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Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West by Hampton Sides
Blood and Thunder follows the history of the American West between the years of 1825-1850. It was a period of the United States' government policy of "Manifest Destiny," and the military action to seize lands from both the Mexicans and Indians so that the growing country could stretch all the way to the Pacific. Hampton Sides shows the actions of many historical characters, such as John C. Fremont and Stephen Kearny, but he centers his book around the exploits of Kit Carson. Carson became a symbol of the West, a self-made man who was a trapper, scout, and soldier, who despite taking two Indian wives and speaking their languages, he was also instrumental in the destruction of their societies and forced relocation to reservations. Blood and Thunder has received positive reviews with the Portland Oregonian saying, "Blood and Thunder is an engaging and exciting book. Sides engages readers with his fast-tempo, almost staccato-like chapters that bring much life to these long-gone historical characters."