In the autumn of 1846 the Navajo warrior Narbona looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole life. He saw that it was true that an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the east and defeated his old enemy. But what did the arrival of these 'New Men' mean for the Navajo ...Read MoreIn the autumn of 1846 the Navajo warrior Narbona looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole life. He saw that it was true that an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the east and defeated his old enemy. But what did the arrival of these 'New Men' mean for the Navajo? Narbona could not know that the 'Army of the West' was only the vanguard of an inexorable tide fuelled by a self-righteous ideology know as Manifest Destiny. Hampton Sides's extraordinary book brings the history of the American conquest of the West to ringing life. It is a tale with many heroes and villains, but at the centre of it all stands the remarkable figure of Kit Carson ? the legendary trapper, scout and soldier. Carson was an illiterate mountain man who twice married Indian women and understood the tribes better than any other American alive; yet he was also a cold-blooded killer and an unquestioning patriot who willingly followed orders tantamount to massacre. BLOOD AND THUNDER is a chronicle of one of a pivotal era in American history: grand in scope, immediate in detail, impeccably researched and historically revelatoryRead Less
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My brother loves to read westerns,that's why I purchased the book...asked him about it the other day...been to busy to start it.
Apr 14, 2011
This book makes the the history of the West so alive, it's descriptions make you feel like you were there. An absolute joy to read, I'm just about done and can't wait to read it again.
Oct 23, 2008
Kit Carson Biography
This is an excellent history of United States in the west and the southwest during the conquest of Mexico and the Navajo Indians. It centers on Christopher "Kit" Carson and is an excellent biography of him, but it is also a biography of most of the explorers, mountain men, and military commanders/explorers from the very early 1800's to about 1870. this author holds no punches in explaining about our war with Mexico, its shortcomings and victories. The author also spares none of the characters in this time in history, telling about both their shortcomings and the highlights of their lives and how they affected the conquest of the West and the conquest and defeat of the Navajo Indians. It is also a brief history of the Navajo Indians and their relationships with surrounding indian tribes, the Spanish, the Mexicans, and the United States. This book has an excellent bibliography for those who are interested in learning more about the Navajo Indians, which I highly recommend the readers of this book to do.
Aug 4, 2008
An engaging look at the conquest of the American West. Centered around Kit Carson, the book reads more like a story than a history. One might be struck by a familiar "American-ness" to the events - some of the attitudes and actions of the men who conquered the West could well be pulled from our modern headlines.
Aug 27, 2007
The way all history books should be written.
If all history books were written like Blood & Thunder, not only would studies of the past be a hughly popular subject in school but history would actually be LEARNED! Hampton Sides has a gift of taking normally dry facts and meaningless dates and breathing life into them giving them incredible revalance. Most history books are quite slanted in their focus. In Blood & Thunder, Sides does a remarkable job of pointing out the historcal perspctive from the view points of the cultures of the American Indians, the Mexicans and the New Americans as they merge and try to mesh in the western frontier. This book is such a good read and so interesting that I would recomend it anyone regardless of whether they have any interest in the history of the west.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-09-04 Although delivering little in the way of new information, Sides, an Outside magazine editor-at-large and bestselling author (Ghost Soldiers), eloquently paints the landscape and history of the 19th-century Southwest, combining Larry McMurtry's lyricism with the historian's attachment to facts. Inevitably, Sides's main focus is the virtual decimation of the Navajo nation from the 1820s to the late 1860s. Sides depicts the complex role of whites in the subjugation of the Navajos through his portrait of Kit Carson an illiterate trapper, soldier and scout who knew the Native Americans intimately, married two of them and, without blinking, participated in the Indians' slaughter. Books about Carson have been numerous, but Sides is better than most Carson biographers in setting his exploits against a larger backdrop: the unstoppable idea of manifest destiny. Of course, as counterpoint to the progress of Carson and other whites, Sides details the fierce but doomed defense mounted by the Navajos over long decades. This culminated in their final, desperate "stand" during 1863 at Canyon de Chelly, more than a decade after a contingent of federal troops operating under a commander whose last name of "Washington" seems ironic in this context killed their great leader, Narbona. (Oct. 3) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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