Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
I picked this up expecting a slog through a dry history book. However, for some reason I’m greatly attracted to the history, culture, and story of the Comanche people, so I was willing to put up with the slog.
To my surprise and delight, this book is neither a slog or a dry history book. The author does a tremendous job of telling the history of a people (as best we can know it) in a way that’s engaging and entertaining. The detail and thoroughness is truly impressive.
The only ding I would give it is the clear “European centric” viewpoint of the author. His words, phrasing, and context tell the story from the perspective of “true civilization” – the way we white’s wanted it to be. In his defense, he’s extremely fair in describing the events in a way that’s even-handed and exposes bias, prejudice, cruelty, and injustice on both sides. However, it’s always from that “white-centric” perspective.
It may be that in his shoes, this is the most fair way to tell the story. He does appear, after all, to be white of European descent, so telling the story from another perspective might be a bit disingenuous. However, I did find it a bit off-putting on occasion.