Comanches: The Destruction of a People

Overview

Absolutely authoritative and immediate, this is the story of the most powerful of American Indian tribes, the Comanches (they called themselves the “true human beings”), who rode into modern history in a headlong collision with western civilization. T. R. Fehrenbach here recreates their rise to power, from their first harsh struggles for survival in the Eastern Rockies through uncounted generations who desperately resisted privation and suffering until they encountered and mastered the horse (first introduced by ...

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Overview

Absolutely authoritative and immediate, this is the story of the most powerful of American Indian tribes, the Comanches (they called themselves the “true human beings”), who rode into modern history in a headlong collision with western civilization. T. R. Fehrenbach here recreates their rise to power, from their first harsh struggles for survival in the Eastern Rockies through uncounted generations who desperately resisted privation and suffering until they encountered and mastered the horse (first introduced by Spanish settlers). This is how, on horseback, the Comanches conquered and controlled the plains for more than a hundred years: destroying the ancient dreams of Spanish empire in North America, blocking the French advance into the Southwest, and becoming for more than sixty years the single greatest obstacle to Anglo-American expansion. Fehrenbach’s history also tells how, at last, the Comanches themselves were conquered, falling before the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Army in the great raids and battles of the mid-nineteenth century—until, after the Civil War, only random clumps of tipis stood where once encampments had stretched for miles.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306805868
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/1994
  • Edition description: 1st Da Capo Press ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 596
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.93 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

T. R. Fehrenbach,a native Texan, is the author of several books, including Fire and Blood: A History of Mexico and Comanches: The Destruction of a People, both available from Da Capo. He lives in San Antonio.

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  • Posted April 29, 2013

    One of the best books on the subject of the Indians of the plain

    One of the best books on the subject of the Indians of the plains, by one of the best historians of the late 20th Century. Excellent resource for research, very readable. To understand the Comanche is the beginning of understanding the absolute imperative of destroying them, for they were implacable and as cruel an enemy as has ever been faced. As a sixth generation Texan, I understand completely the need to exterminate them, but Fehrenbach helps me see things from their perspective as well. When one people is bent on exterminating another, the reaction is predictable, and that's what Texans did. The genocidal wars of the Comanche against both Apache and whites left no option in the minds of Texans. Were it not for Yankee Col. Ranald Mackenzie, they would have been exterminated. He was a compassionate man for his time.

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