in a large house, is unusually generous and obviously brilliant, even earning the admiration of President Teddy Roosevelt. In the final analysis, it was the human story, and not the battle-litany, which moved me.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Absorbing Book!

    Unbelievable book. Fascinating research and facts. Can't put this book down! Highly recommend this book! We included this book in our summer reading list of books as we recently visited the book store, a summer tradition, to gather up all of our pics for our summer reading list. This includes books for myself, my husband, kids and nieces and nephews. We also buy some books as birthday presents for others so they can join in on our discussions, like the aunts and uncles and grandparents. We have a mini book club where we discuss our books as we all read along. We all read several books so as the reading goes along there are a lot of books to review. The kids have found a wonderful book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures. They all love thrilling action-adventure books and this one is full of mystery and intrigue! From a parental point of view, Smitty's Cave Adventures also has a good moral overtone. Even the girls wanted to read this book and they all concluded that this is their favorite book so far!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2012

    Very detailed With Lots of Footnotes. Excellent Book

    My interest in this book was heightened by the fact that my Parker Great Grandfather was also from Coles County, IL where the other Parker's lived. But my research in the Cole's courthouse led me to believe that there were two Parker families in Coles County and even though my Grandmother said we were related to Cynthia, it most likely is not true. The interesting thing about this book, is that most of it happened less than a hundred years before my birth. Lots of excellent history in this book that describes how the Comanches ruled much of the Southwest. Quanah knew when the end was near and rode into Ft. Sill on his own. He never looked back at his old life and adapted to the new life at Ft. Sill. In lots of ways he was a business man, diplomat and a good politician and better then any other Indian Chief at adapting to the new life at Ft. Sill and often got his way with the military and Washington politicians. As another poster stated, Quanah's character is described in detail in th last 75 pages or so. Most of the book describes their early success as horsemen of the plains that won them lots of battles concentrating on stealing horses from soldiers before starting a battle and therefore were a good match against the army of those days until modern weapons finaly got the upper edge. Tons of footnotes, so you might consider buying the printed book rather than the NOOK version unless you are adapt at returning to where you left off.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Historical Read

    I enjoy reading history usally accounts from WWII to the present day, but this book caught my eye, so I stepped out of my comfort zone & bought the ebook for my nook. Yes there is a time line like a guide taking through the years fom the early 1800's to the death of Quanah Parker in 1911. The historical account read like a novel & you felt like you were drawn into that world to witness the horrors from both cultures & how they really never tried to figure each other out. Prsonally I had learned so much of what I didn't know about the Plains Indian & their life & how the U.S. government dealt with the Indians in general. I am glad to have read it & thave learned something from our U.S. history.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Interesting but not too much about Quanah

    I guess I would be reading more about Quanah instead it was more a history of the Comanches, which is great but not what I had intended to read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

    lowly recommended

    too Biased

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    good Good historical look at the plains indians!

    This book seemed to be well researched and drew on many different sources! However, in my opinion, the author repeated himself too much, especially in the early chapters, an example being his repeated description of the horsemanship skills of the Comanches!

    Also, the author jumps around in the chronology of this story so much that it's difficult to follow! I would personally have liked to see the story unfold from beginning to end (more or less) than to have it jump backwards and forwards so much!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    A Great Read

    It's a book where once you've started reading it, you hate to put down. I found the details of specific locations pertaining to raids, treaties, camps and the events that took place there, interesting and entertaining. A lot of them were in my backyard! I had no idea, until I read this book, how powerful the commanches were. I hope you like it too.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2010

    Fiction Book for those that loved Empire of the Summer Moon

    Ride the Wind by Lucia St Clair Robson is a wonderful historical fiction based on Quanah Parker's mother Cynthia. It's hard to get your hands on, but worth tracking down.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    SwiftClan Awards Commitee!

    Do you want to get some things for fun? Well, then, you've come to the right place! Each cat in SwiftClan can earn points from completing deeds. Once you get a certain amount of points, you can "buy" something from the Awards Shop!

    Here are the tasks you can do to earn points:

    1. Create an advertisement that is at least 5 sentences long ((10 points every 5 sentences.))

    2. Sneak through an evil Clan/group without being noticed ((you MUST post there, but not attract too much attention. 50 points.))

    3. Recommend SwiftClan to one of your other RPs. ((50 points))

    4. Participate actively for a whole week ((100 points))

    5. Participate actively in a Clan battle ((100 points))

    6. Find more than 10 pieces of prey in one day ((10 points))

    7. Win in the SwiftClan's Weekly Story Writing Contest ((75 points))

    8. Defeat a most wanted evil cat ((350 points))

    Once you get a certain amount of points, you can get something from the Award Shop! Here are the things you can buy:

    1. Be first to choose from fresh-kill pile for whole week ((15 points))

    2. Firestar plushie ((50 points))

    3. Tigerstar plushie ((50 points))

    4. Jayfeather plushie ((50 points))

    5. Scourge plushie ((50 points))

    6. Enhanced Firestar plushie ((Has light-up flaming fur. 100 points))

    7. Enhanced Tigerstar plushie ((has retractable claws. 100 points))

    8. Enhanced Jayfeather plushie ((can walk in your dreams and give you advice. 150 points))

    9. Enhanced Scourge plushie ((can kill whoever you want for 15 minutes. 150 points))

    10. Can host food fights for a whole week. ((200 points))

    11. Can buy the following powers: Wings, element control, weather control, metal claws, large jump, mind reading, superspeed, mood eyes, or telekinesses. ((250 per power for temporary, 500 per power for permanent))

    12. Buy a kit with one of these powers: fire power, water power, wind power, earth power, or darkness power. ((Perfect for cats who don't have mates or can't kit. You can either RP it or advertise for an RPer. 350 points per kit.))

    13. Can choose an evil group to fight with. ((400 points))

    14. Can be deputy for a week ((400 points))

    15. Can be co-leader for a week ((750 points))

    16. Can be LEADER for a whole week! ((1,000 points))

    If you want track your points or claim a prize, do so at the second result. Have fun, and happy earning!!!!!

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Fascinating and moving

    Excellent and balanced portrayal of the clash between whites and Comances. The author brings history alive with his presentation of the forces and individuals involved, particularly the talented and remarkable Chief Quanah. Easy to read yet rich and thought provoking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Highly recommended---a trip back in time to the real West!

    The author gives you an excellent insight into the daily life of the Commanches, their history, their strengths and weaknesses, and the impact of the U.S. western expansion on their culture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    The Life of the Last Comanche chief takes a surprising turn...

    I found the life of Quanah Parker after the "Trail of Tears" events and its aftermath just as fascinating as his life as a free Comanche warrior and chief. It was an amazingly detailed life, not just of Comanches and their history but of many other tribes. I found it worthy of reading even though it is not written as a novel but more of a factual report. There are many excerpts from letters and newspaper articles and even books published by family members of Quanah's mother. I found these fascinating. it seems to be very well researched. If you want to read a detailed account of American history, this is one to get.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Riveting

    This is a spectacular and totally absorbing book. Don't read the reviews; read the book.

    The background (not a review):
    My interest in this book was spurred by an incidental visit to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian (Customs House, 1 Bowling Green, NY, NY). Before leaving the museum, keenly aware of my ignorance of American Indians and regretful I hadn't visited the museum (or learned more) sooner, I found this book in the museum shop. I bought the e-book (for my new Nook, of course!) that day (easily portable while travelling), and was completely absorbed -- I am now determined to learn more, from published first-person accounts and -- with luck -- similarly wonderfully crafted histories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 495 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 25