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Publisher's Summary

In the fall of 1846, the venerable Navajo warrior Narbona, greatest of his people's chieftains, looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole long life. He had come to see if the rumors were true, if an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the East and utterly defeated his ancestral enemies. As Narbona gazed down on the battlements and cannons of a mighty fort the invaders had built, he realized his foes had been vanquished. But what did the arrival of these "new men" portend for the Navajo?

Narbona could not have known that "The Army of the West", in the midst of the longest march in American military history, was merely the vanguard of an inexorable tide fueled by a self-righteous ideology now known as "Manifest Destiny". For 20 years the Navajo, elusive lords of a huge swath of mountainous desert and pasturelands, would ferociously resist the flood of soldiers and settlers who wished to change their ancient way of life - or destroy them.

©2006 Hampton Sides (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"An excellent addition to collections on western history." (Booklist)
"[Sides] eloquently paints the landscape and history of the 19th-century Southwest." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Blood and Thunder

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  • Michael Friedman
  • 03-02-2016

A fine story of the American West

An interesting book about Christopher "Kit" Carson , the Navajo (Diné) nation and the Plains Indian Wars of the 19th Century. It is not a real history as much as a wonderful story of the encounters and exploits of some of the great people of the Southwest and California. These include the great Navajo leaders Narbona and Manuelito, Carson, Generals Kearny and Carleton as well as John C. Frémont. It is a fascinating story of remarkable people. It is not a history as it does not effectively deal with the outer forces that motivated the actions that crippled and ultimately pacified the plains native Americans as well as the conquest of the Southwest and California from the Mexicans. However, these people did much to shape the United States in the middle of the 19th Century and their efforts should be better known to all who appreciate American history. This book helps that understanding.

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  • Jason Walker
  • 06-06-2019

Not my favorite.

The reason I didn’t like this book was because of the time period of the story. The whole story of Western expansion, slaughter of Indian Tribes and the hubris of the White American Male is a story that needs to be learned but should remain in the past. Such terrible times in US History.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-01-2020

real recognise real

That man Kit Carson is a wild boy for sure.
Dudes voice doing the narration fits the story really well.

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