- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The age-old concept of fierce Comanche warriors as a military impediment to the conquest of the Spanish American Southwest has a long and influential history (e.g., Rupert Norval Richardson's The Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement). Hämäläinen (history, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; ed., When Disease Makes History: Epidemics and Great Historical Turning Points) succeeds in introducing a new perspective on Southwestern history, mastering Spanish and Mexican historic resources to tell of a horse- and bison-based Comanche empire, Comanchería. He shows that the expansion and maintenance of Comanche range and trade networks between 1700 and 1875 occurred at the expense of other Indian nations and Spanish, Mexican, Texan, and American interests. Writing from intertwined ethnohistoric and Eurocentric views, the author credits this pastoral empire with New Spain/Mexico's steep loss of influence on the northern borderlands before the actual Mexican War of 1846-48 and argues that an appreciation of Comanche influence is needed to fully understand the history of the Southwest and Great Plains. Enthusiastically recommended for academic and public libraries.
—Nathan E. Bender