Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but more often than not resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, – all of these forces threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.
The Comanche, the Southern Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Apache all fought to protect their customs and homelands. The clashes were characterized by savagery on both sides - Indian and white. However, finite numbers and options would ensure the tribes’ defeat; they faced certain death or forced relocation, and their days were numbered.
While the Indian wars are the focus of “Palo Duro,” the novel also pays homage to the great cattle drives from Texas into Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, the cowboys, and the gunslingers. The famous and the infamous –icons of the “Old West” populate its pages and bring new life to a genre that is fading from public consciousness – the western.
“Palo Duro” recalls an era characterized by heroism, brutality, bold ventures, lawlessness, and law enforcement. It is the story of the Southwest United States towards the end of the nineteenth century and an ode to the rugged individualism that made this country.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Palo Duro is the story of not just Palo Duro, the place, but of the people that made the entire area around it famous! The book is a fast paced read with tons of real-life action from the 1860s to the late 1880s. I do have to warn you: it does get graphic with the violence that was known during that time of the Great Plains Indian Wars, so prepare yourself for it -- but don't let it distract you from the great stories that are told in this book. The moment that Quanah Parker's name appeared in the book was the moment that it had me fully hooked! Even though Palo Duro is a fast read, it covers stories of the Indian Wars that I have never read about and what really happened during that time of violent history. The thing that I found was very cool was the deal that Charles Goodnight made with Quanah. But y'all just have to read this book to see what I'm talking about! If you are into history but most importantly, history set in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, you have to read this book. I had it read in under two hours and then ready to get online to find out more about these very famous men who changed everything about the wild, wild west! Thank you to Max L. Knight for writing this awesome book that stays with you long after finishing it! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours!