Renowned for ferocity in battle, legendary for an uncanny ability to elude capture, feared for the violence of his vengeful raids, the Apache fighter Geronimo captured the public imagination in his own time and remains a figure of mythical proportion today.Read more...
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Renowned for ferocity in battle, legendary for an uncanny ability to elude capture, feared for the violence of his vengeful raids, the Apache fighter Geronimo captured the public imagination in his own time and remains a figure of mythical proportion today. This thoroughly researched biography by a renowned historian of the American West strips away the myths and rumors that have long obscured the real Geronimo and presents an authentic portrait of a man with unique strengths and weaknesses and a destiny that swept him into the fierce storms of history.
Historian Robert Utley draws on an array of new sources and his own lifelong research on the mountain West and white-Indian conflicts of the late nineteenth century to create an updated, accurate, and highly exciting narrative of Geronimo's life. Utley unfolds the story through the alternating perspectives of whites and Apaches, and he arrives at a more nuanced understanding of Geronimo's character and motivation than ever before. What it was like to be an Apache fighter-in-training, why Indians as well as whites feared Geronimo, how Geronimo maintained his freedom, and why he finally surrendered--the answers to these questions and many more fill the pages of this irresistable volume.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-10-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Meticulous and finely researched, Utley’s (The Lance and the Shield) account of Geronimo’s life attempts to dismiss the legend of an “Apache daredevil fighting for his homeland.” Compiled from various firsthand accounts and military records, the book traces the life of the Chiricahua warrior from fearless raider to subdued reservation Indian. Living free of government control until 1876, Geronimo ravaged the area of the present-day Arizona/Sonora border for decades, focusing particular vehemence on the Mexican side as retribution for the (assumed) massacre of his first family when he was 28. Not until the late 1870s did Geronimo gain notoriety on the American side of the border, when “he came to personify all the Apache raiders, both in the minds of victims and in newspapers throughout the nation.” He lived most of his life highly suspicious of everyone, even his own people, always “coiled to stampede to Mexico,” where he could hide himself in the nearly impenetrable Sierra Madre. Multiple breakouts from reservations in Arizona and New Mexico cemented his fame as one of the last Apache war heroes. At times detail cluttered and distant, the book occasionally glosses over horrific events. However, Utley achieves his goal of humanizing Geronimo, fastidiously showing the transition from bloodthirsty raider to subservient prisoner of war, fair attraction and, eventually, entrepreneur. Agent: Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Nov.)