Modern history

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness.

At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.

Prologue: Hoofbeats


Chapter 1. Jumping Off

Chapter 2. The Glittering World

Chapter 3. The Army of the West

Chapter 4. Singing Grass

Chapter 5. Blue Bead Mountain

Chapter 6. Who Is James K. Polk?

Chapter 7. What a Wild Life!

Chapter 8. The Ruling Hand of Providence

Chapter 9. The Pathfinder

Chapter 10. When the Land Is Sick

Chapter 11. The Un-Alamo

Chapter 12. We Will Correct All This

Chapter 13. Narbona Pass

Chapter 14. The Uninvaded Silence

Chapter 15. On the Altar of the Country

Chapter 16. A Perfect Butchery

Chapter 17. The Fire of Montezuma

Chapter 18. Your Duty, Mr. Carson

Chapter 19. Daggers in Every Look

Chapter 20. Men with Ears Down to Their Ankles

Chapter 21. The Hall of Final Ruin

Chapter 22. The New Men


Chapter 23. The Grim Metronome

Chapter 24. Lords of the Mountains

Chapter 25. The Devil’s Turnpike

Chapter 26. Our Red Children

Chapter 27. Cold Steel

Chapter 28. El Crepusculo + Photo Insert 1

Chapter 29. American Mercury

Chapter 30. Time at Last Sets All Things Even

Chapter 31. A Broken Country

Chapter 32. The Finest Head I Ever Saw

Chapter 33. The Death Knot

Chapter 34. Men Without Eyes

Chapter 35. Blood and Thunder


Chapter 36. The Fearing Time + Photo Insert 2

Chapter 37. People of the Single Star

Chapter 38. The Sons of Some Dear Mother

Chapter 39. The Round Forest

Chapter 40. Children of the Mist

Chapter 41. General Orders No. 15

Chapter 42. Fortress Rock

Chapter 43. The Long Walk

Chapter 44. Adobe Walls

Chapter 45. The Condition of the Tribes

Chapter 46. Crossing Purgatory

Epilogue: In Beauty We Walk


Selected Bibliography

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