Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mini Book Review: Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides

With the subtitle: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West.

Kit Carson was there as American western history unfolded. This history focuses on the life and times of Kit Carson from his early years as a fur trapper to his eventual promotion to general within the US Army. With a vast knowledge of the Rocky Mountains and ability to speak Indian dialects and Spanish, Carson seems super human. There are times when the book seems to border on historical fiction as Carson crosses paths and meets many of the trappers, soldiers, Indians and other historical figures in the carrying out of Manifest Destiny on its journey to the Pacific Coast.

Weaving in the good and bad of humanity on the journey west, this is an easy to read American southwest history by a good story teller.

The photo is words on an obelisk honoring Kit Carson. The sandstone obelisk built in 1884 is in front of the US courthouse in Santa Fe.

1 comment:

  1. Read the book a few years ago, it's a hugely informative and entertaining account not only of Kit Carson but of the American conquest of New Mexico and of the Navajos, in both of which he was pivotal. First he subdued the Navajo and later he successfully lobbied to remove them from their exile in the awful Bosque Redondo and return them to their ancestral lands. I never realized that the Navajo were hard core warriors like the Apache until I read this book. Most Americans have little knowledge of this Mexican War era of US history. I have read loads of US Western history books and this is one of my favorites.

    Kit Carson was one of the first big media stars in America, pumped up beyond all recognition in the pulp magazines (thus the title 'Blood and Thunder'), but his actual life and deeds are astonishing and require no embellishment.


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