Master horseback riders who lived in teepees and hunted bison, the Comanches were stunning orators, disciplined warriors, and the finest makers of arrows. They lived by a strict legal code and worshipped within a cosmology of magic. As he portrays the Comanche lifestyle, Fehrenbach re-creates their doomed battle against European encroachment. While they destroyed the Spanish dream of colonizing North America and blocked the French advance into the Southwest, the Comanches ultimately fell before the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Army in the great raids and battles of the mid-nineteenth century. This is a classic American story, vividly and poignantly told.
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The Commanches were Indians on the Great Plains who fought the US Army for decades until finally defeated. Spanish colonization in North America was most active in Mexico, although Catholic missions extended Spanish influence farther north. The French were more interested in an empire based on trade than one with large populations of French colonists.