The Last Indian War by Elliott West
The Nez Perce Story (Pivotal Moments in American History)

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Synopsis

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Based on a rich cache of historical documents, from government and military records to contemporary interviews and newspaper reports, The Last Indian War offers a searing portrait of a moment when the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.
 

About Elliott West

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Elliott West is Professor of American History at the University of Arkansas.
 
Published March 18, 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA. 427 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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In the first of many misunderstandings, these religious proselytizers assumed the Nez Perce would discard their culture and become Christian farmers, while the tribe hoped missionaries would increase their worldly well-being.

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Publishers Weekly

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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 Percé.

Feb 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Indian War: The Nez ...

Oregon Live

For a long time, Chief Looking Glass explained, the soldiers of the U.S. Army and the Nez Perce lived together in peace in the Pacific Northwest.

May 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Indian War: The Nez ...

Bookmarks Magazine

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.

May 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Indian War: The Nez ...

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