This is a military man's book. Mark H. Brown, author of The Plainsmen of Yellowstone (1961), has provided an ""Estimate of the Situation"" rather than an outright history, in which he makes a number of new assessments. He starts out with a view of the Nimpau (the Real People), the Nez Perce, originally dwelling in Idaho under the aegis of a traditional tribal council, proceeds to the ""enterprizing settlers"" who ""openly coveted their lands and property, pedalled whiskey to them, and even murdered some of them."" But the major portion of his book is written from the standpoint of the forces which attempted to place the Non-Treaty Nez Perce on the reservation, by agreement, and when that failed pursued them into Montana to a showdown and surrender. Mr. Brown has gone to the official government records and firsthand accounts for his fresh view of the Nez Perce war, working on the theory that accuracy is inversely porportionate to the time-lag of the testimony. It is an impressive research job, from which he proceeds to a series of contained insights (there is disappointingly little, for example, from the Nez Perce side), never overstepping into sentiment or supposition. One finding of import is Joseph's true role in relating to the other leaders and his people. A rifle precision and a cool head for analysis inform the proceedings and render this a genuine contribution to Western history. A new look at an old war that will be viewed with much interest in the field.