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The Apache Wars, Book Review

The Apache Wars by Paul Andre Hutton

About the Book: In the tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, a stunningly vivid historical account of the manhunt for Geronimo and the 25-year Apache struggle for their homeland

They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides–the Apaches and the white invaders—blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid.

In this sprawling, monumental work, Paul Hutton unfolds over two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. This is Mickey Free’s story, but also the story of his contemporaries: the great Apache leaders Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio; the soldiers Kit Carson, O. O. Howard, George Crook, and Nelson Miles; the scouts and frontiersmen Al Sieber, Tom Horn, Tom Jeffords, and Texas John Slaughter; the great White Mountain scout Alchesay and the Apache female warrior Lozen; the fierce Apache warrior Geronimo; and the Apache Kid. These lives shaped the violent history of the deserts and mountains of the Southwestern borderlands–a bleak and unforgiving world where a people would make a final, bloody stand against an American war machine bent on their destruction.

My Thoughts: Like a lot of the history books I get to review I had someone else in mind when I requested it to review. Reading through it I was immediately intrigued by Mickey Free. I had never heard his story but boy is it one. This book does a great job of pulling together a huge amount of events happening and explaining what is happening. The explanation of the scenery is vivid and makes it seem like you’re really at the setting of the event taking place. This book is well worth reading but is a bit a of a commitment.

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