Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 17, 2011 2:00am-3:00am EST

2:00 am
this is the kurt vonnegut timeline. if you would allow me out like to read the quote at the top of this beautiful painting which was created by the artist chris cain and one scholar named rodney allen and they both lived in louisiana, all moments, past, present, and future always have existed, always will exist. looking at all of the different moments the way we can look at a stretch of the rocky mountains for instance. they can see how permanent job of moments are. it is just an illusion we have on earth wants a moment is gone, it is gone forever. something that is unique about our time line restart on the right and move to the
2:01 am
left instead of left to right. . . is 45 minutes.
2:02 am
2:03 am
2:04 am
2:05 am
2:06 am
2:07 am
2:08 am
2:09 am
2:10 am
2:11 am
2:12 am
2:13 am
2:14 am
>> once again my name is brian sweeney and i'm the deputy editor texas monthly magazine and i have to say it is always a
2:15 am
real treat to be invited to work at the book festival. i believe my first one was in 97 when i was a volunteer helping people getting to where they are going and it has been really great for me to have a chance to sit up here on stage with authors like sam gwynn. sam has written the best book of the rye bread. it is called "empire of summer moon." it is an unbelievable epic history and get an incredible narrative storytelling so congratulations to you for having written just a fantastic book. [applause] but in addition to the fact that i admire sam so much i have to say i am so excited to be with him here today because sam is one of my very good friends. when i was starting as texas monthly and knew less about editing stories than i do today we went to lunch together and i worked on a piece that i didn't feel great about that was okay with. and sam and i went to lunch and i had never met him before. he had been in "time" magazine
2:16 am
and before that a national correspondent. he was hired as an executive editor and he is now a senior editor for the "dallas morning news" in my neck of the lives. we started talking about this story and every moment that i thought i had taken a misstep in that piece as an editor he was able to identify it on his own and yet he was able to do it in sort of a wonderfully supportive and obstructive way. i didn't feel bad about not having done it as well as i would have liked to have done it in the first place and i think that relationship was able to develop over the years in terms of the stories we have written. so i'm very happy to be with him today. i wanted to say that in my mind this book has been such a runaway hit both in terms of the book industry but also culturally five months now and "the new york times" bestsellers list. >> four plus any way. >> we well rounded up to five. at me then ask you, the comanche and the story of quanah parker and the indians in texas is such
2:17 am
a great story generally. is one that we all grow up hearing. we see on movies and television we read books about it. every book has an occasion so what was it for you to write this particular history at this particular time? >> it is a good question. about 12 years ago i read a wonderful book by walter prescott webb called the great plains and inside this book, and it was about the great plains. it is really about texas mostly and inside this book there was a chapter or even a subchapter about the comanche sounded put forth his premise that there was this enormous -- sitting in the middle of the constant that determines everything happen. i was a yankee. i'm going what? wait a second. i might know ap kline or a pequot or the algonquin or wampanoag but i didn't know command she's at all. the only thing -- comanches or something and john wayne movies that was code for the zero or we are in trouble now. that was pretty much was it was.
2:18 am
what happened was, but that is what set off my interest. then i read into the normal things he would do if you were a comanche but beyond that it was really about i think a yankee's love affair with the state of texas. when i was time bureau chief i traveled all of this day. when i was a writer in texas i traveled a lot this day. i heard comanche stories. i love the planes. we all let texas monthly look forward to times we could go do amarillo or lubbock. but it was true. >> we love you equally. >> it was a bit of just understanding that what the planes were and what a plains indian was and to me it was all -- i think a lot of that comes to the book this oh wow big yankee is learning some stuff about this idea. i think that informed a lot of the book because none of this is normal to me. it was like wow.
2:19 am
>> let me push him that a little bit in terms of what is it that you learned that her haps we didn't know about the comanches? one of the things that struck me toward the beginning of the book was the way you were able to frame the way the comanche existed so might one cheat sheet is because i have a sentence from the book. the surprise me because i never thought of it in such an ordered structured way. you write a 1750, colonial times iraqis, the comanches comanche had carved out a militarily and diplomatically unified nation with remarkable precise boundaries that were patrolled and ruthlessly enforced. how is that possible? what was the comanche nation doing that they were actually boundaries? that not only other tribes but the spanish respected it. that goes counter to what i would have thought. >> 250,000 square mile piece of land. it was a piece of land they fogged over for 150 years,
2:20 am
sustained combat against everybody basically everyone before them and exterminating people like the apaches. what it was was a militarily dominant power from the wind river mountains of wyoming where they had been in significant power but they swept down and the reason for that 250,000 square mile and prior as i call it although it does look a bit like the european empire, the challenge for the richest buffalo plains in the country. that is what i was. if you were the strongest tribe what would you want? you would want the richest buffalo plains so amarillo. that is where it was. the southern plains. they called the comanches lords of the southern plains. that is what it wasn't so that fateful day in 18361 the parkers touch that empire but of course it didn't look like the roman empire. you couldn't -- these were nomadic people. you couldn't see them. you couldn't find them. you couldn't go to a village and
2:21 am
burned down as he could with every east coast indian. >> they did it in such a way that they were miles and miles away from any support. they were out there literally on their own having no idea what was certainly going to the fall them. i want to talk about that because that aspect of the book informs the way you have done this structurally which i think is interesting the way you crafted the book from beginning to end. you alternate chapters in terms of the grand sweep of the very specific story about the parkers and particularly cynthia and an quanah. i wanted to ask you to think historically. i remember in the office however many years ago now you were talking you were going to write this book and i've gotten excited about it because of my training. we talked about certain specific things i knew a little bit about and was amazed at what what you have uncovered. i want to throw up to date sea of that seems significant to me in this book. in terms of what the comanche were able to do and in terms of one, the apex of their power and
2:22 am
particularly as it related to dealing with the spanish and then when macy begins to wane as they begin to fight with mckinsey and his troops that take off from west fort worth. once is march 1758 and 1 as october 1871 when mckinsey begins to push west and it becomes the most feared indian fighter from the comanche standpoint. can you talk a little bit about those two dates, the battle of san saba and what mckinsey was able to accomplish and how they inform their understanding of the comanche? >> i think what brian is talking about a mission and presidio in san saba and it was kind of a funny story because literally funny because what happened was the apaches have gone to the spanish in san antonio and they said we have really thought the way we think about this because we want to be civilized and come into the mission and we want to be christians. all those rates we had then we didn't really mean that. the spanish got very excited
2:23 am
about this and the apaches said where we want the mission is in this place called san saba because this is our homeland. anyway this is our homeland and we need you to build the presidio which was a mission which went with it. they always went hand-in-hand and this was in the san saba country. outside of minard. anyway what happens is the spanish get very excited about this so they build these things in the middle of nowhere. what it turned out though was that the apaches had lured them directly into the comanche land and the whole point was to set up a buffer to set their enemies to go fighting. of course the apaches never showed up at what the show they think was, they never showed up at all in the spanish were bring this presidio going gee was. it shows a lot about what it was like dealing with the spanish. basically the comanches bottled
2:24 am
them up in this empire that was empty of all meaning and it was a remarkable show of power. anyway the reprisal for that raid and the comanches swooped down on this mission and presidio and they kill everybody and it was one of those comanche great -- grades. the spanish mounted 600 people marched north to where the -- and absolutely get destroyed or beaten. they turn tail and ran at the battle of the spanish fort which was the high watermark of spanish power in america. the other thing you asked was 1871. i start my book with 1871 was the year that the grim warrior who had destroyed the american south and these guys were nasty pieces of work when it came to battle. i'm talking about grant and sherman and sheridan. that is who it was. they had unleashed more carnage than the world has ever seen with more weaponry. they finally decided in 1871 where i start my book with the
2:25 am
battle of black cocaine in that year. they prague -- rummy said enough is enough. this frontier has been frozen for 40 years. know whether india am cried -- indian tribe held it up. basically that is where the frontier sat for 40 years or 35 years. and you think of it, and other words they said okay enough is enough. there were 4000 of these guys out there. we have 51,000 casualties at gettysburg along. so this final will i guess the will to go get them was the beginning of the end of the comanches. that was couple of course with the slaughter of the buffalo where they took their commerce vary in their food away but 1871 and a the guy that they sent was this guy named randall mackenzie. there are so many storied -- people in the story that nobody has ever heard of including randall mackenzie a great indian fighter but mckinsey was grants favorite officer in the civil war. and so you have again these graham grim kind of warriors
2:26 am
unleashing their guide against quantum parker and the fall of 1871 so to me it was one of those great moments where the beginning of the end of indian wars in america, the will to destroy them finally. but it also i guess in retrospect showed you how powerful the plains indians were. >> just that scope of time that they were able to exert that kind of influence for so long and so dominating. >> i think one of the things a lot of people have asked me about this -- did i set about in my book to write a kind of revisionist history of the experience of native americans in north america. the reason for the question is kind of an assumption. there is this idea driven by my heart at wounded knee and a bunch of books and movies in the 60s that indians were victims and indeed they were and they were all victims eventually.
2:27 am
the great steamroller, american steamroller of the west. but there was also power and i think what surprises some people anyway about the book is just how powerful they were. somebody suggested they were more like a nation-state like germany or prussia. in many ways they were, so you have -- it is a different way to look at indians. they lost eventually that they were enormously powerful and they determined really if you look at comanches, all these questions you could ask about the center of the american continent. who was at that stop the spanish in their drive north? it was the comanches. who was at the stop stop the french in their drive west from louisiana? it was the comanches. was spared the comanches and when i talk about this, it was the fear of the comanches that led mexicans and as a buffer against comanches basically offering texans up this meet for the comanches. this kind of bad hard on them,
2:28 am
right? but comanches adaptation of the six shooter and a five shooter, and a six shooter and the invention of the rangers and as they say the static, the fact that are frontier took 40 years in a single place. you keep going with these guys and so on some level it is about power. >> i would just be curious to ask how many of you are familiar with randall mackenzie? that is a good show of hands. sam has a good line in the book which i'm paraphrasing that george armstrong custer became famous and the pdma can stand it up as an up skier victory so i think that look and is pretty great. i think you have to toddle down just a little bit to know that. you talked a little bit about the notion of baring my heart at wounded the end i think that is one of the things that came to reading the book for me. i notice been much discussed. what can you tell us about the
2:29 am
daily life if you were a comanche. what was the daily life like? what did you figure out about kind of the social and governmental entities that controls what they did and why they did it? because i think your conclusions are perhaps different from what we would have thought about. >> to me they were the ultimate dream of americans in some ways. they had this incredibly flat society. yes there was a war chief and a civil cheap but on any given day the could organize the war party. there were no police societies, no warrior societies, no -- it was a stripped-down war machine. they fought, they hunted buffalo, nobody could ride with them so you have this incredibly elemental world where if you were a comanche mail, you were free to do whatever you want wanted. there were no strictures on you. the comanches did have a
2:30 am
culture. it was not as sophisticated as a hardware to use when you are talking about this but other tribes wove baskets or of build houses or had elaborate art. comanches had none of that so inside, and they'd love to have fun and they love to gamble and they love to wager into many things, but i saw them as this kind of just absolutely stripped-down spartan kind of war machine that everybody was scared of but in fact offered unbelievable freedom. it was to me, the freedom that writers and poets in america have talked about that great spatial freedom of the west but it was also a freedom from institutions. you know when you came lest you got away from all those institutions that they're in boston that maybe you didn't like. and you know i think on some level the comanches structured the way they were and other indian tribes were way more hierarchical than they were if you look at the iroquois or
2:31 am
something, extremely sophisticated social order. it was a way of great, glorious, while freedom both spatial in terms of being on the plains but also culturally in terms of just, you didn't have church and state, nothing. anyway i found that an interesting part of it. >> the bizarre sight of that, the sort of hypermilitaristic culture was clearly what happened on the battlefield though so i wondered if you might talk a little bit about that. what was said, what was it about their culture or their society that caused them to prosecute wars in the way that they did? i think the radon parkers ford and howard sherman to lead us to history. maybe talk a little bit about that and what your solutions where. >> waiting was what they always did. let's go back to the 1500's in 1400. rating is what everybody did. there was a raid and take
2:32 am
somebody's whatever comes his dog or his women or his buffalo hides. there was killing and there was rating and this was done forever. what happened to the comanche was sometimes in the 17th century, they got ahold of the horse and a transformed them in a way that nobody had ever been transformed before. so what you had a suddenly okay everybody is rating all the time. k. but now one tribe cannot ride, like you know if somebody said it is like attacking some sherman tanks. you were able to write a force, nobody did this besides the comanches and suddenly have this complete transformation i guess of the world -- before the horse they raided each other all the time and they killed each other and tortured each other all the time and before the horse, everything, after the horse they pretty much did the same thing. the difference was the balance
2:33 am
of power shifted. and i think i didn't answer your question. >> essentially they had been kind of kicked around historically, picked on by other tribes and harassed and threatened. the horse was to them what other technological inventions would have been to society later on a completely transformed who they were. >> on the plains anyway, it change things and so you have to see the comanches says once empowered with the horse, if you can out hunt -- hans buffalo. buffalo was part of it too but if you could outfight people that really changes who you are if what you are about is rating and that is what you do. suddenly or just the uber raider. it wasn't just the comanche. the ones that the data, we we all know them. the sioux, arapahoe, cheyenne,
2:34 am
kiowa and comanche. those are the guys that were good with the horse. >> we need to go for 10 more minutes and then we are going to open it up for questions which we enjoy so if you have a question if you begin to make your way up to the microphone. i want to ask two things. one about content and one last question about craft which i think it's interesting to everyone who is ever wanted to write a book and has no idea how to proceed. one, the way that you structured this book as i mentioned earlier in alternating chapters he did have a grand history of the comanche and then you zoom in on starting with what happened to parkers ford and taking it all the way through with quanah parker. what did you find about that, including one of the classic texas stories. it was a big story at the time. people talk about it and memoirs were published in newspapers reported what happened but tell us about cynthia ann and quanah. >> i can sort of merge those two questions together so i will get
2:35 am
to structure in a minute. basically this was a story, you know when you are writing a book it helps if you have something nobody has ever heard of before and cynthia ann parker and cynthia ann quanah and the stories of the comanches have been kind of laws. people of a certain age in texas on that the cynthia ann parker story. might daughter does not. she goes to westlake high school. there was a bit of forgetting history, just a bit of that so there was an opportunity to do this story. but the other side of this and begins to your question of structure, what i wanted to do, i wanted to tell what i've been talking mainly about is the rise and fall of the comanches, the big picture rise and fall from there at your roots in wyoming to the peak of their power to their fall in 1875. that is a great epic story but what is cool is that inside that story there was this wonderful little human narrative of the
2:36 am
parker family and what enabled me to do it and -- ryan by the way is one of the finest editors on the planet earth who has miraculously all of my best stories were edited by brian. i don't know it is an accident or something. what was i saying? [laughter] oh, the structure. the structure in effect the structure became of the book and the trick of the book. this is what we have done. we talk structure. this is writer editor. they should go first or they should go first or whatever but the secret of the book if you well and my brilliant discovery at one point was i really needed to alternate the big rise and fall with a little story so you get the big rise and fall which is like a james michener book or good begins back when there were all made amino acids floating around the universe and then it goes forward.
2:37 am
this allowed the story of his 9-year-old girl who got kidnapped in 1836 by the comanches that set in motion these incredible forces. she became famous three times, once for having been taken, twice for being a white squad who refused to return and the third time famous when charles goodnight recaptured her at the peace river in 1860 and the fourth time as the mother of kwon and you have this amazing stories that world forward with quanah as the last and greatest of the comanche chiefs and that is not the end of the story. juana's story on the reservation where he becomes the most -- indian. that is what the appeal was. it was like you could do both of these stories and have been kind of run together and that is the way the book worked. >> the intersection is really great. you sit down with a book and you start to go through it and you are trying to figure out what is this here and that there?
2:38 am
when you realize what it is i think it is a wonderful moment in the book how the story is being told. one last question i swear and then we will open up the floor to you all. i am curious, you have been a writer for "time" magazine weekly. you have been a writer for a monthly magazine. you are now a senior writer for the "dallas morning news" turning out pieces on the finances of bill white and also josh hamilton so wonderful rain. you have written a book biggest lead, that was a while ago and visited business book. how did you begin the process of figuring all of this out? and just to go on sort of in a nutshell, what was it about your reporting methods not being a professor of history, someone who sort of natives living doing this. how did you figure it out? >> it is a very good question. and it is one that has been asked all the way long. who is going to hire me or give me an advance on a book if i'm not a historian so i had to go
2:39 am
the extra mile in the book proposal and prove that i was. in a lot of ways i found i am a reporter. that is who i am. that is what i do and i found that my reporting skills works to do history. there was one little thing that i did that i don't think and maybe i shouldn't even say this. the historians may laugh me out of the room but one of the things i realized in doing this book was that i couldn't be one of these guys who went out and and -- for three years and came back with this much stuff all cross-indexed and sat down and said okay, here we are. once upon a time. in 1872 i realize that because of what i do particularly texas monthly narrative fiction -- fiction. my stories are nonfiction. [laughter] so what i did in effect was i read a lot of looks for background but then i reported the same -- this thing chapter
2:40 am
by chapter. i found things that were related and i put them away so literally there was never long between researching it which is largely done in the university of texas and a little bit in oklahoma and the panhandle. it was just kind of doing that but i really found to my surprise i guess that you know when i went into the archives in the university of texas where he spent months and months, the reporting skills that i evolved from being a reporter of the same. i think in some ways bookwriting is just really slow reporting. [laughter] >> this has been great. has been a real treat for me. we have a woman here so if you ask questions it would be better to come up to the microphone. we have 15 minutes ago. the last lsa is immediately after the session sam will be at the book signing stand so if you have a copy and if you haven't read it yet hopefully this
2:41 am
discussion is shown this is a fantastic book. i hope you will read it if you haven't. yes, sir. >> i enjoy the book. thank you for writing it. my question has to do with the comanches behavior, if they were captured by someone who was inclined to torture them like they seem to torture people? did they have some kind of code of behavior, informal of course, that they would have been raised from the youth in how to respond to being tortured in the situation? been not that i know of. the only thing i know of was there was a weird golden rule that applied on the plains. that was a comanche male who was taken in embattled by a crow or a youth or something and he was alive would automatically be tortured to death. it would be quick if they didn't have much time and it would be slow and gave him to the women if there wasn't a lot of time.
2:42 am
that happen to everybody. there was no exception to it and would astonish the way people and i don't think there was a code necessarily but astonished white people when they got there was indians would fight to their last breath every single one of them. and a white man eventually learned why, because he got captured alive it was really not pleasant. it is thought even though this wasn't written, close-up at rangers for example always faced one bullet in the chamber but it was the same -- there was a version of the indian. you did not want to be taken he couldn't possibly be taken. i think torture is one of the things i devote kind of a big piece of the chapter to the idea that it is something we all have to come to terms with when we look at indians. although you know i swear i just read a memoir of the war in the pacific. the stuff the japanese did would have been fully in line with what the koreans did and not
2:43 am
singling out japanese but things that are going on in africa today are as bad or is worse in rwanda and so on. maam? >> is a turned on? >> how do i know? what was it like to be a comanche woman? via comanche woman? this was one of the things i tried to do when talking about cynthia ann. they did all the work. they had -- they didn't have much status but they did all the work and it was astonishing what they did do. they also fought, but you know, the process of tanning buffalo heights was brutal work and they did this all day long. they were the ones, these were nomadic tribes that moved all the time. they there were the ones
2:44 am
entirely charge of the logistics of doing the moves and the men, hugh hans, you fight them there was nothing else. the women did absolutely everything so there was kind of a brutal life i guess for a woman without the freedom the men had you now and i think cynthia ann live that life. when she came back she sort of voted with their feet and kept trying to escape. as hard is that they have been it was still her world. it was hard work for women, very hard. over here. >> you talked about having done the original reading. what is the book about daily life, and fiction? i am thinking of one by calvin called buffalo soldier. i have nothing to base on how accurate. can you talk about the spiritual life and how important hunting and. >> i'm sorry, are you talking about a specific book?
2:45 am
>> buffalo soldier. >> i haven't read the book. >> what motivated the comanche warrior spiritually and why was it so important to hunted to capture people and to torture them? >> this society, the comanche society evolve particularly during the years of the apache conquest when they nearly annihilated the apaches. they adult and -- they involved a tribe where status relied on military success in that i think change everything so you have to look at them -- you can look at the spartans the same way. there was nothing but military success. religiously they had a very simple version of religion. magic and antipodal all-around, magic lipton beavers and will send magic lived in trees.
2:46 am
the idea was whatever you could do to harness a. there was not a complex, as other indian tribes and native american tribes in north and south america had her coat was pretty simple and it didn't necessarily i think inform that much their warring habits. on the other hand there was their great weakness as warriors. you kill the chief and the medicine is gone and they flee so there was a lot of that and they were easy to spoof. but i think in some ways you have to see them as a stripped-down war machine were all the status and the world depended on victory in battle. it got to the point where i think it even got a little out of hand where they had all they wanted. anyway, yes maam? >> i thoroughly enjoyed your book. having grown up in lubbock and basically spent 20 years of my life at long cocaine in in the girl scout camp. my question is how is it that
2:47 am
quanah parker and all the things he did his as chief was able to turn that around and become part of the white man society? why did he maintain the hatred he had originally? >> the one thing he had and by the way it is where the world's greatest museum is. panhandle plains historical museum. incredible. anyway. where was i? quanah. quanah had something that most indians did not have in the reservation period and indeed not have much of the 20th century and that was optimism. he was an optimistic fellow and he was very gregarious and very social and very convincing and in fact is it's interesting if you look at the skills needed in the comanche society for basically her power as a chief. your ability to recruit a war party.
2:48 am
you go around the tp sensei we are going to do this and you want to come in at the cheap wasn't convincing them he couldn't do it or maybe he would get three people that quando was good at it. kwanzaa recruited lots of people. quandt want to us the guy, he was a talker, he was optimistic. he was gregarious and social and positive. he was a recruiter and the things that made him a great chief in some ways carried over. now didn't carry over for many people who work at it being a chief and i think there was something about him and i don't know where it came from, but he had an optimism and they hope and a feeling that things were going to get better and then when he got to the reservation he was like everybody else. he was waiting in line for rations and looking in a tp and he had nothing and yet he thought things were going to get better. one of the reasons i above quanah as he is a great american hero but he shared what i think to me is probably the single
2:49 am
most defining american trade and they are just sheer optimism, the believe it is going to work and you were going to get better. your kids are going to have a better or you are going to do better this year than he did last year. he donate us a school and became the first chairman of the school board because he was going to build a school. geronimo who is much more famous is a drunken old curmudgeon and they knew each other. they lived a few miles away and in fact geronimo was kind of a a -- buried on quanah road. [laughter] >> outstanding book. my wife picked it out for a trip we went up to white dear texas and back so we were right there in your territory. i particularly liked, thought you were very balanced in your approach to both the white man and the indian. but when i got back i started reading some reviews.
2:50 am
most of them are good but there were a lot of reviews that kind of took you to task a little bit i think it was from the indian standpoint, that maybe you were a little harsher on the indians then you should have been. i thought it was balance but how do you respond to that? >> i have heard a little bit of that but i expected more blowback that i got to tell you the truth. i had lunch with a chickasaw filmmaker the other day and he was talking about his comanche friends. they don't like necessarily my portrait of the brutality although i could have gone much further than what i did. i think on the other hand they believe the that the portrait of the overall portrait was fair. i mean, my view of how to do this was really not to take any political agenda, not to say the white men were less cruel than the indians. i was just a reporter braley and
2:51 am
i just gathered my reporting and of reporting showed that there were unbelievable white atrocities and what we consider to be unbelievable indian atrocities. to tell you the truth i was expecting much more and i think i would have heard by now. yes? >> cynthia parker is probably the most famous indian captive official in texas but she certainly wasn't the only one. was she different from all the others? >> i am trying to think of that famous one, what was her name? anyway, she was very unusual in history. she is not the only one who wouldn't come back or assimilated and crossed the line. there are a few other examples in history but it was pretty unusual and in fact it was so
2:52 am
unusual at the time that a white woman to choose savagery over civilization. it was shocking to people. they couldn't believe it, that you could possibly be fully assimilated as she was to forget her on language and to take all of the comanche ways to herself. and so yeah i think, in her at her a anyway she was considered to be absolutely in usual and extraordinary. there were many many captives. most were returned relatively quickly. most of the adult women who return were considered damaged goods and had kind of trouble with their lives but anyway. >> why didn't the comanche is just -- west of the mississippi river like genghis khan and dude have anything to do with the low birthweight? >> i think it was part of it. i think their numbers weren't big enough for that but the real
2:53 am
reason i think is that indians never really, i mean day would never fight to take a position. they would never do it at gallipoli. they would never do anything like that. they would never sacrifice large amounts of people to take something specific. the way i think they saw their empire was simply the southern plains where the buffalo were. that is what it was so the idea of sleeping northern mexico clean up which people suggested they could do too or sweeping -- that is more of a european idea. that is not so much an indian idea. they never thought that way because there would have been no point. from their point of view there were no buffalo there so all they wanted was that and it is an interesting idea. to some extent some indian still have trouble with private poverty. >> we have the five minute
2:54 am
signal so maybe we will do another question or two. i'm sorry we won't be terry buddy but please go ahead. >> i was curious. was a great book. i really appreciate it. i learned a lot. what about kara burrell canyon and how did that inform their society and talk a little bit about how that was the way you describe at a fortress and undiscovered place at at that the white man didn't know about. >> if any of you have seen it is 100 miles long in in the second biggest canyon in the west. it is really something and it became where they ended the comanche air at ground ground zero for comanches. it annoys been a winter camp for them but it was just just as unbelievably gorgeous river cut stream, stream cut canyon cut place where you could hide and ultimately the red river war was fought a good deal in and out of pallet of canyon because it was such a great place to hide. but i think they were nomads and so historically they would end up in the canyon for winter
2:55 am
camps and i think it became part of their society. one of the most interesting moments in the history of the west was on i described in my book at some.quanah you have to let us out of another buffalo hunt, you have to let us out to go on the reservation. quanah says you have to let us out, we the comanches would like to go on a buffalo hunt so we lobbied for that. so they finally let them go. so he has got, they go out. and they are shocked and astonished that they find a buffalo because by this point most of the buffalo had been killed. they get to pallet barrow canyon and lo and behold they find out that a white guy owns it. a guy named charles goodnight owns the place. quanah does what you mean you own the place? it is one of those conversations you own this? what is own meant? own in what sense? was a god given to you?
2:56 am
anyway that was to meet a great moment when you saw how fast a change because it was only a few years before goodnight literally owned it. he had hardwired in the panhandle through western oklahoma so anyway. i guess one more. you get the last shot. >> you talk a lot about the dogs that accompanied the comanches. were you describing a particular breed or were they mostly wolf or what? >> i don't know. that is a good question. i assume they were wolfish but i don't know. my favorite dog moment in the book was, there were two dog moment. at the battle of the river the dogs defended but the other one was there was a moment when, this is during the battle of lego canyon. they chased the indians at the
2:57 am
edge of the plains in the air up there and nurses pursue going on in the indians are getting way. they are so close behind at the indians are shocking things fast as they go in one of the things they were shocking were dogs. some of them were puppies so you have a strange moment where the mckenzie soldiers were riding with puppies, just one of those weird moments in the west. anyway i don't know that much but the dogs were ubiquitous in the comanche camps. there are we stalks and in fact a dog is what their belongings when they moved. so, anyway. are we done? >> do you want to squeeze one more and? >> one more. >> i found my favorite -- in the book, where the maps? maps were all over the book. >> other people have noted that, duly noted. i think it could've used more
2:58 am
maps. second edition. granted. i would like to thank you off for being here. [applause]
2:59 am

126 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on