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The last Indian war : the Nez Perce story
West, Elliott
Adult Nonfiction E83.877 .W47 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A distinguished scholar of American history makes a significant contribution to Oxford's excellent series Pivotal Moments in American History in this definitive analysis of the United States' 1877 war with the Nez Perce. West (The Contested Plains) integrates a broad spectrum of sources to depict the fate of a people whose history of friendship with the U.S. dated to 1805. The Nez Perce were caught up in the questions posed by the Civil War and the period of expansion that followed: "who would be the Americans and what obligations would bind them together?" Such questions influenced Idaho and Oregon, where the Nez Perce lived, as much as Massachusetts and Virginia. The 1877 war, the Nez Perce's epic journey to reach the Canadian border, American conquest and Indian exile is the heart of the book, and West tells it brilliantly. No less compelling is his account of the Nez Perce taking up farming and making and selling Indian trinkets, developing their image as "beloved losers" and negotiating their return home-on white terms, but with honor and integrity upheld. 40 b&w illus., maps. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

West (American history, Univ. of Arkansas; The Contested Plains) uses the story of the Nez Perce War of 1877 and its origins and aftermath to illuminate the era of expansion and consolidation between 1845 and 1877 that forged the American identity, a period he calls the "Greater Reconstruction." Throughout his narrative, which begins with the early history of the Nez Perce and concludes with the death of Chief Joseph in 1904, he focuses on three underlying issues, seeing the Nez Perce from the perspective of the American West: whether a large and diverse republic could stay together, what the extent and limits of centralized authority were, and what were the nature and demands of citizenship. This framework allows the author to tie the specifics of his richly detailed narrative to the much larger national story and to present his characters in all their complexity. Based on extensive research in archival papers, government reports, and contemporary sources, this well-written book is an excellent place to start in understanding the Nez Perce War and is highly recommended for all libraries.-Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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