An all-too-short, manylayered tale that succeeds as a roots memoir, detective story, and revelation of tragically tangled...

THE APACHE DIARIES

A FATHER-SON JOURNEY

An American ethnographer's journal of a 1930 sojourn with a band of renegade Apaches living in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains, published now for the first time, along with his son's account of travels in his father's footsteps.

Grenville Goodwin, the author of two scholarly studies of Apache Indians, died in 1940 at the age of 33 while his wife was still pregnant with their son, Neil. The young Neil was to grow up obsessed with his father's adventures, but it was not until 1962 that Neil's mother would dust off a journal of Grenville's explorations that had been packed away in an attic. To an admiring son whose imagination was fired with visions of his unknown father’s travels among the Indians, it was a treasure trove—and an itinerary. Between 1978 and 1999, Neil (now a documentary filmmaker with a wife and son) made six trips to Arizona and Mexico, then spliced his own diary with his father's, creating a parallax view of his father and the people he studied. Called the Ndendaa'i (``the People who Make Trouble'') by the Apaches on American reservations, this loose band of mixedbreed Indians refused to surrender with Geronimo in 1886 and survived in later years by raiding settlers and kidnapping children (whom they subsequently raised as Apaches). Grenville, born into a wealthy Connecticut family, came west to cure his tuberculosis and began to study native Americans at the University of Arizona when he heard that a punitive expedition was being organized to wipe out the mountain renegades. Hoping to study the group before it was wiped out, Grenville found their encampments, lived briefly among them, and learned some of their language. Half-a-century later, Neil found some of these encampments, fleshed out his father's studies, and gained insights into his father's restless character.

An all-too-short, manylayered tale that succeeds as a roots memoir, detective story, and revelation of tragically tangled bloodlines.

Pub Date: May 10, 2000

ISBN: 0-8032-2175-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2000

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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