From Publishers Weekly
On April 30, 1871, a posse of Americans, Mexicans and Tohono O'odham Indians descended upon an Apache camp in Arizona and massacred some 150 of its sleeping inhabitants, mostly women and children. Jacoby (Crimes Against Nature
), an associate professor of history at Brown University, re-examines what happened in the notorious Camp Grant Massacre and its aftermath in an original way. An unusual wealth of documents about this raid allow him to narrate from four different angles, each centering on a community involved in the massacre, thereby offering a view of the histories, fears and motivations of each group. Some readers might prefer a more conventional and chronological narrative, but Jacoby's structure succeeds in leading readers toward a deeper revisioning of the American past. Jacoby wants readers to consider the West not just as the seat of America's Manifest Destiny, but as an extension of the Mexican north and... the homeland of a complex array of Indian communities. For buffs more accustomed to traditional tales of Custer and Wounded Knee, this telling might prove an unexpected delight. Illus. (Nov. 24)
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Historian Jacoby makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the American West with this balanced portrait of the brutal Camp Grant massacre in Arizona. On April 30, 1871, more than 50 Apache Indians—mostly women and children—were massacred by a group of vigilantes made up of Americans, Mexicans, and Tohono O’odham Indians. What made the atrocity even more unbelievable to the general public was the fact that the Apaches were living under the protection of the U.S. Army on a government-sponsored tract of land. Recounting the story from four divergent points of view, Jacoby sheds insight into the social, political, and economic complexities that characterized the nineteenth-century frontier. In addition, he also places the massacre and the federal investigation that followed firmly into historical context by providing a concise history of the highly charged cultural conflicts that plagued the territory for several preceding centuries. --Margaret Flanagan