The Comanche Empire

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - History - 512 pages
4 Reviews

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a Native American 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 American history.


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.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

The Comanches and their clients controlled a huge chunk of the American west for a long time, draining the resources of Spain and then of Mexico/Texas. The empire, in a familiar story, expanded so far ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing

Pekka Hämäläinen’s The Comanche Empire reframes the colonial experience in the American Southwest as a clash between four empires, Spanish, American, French, and Comanche. Hämäläinen seeks to answer ... Read full review


TWo New Order 68
Three The Embrace 107
Four The Empire of the Plains 141
Five Greater Comanchería 181
Seven Hunger 292
The Shape of Power 342
List of Abbreviations 363
Bibliography 445

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information