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Indian Wars Paperback – January 9, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert M. Utley is a former chief historian of the National Park Service and the author of many books and articles on western history, including biographies of General Custer and Sitting Bull.
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Product Details

  • Series: American Heritage Library
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (January 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618154647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618154647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Levesque on October 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a straight forward narrative history of the Indian Wars on the North American continent from the time English colonists arrived in the New World until the final confrontation between the US Government and the Sioux at Wounded Knee in 1890. As can be seen throughout the book the conflicts were almost inevitable. The perspective presented by the authors is that, "...both Indians and whites were products of their time and place, responding to the values, attitudes, and beliefs of their time and place, not ours....If war resulted, it was the collision of two ways of life, not the malevolent determination of one to overcome and victimize the other." (p. vi) As the authors point out, in the end the European strategy the Indians couldn't overcome, and one the Europeans couldn't control, was the overwhelming movement of Europeans and Americans onto and throughout the continent. It was the sheer number of Europeans and Americans along with their villages, towns, mines, and farms that overwhelmed any Indian resistance and way of life.

What makes the book interesting is that it is a military history focused on the Indian Wars throughout the English history of North America; it therefore provides continuity throughout the centuries without being overshadowed by more conventional conflicts. Of interest in the early period is the impact of European wars on the relationships between whites and Indians in the east as the French and English allied with Indian tribes against their enemies. Lest anyone think the Europeans "used" the tribes in these wars it must be remembered that the tribes also used the Europeans to further their interests, in the end not caring about war or peace between the European rivals.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hurley VINE VOICE on December 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the book you want if you want a highly informative history of Indian Conflicts starting from Jamestown all the way to Wounded Knee. I virtually felt embarrassment reading about the early trends of the colonists to take advantage of Indians through the kidnapping and killing of chiefs to exploitation of their land and the constant pressure to move them west. From Bacon's (Bacon's Rebellion) attack of any Indians peaceful or otherwise in the 1600's to every conflict in the northeast to the west including King Phillip's War, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Mangas Colorado, Cochis, Commanche's, the Murdoc war. Includes the causes of war, the problem with reservations, Indian agents and the Armies strategies and commanders. A concise and thorough book that is your gateway for more detailed reading on the Indians of North America and their conflicts with manifest destiny.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By RSM on August 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book for anyone who is not a "buff" in the area of Native American history. It provides a good historical foundation in a rather sweeping treatment of the topic. I personally used this book as a spring board to jump into a fascinating historical treatment of Crazy Horse, as re-told by Sandoz in "Crazy Horse - Strange Man of the Oglalas". Had I not read Indian Wars first, I would not have enjoyed the latter nearly so much. Indian Wars is definitely a good place to start building your knowledge of American Indian wars and skirmishes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steve Harrison VINE VOICE on February 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent overview of the wars between the British -- later the Americans -- and the Indians. Many books tell the story piecemeal, especially regarding the later wars with the plains and western tribes; this one tells it from beginning to end and yet manages to do so succinctly, compactly, and entertainingly. The account is balanced and objective, explaining the virtues and faults of both sides' positions.

My quibble is that much of the book describes the movement of troops and tribes and the events of their battles and yet it contains, at least in my paperback edition, no maps to illustrate that. They would have been greatly helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark-David McCool on July 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I acquired this book back a good 20 years ago and recently began to read my copy again. Since I was most interested in the second half of the book I began reading there about the Wars in what we call the old west.

This book is naturally slanted to explaining the wars and conflict the Indians had with the white folks that "invaded" their lands. It does have some sections broken out to explain what garrison life was like for the soldiers and other topics like life on the reservation or the scouts that helped the soldiers. This helps to give a more human feel to the conflicts that occurred. The book is full of great illustrations, photos and some maps. They could have included a few more maps but, the balance is there. You can find out why it did not work out so well to throw several tribes onto the same reservation and not expect conflict.

Recently we spotted and old book on Indians at the local library bookstore. The book was lacking maps altogether. My wife did not understand why that mattered much. Till I was trying to explain where various Indians lived on a map from this book did it become clear. You need to know who and what were neighbors to each tribe. How they reacted makes sense when you see it all from the perspective of a map. Then it makes sense why shipping some Apaches off to Florida was such a big deal. It's the little things included in the book that really make it worth the money.

The only reason I did not give it a 5 star rating is the lack of additional maps. It has plenty of art and photos.

Great over view of our long standing interaction with the varying tribes of North America and the United States. Sadly, as one chief put it (paraphrasing) - "I knew they would not keep their promises. The only one they keep was that they would be taking our land". Only too true.
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