The Apache Wars: An Interesting New Glimpse at Frontier Adventure

Book Review:  The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History  by Paul Andrew Hutton (published May 2016)

As a semiprofessional nerd and independent academic, I am always looking for readable history books that I can not only enjoy, but also pass on and recommend to my friends who do not have quite the interest and background I have. Many histories are dry and unreadable even for professionals in the field, and they tend to assume the reader knows quite a lot about the context within which their historical events take place. The Apache Wars is an exception, as a satisfying new tale of Wild West adventure, with Indians and cowboys, and a well-rounded picture of the real people involved in the conflict between the Apaches and the White settlers. I especially liked the bits about the female warrior Lozen, a character I had never heard of in any school account of the West. War stories tend to neglect the women and focus only on the actions of the men involved, but this book included more women than usual, and treated women and ‘minorities’ rather fairly.
My one complaint is that this book needed more supplementary information, especially maps. There is a section of black and white photographs, which is nice, but I would have found the story easier to follow if there had been maps of the relevant regions included alongside the text. More images in general would have been nice, too. 424 pages of solid text is not impossible to read, and this book is well written, but Hutton packs a lot of information into those 424 pages, enough that it felt a bit too heavy and dense after a while. A few images of old photos, old newspaper items, diagrams of camps/forts/etc. would have broken up the text enough to make it that much easier to digest.

About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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