From Publishers Weekly
Little has been written about Lozen, an Apache woman of the late 19th century; even oral accounts are scarce. Yet in this meticulously footnoted conjectural history of the warrior and shaman, Aleshire (The Fox and the Whirlwind), an American studies professor at the State University of Arizona, casts Lozen as a powerful and important leader, her role perhaps deliberately obscured to protect her life. From the 1840s through the 1870s, Lozen fought alongside Geronimo and her brother Victorio, participating in war councils, ambushes of Mexican soldiers, and territorial battles with American settlers and soldiers such as the Battle of Apache Pass, the massacre at Cibecue and countless other struggles. Though the book might have been better billed as historical fiction, Aleshire's informed speculation works well. But his decision to infuse his narrative voice with Native Americanisms--some derived from actual accounts, others apparently from the author's imagination--can seem presumptuous and hackneyed. Aleshire's subjects die from "the spotted disease," they move on course "like an arrow that has left the bow" and they go to "the Happy Place" when killed in battle. Perhaps Apache leaders did compare everything to hawks or deer or falling feathers. Although he tells us from the outset that he's writing this from an Apache viewpoint, in Aleshire's mouth the voice rings false. Only occasionally--as in his discussion of place names or of the complex politics of the Ghost Dances--does his thorough, substantive scholarship outweigh the thin conceit of his narrative voice.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The Apache resistance of the late 19th century is familiar to many Americans. Both famous and notorious, such leaders as Victorio, Mangas Colorado, and Geronimo kept government troops at bay on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border off and on for more than 40 years. With them, sometimes separately, sometimes together, was Victorio's sister Lozen, a woman of special talent and power, whose importance was unknown to the soldiers in pursuit. Recounting this dramatic period in time from an Apache viewpoint, journalist Aleshire (American studies, Arizona State Univ.; The Fox and the Whirlwind) allows the reader to accompany Lozen's Chihenne Apache band as it struggled to stay in its homeland, confronted by the incomprehensible and often reprehensible behavior of white intruders. As the Apache world was reduced, Lozen's band and others were forced to stay on the move. While it could have used a map, this very readable book pulls together the Apache phase of the so-called Indian wars extremely effectively. Highly recommended for all collections. Mary B. Davis, American Craft Council, New York
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Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.