The Searchers

  • From the Publisher
May 13, 2013

Glenn Frankel, who as Jerusalem bureau chief forThe Wash­ing­ton Post, won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for sen­si­tive and bal­anced report­ing from Israel and the Mid­dle East,” inves­ti­gates the true sto­ry behind the film The Searchers” which starred John Wayne and was direct­ed by John Ford. This clas­sic West­ern movie was based on the actu­al 1836 kid­nap­ping of nine-year-old Cyn­thia Ann Park­er by Comanch­es. Park­er was raised by the tribe, became the wife of a war­rior, then twen­ty-four years after her cap­ture, was reclaimed by the U.S. Cav­al­ry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white fam­i­ly, only to die in mis­ery and obscu­ri­ty. Her son become one of the last great Comanche war­riors, and lat­er an apos­tle of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion betwenn white peo­ple and Native Amer­i­cans. Their sto­ry has been told and re-told over the gen­er­a­tions to become a foun­da­tion­al Amer­i­can myth. It is the sto­ry of a woman — and lat­er, her son — search­ing for iden­ti­ty and com­mu­ni­ty between two war­ring worlds, a dichoto­my cap­tured by John Ford in the film. Glenn Frankel opens the book on set with the Hol­ly­wood leg­end, then returns to the ori­gin of the sto­ry, cre­at­ing a rich and nuanced anato­my of a time­less film and a quin­tes­sen­tial­ly Amer­i­can myth.

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