In the autumn of 1846 the Navajo warrior Narbona looked down upon the small town of Santa Fe, the stronghold of the Mexican settlers he had been fighting his whole life. He saw that it was true that an army of blue-suited soldiers had swept in from the east and defeated his old enemy. But what did the arrival of these 'New Men' mean for the Navajo? Narbona could not know that the 'Army of the West' was only the vanguard of an inexorable tide fuelled by a self-righteous ideology know as Manifest Destiny. Hampton Sides's extraordinary book brings the history of the American conquest of the West to ringing life. It is a tale with many heroes and villains, but at the centre of it all stands the remarkable figure of Kit Carson ? the legendary trapper, scout and soldier. Carson was an illiterate mountain man who twice married Indian women and understood the tribes better than any other American alive; yet he was also a cold-blooded killer and an unquestioning patriot who willingly followed orders tantamount to massacre. BLOOD AND THUNDER is a chronicle of one of a pivotal era in American history: grand in scope, immediate in detail, impeccably researched and historically revelatory
Hampton Sides is a newspaper correspondent and columnist. He is the author of the international bestseller GHOST SOLDIERS. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, New Republic and the Washington Post, among others. He lives in Santa Fe.