Wednesday, August 12, 2015
What I'm Reading, Week 31
Sorry for those of you out there who don't go in for non-fiction, but I happen to find this book is truly riveting. Anyone who has even a passing interest in the history of the United States, or North America's indigenous people, should give S. C. Gwynne's Empire of the Summer Moon a try. I'm about halfway through, and it has been enlightening thus far. Like many people of my age raised in the United States, what little I learned in public school about the people who lived here before European settlers arrived was largely limited to the groups encountered on the eastern coast of the continents. Gwynne depicts the brutality of the American frontier two hundred years later without flinching. It really sucked out there, for everyone, and there is, of course, much more to the story than my limited education led me to believe.
Gwynne weaves the stories of the American frontier, Quanah Parker, and the Comanches together seamlessly as he elucidates how the three came through history, rushing headlong to meet each other in unmitigated violence. I'm thrilled at the amount of detail he provides, as it's unusual to find such a captivating work of non-fiction that doesn't skimp for narrative's sake. I can't put it down! When can most people say that about history? Not a beach read, but who cares when it's this good?