Dear Great Book Guru, A few months ago, I read a fascinating book: KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON. Friends tell me that there is an even better, less well-known book about Native Americans that offers disturbing new insights into American history. Are you familiar with this book? In Quest of Knowledge
Dear In Quest of Knowledge, EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON by S.C. Gwynne is indeed not to be missed. It details the history of the fiercest of the American Indian tribes: the Comanches. Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, mass slaughter of the buffalo, construction of the railroads, formation of the Texas Rangers, westward expansion, and-above all - the human penchant for cruelty are covered. Interwoven with these topics are the stories of a mother and son: Cynthia Ann Parker and Quanah, last and greatest of the Comanche chiefs. As a nine year old, Cynthia was kidnapped by the Comanches on a raid of her family’s homestead on the Texas frontier. Her family was brutally massacred. She lived with her captors, married a powerful Comanche chief, and gave birth to three children one of whom was Quanah. After twenty-four years, she was forcibly removed from the tribe. Her husband was killed, and her son Quanah was to search for her for decades. She tried many times to return but always failed. Quanah fought the Americans but was finally defeated. In defeat, however, he remained a powerful and wealthy leader of his people. The book chronicles the many acts of violence committed by both sides, leaving the reader to question the inherent evil of humanity. Highly recommended!