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"The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story" Topic

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19th Century

736 hits since 28 Aug 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2017 8:52 p.m. PST

"This newest volume in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments series offers an unforgettable portrait of the Nez Perce War of 1877, the last great Indian conflict in American history. It was, as Elliott West shows, a tale of courage and ingenuity, of desperate struggle and shattered hope, of short-sighted government action and a doomed flight to freedom.

To tell the story, West begins with the early history of the Nez Perce and their years of friendly relations with white settlers. In an initial treaty, the Nez Perce were promised a large part of their ancestral homeland, but the discovery of gold led to a stampede of settlement within the Nez Perce land. Numerous injustices at the hands of the US government combined with the settlers' invasion to provoke this most accomodating of tribes to war. West offers a riveting account of what came next: the harrowing flight of 800 Nez Perce, including many women, children and elderly, across 1500 miles of mountainous and difficult terrain. He gives a full reckoning of the campaigns and battles—and the unexpected turns, brilliant stratagems, and grand heroism that occurred along the way. And he brings to life the complex characters from both sides of the conflict, including cavalrymen, officers, politicians, and—at the center of it all—the Nez Perce themselves (the Nimiipuu, "true people"). The book sheds light on the war's legacy, including the near sainthood that was bestowed upon Chief Joseph, whose speech of surrender, "I will fight no more forever," became as celebrated as the Gettysburg Address.

Based on a rich cache of historical documents, from government and military records to contemporary interviews and newspaper reports, The Last Indian War offers a searing portrait of a moment when the American identity—who was and who was not a citizen—was being forged"

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Anyone have read this book?
If the answer is yes, commments please?

Thanks in advance.


coryfromMissoula30 Aug 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

More even handed than many recent books on the subject, still some evident bias, though some of that is necessary to sell books on the subject today.

While at the Big Hole battlefield for last week's eclipse I took a look at the newly revised visitor's center. Much the same as West's book, whitewashing of the Nez Pierce, omission of the dissent to the war within the tribe, etc.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 9:54 a.m. PST



Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 1:57 p.m. PST

Cory- Don't be shy. What has been whitewashed about the Nex Pierce?

Henry Martini30 Aug 2017 2:55 p.m. PST

Last Indian War? Were he still with us Geronimo might have had something to say about that.

coryfromMissoula30 Aug 2017 3:13 p.m. PST

Pan Marek, whitewashing is probably the wrong term, but the narrative presented has a much more homogenized picture of a unified tribe beset by evil settlers than the much more nuanced tale of the flight we saw arising in the last decade.

RudyNelson31 Aug 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

I agree that it was not the last Indian War.

RudyNelson31 Aug 2017 3:10 p.m. PST

Bannock War
(1878) Bannock/Shoshone
Cheyenne War
(1878–79 Cheyenne
Sheepeater Indian War
(1879) Shoshone
White River War
(1879) the Ute Wars Ute
Victorio's War
Part of the Apache Wars Apache
Geronimo's War
(1881–86) Apache
Crow War
(1887) Crow
Ghost Dance War
Sioux, Miniconjou, Hunkpapa
There were even several wars or campaigns fought in the early 1900s.

Henry Martini31 Aug 2017 3:50 p.m. PST

Really? Please elaborate, Rudy.

RudyNelson01 Sep 2017 3:26 p.m. PST

I listed the wars from an official list. If you are referring to the 1900s campaigns, I was surprised to but most were continuation of wars from the 1890s. The Utes, The Apaches and one that shocked me was a Muskogee Creek revolt called Crazy Snake Revolt.

Personal logo Buckeye AKA Darryl Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

Jerome Greene's book still seems to be the recommended title by those who study the Nez Perce War.

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