Kit Carson and the American West

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Christopher Houston Carson was five feet four inches tall, slight of build, and — as mountain man pulp fiction hero "Kit" Carson — a giant in America's 19th century romance with Manifest Destiny.

As Kit Carson set out on the Santa Fe trail in 1826, so was America heading west. As he scouted and rode in the Mexican War, the United States scooped up the great Southwest that would send the country from sea to shining sea.

As Carson married and slaughtered the first Americans — Arapaho, Ute, Commanche, Navajo — the new Americans made their bloody war and peace with the old. In the new book "Blood and Thunder," author Hampton Sides makes the old story more honestly real again.

Hear about Kit Carson and the taking of the American West.

Quotes from the Show:

"Kit Carson is everywhere in New Mexico." Hampton Sides

"I thought Kit Carson was a fictitious character." Hampton Sides

"A lot of the reasons why Kit Carson is hated in [Native] Indian country is because of the cumulative effect of the pulp fiction and dime novels that were written about him." Hampton Sides


Hampton Sides, editor-at-large for Outside Magazine and author of "Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West" and "Ghost Soldiers."

This program aired on October 25, 2006.


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