The Comanche empire

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Yale University Press, May 28, 2008 - History - 500 pages
21 Reviews
Winner of the 2009 Bancroft Prize, given by Columbia University

 

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, at the high tide of imperial struggles in North America, an indigenous empire rose to dominate the fiercely contested lands of the American Southwest, the southern Great Plains, and northern Mexico. This powerful empire, built by the Comanche Indians, eclipsed its various European rivals in military prowess, political prestige, economic power, commercial reach, and cultural influence. Yet, until now, the Comanche empire has gone unrecognized in historical accounts.

 

This compelling and original book uncovers the lost story of the Comanches. It is a story that challenges the idea of indigenous peoples as victims of European expansion and offers a new model for the history of colonial expansion, colonial frontiers, and Native-European relations in North America and elsewhere. Pekka Hämäläinen shows in vivid detail how the Comanches built their unique empire and resisted European colonization, and why they fell to defeat in 1875. With extensive knowledge and deep insight, the author brings into clear relief the Comanches’ remarkable impact on the trajectory of history.

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Review: The Comanche Empire

User Review  - Ernest Spoon - Goodreads

A straight, no chaser, ethno-history book on the rise and fall of what author Pekka Hamalainen accurately call the Comanche Empire of the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries on the southern plains region ... Read full review

Review: The Comanche Empire

User Review  - Todd Stansbury - Goodreads

This is a very good book. Fascinating exploration of a relatively unconsidered imperial power. I had to race through it, which was unfortunate, and what accounts for not giving it a full five stars. I look forward to perusing it at my leisure in the future. Read full review

Contents

one Conquest
18
two New Order
68
three The Embrace
107
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (2008)

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Pekka Hämäläinen is associate professor of history, University of California, Santa Barbara. He lives in Santa Barbara.