GERONIMO: The Man, His Time, His Place by Angie Debo

GERONIMO: The Man, His Time, His Place

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the popular idiom, Geronimo is the stereotype of the Indian warrior--fierce, intractable, master of the surprise attack; in actual fact he was also a victim, first of neighboring Mexicans, later of Manifest Destiny and the US Indian Office which promised land ""forever"" and reneged, then relentlessly pursued and briefly imprisoned him. Debo, aware of the difficulties of establishing a chronology, has consulted a wide range of 19th-century sources and the few 20th-century survivors; even so, the facts are frequently elusive, accounts contradictory, and much about the man remains uncertain, including date and place of birth and the origin of his name. Aroused early when his mother, wife, and three children were savaged by treacherous Mexicans, he got the ""Power,"" a gift of prophecy that recurred periodically and strengthened his position as a leader. Debo is adept at detailing the Southwest maneuvers (border raids, intercepted pack trains, uneasy truces) and following the circuitous trails of Geronimo himself, his numerous wives, children, and relocated tribal factions. After his fourth and final surrender, he became relatively docile and accepted many white ways, developing into a kindly, enterprising old man who signed autographs, peddled photographs of himself, and cleaned up doing Wild West shows. A steadfast, absorbing portrait of an enigmatic figure--the only one available.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1976
ISBN: 0806118288
Publisher: Univ. of Oklahoma Press