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The Destruction of a People

by T. R. Fehrenbach

ISBN 0306805863 / 9780306805868 / 0-306-80586-3
Publisher Da Capo Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

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. Fehrenbachs 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 centuryuntil, after the Civil War, only random clumps of tipis stood where once encampments had stretched for miles.