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The Resource Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce : the untold story of an American tragedy, Kent Nerburn

Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce : the untold story of an American tragedy, Kent Nerburn

Label
Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce : the untold story of an American tragedy
Title
Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce
Title remainder
the untold story of an American tragedy
Statement of responsibility
Kent Nerburn
Title variation
Chief Joseph and the flight of the Nez Perce
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Review
  • Nerburn (Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder ) brings balanced passion to this popular history of the man best known for his sad speech signaling his tribe's surrender at the end of an 1,800-mile retreat from their homeland in Oregon: "I will fight no more forever." Nerburn's novelistic chronicle moves from the kind welcome Lewis and Clark receive from the Nez Percé in 1805 to General O.O. Howard's May 1877 order for the tribespeople to move onto a reservation in Idaho within 30 days. The author follows chiefs Joseph, Ollokot, Looking Glass and White Bird through their armed resistance to Howard's order, their torturous six-month flight toward Canada and their final surrender to U.S. forces just 50 miles away from the Canadian border. Subsequently relocated to several reservations, the tribe was decimated in numbers, culture and spirit, and Joseph's efforts in the 1880s to regain legal ownership of his rightful land, Wallowa Valley, Ore., came to naught. While Joseph's symbolic importance as "America's premier Indian" bloomed, the actual Nez Percé dwindled toward extinction. Nerburn sets out to bust the myth of the "Red Napoleon" in this engaging volume, but his characterization of Joseph's "compassionate leadership" can lean toward stereotyping of a different sort: the noble and tragic Native American in defeat. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed July 18, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 28, p192)
  • Owing primarily to his eloquent "I will fight no more forever" speech, Chief Joseph (c. 1840–1904) has been widely celebrated as the quintessential, and stereotypical, noble Indian. Dubbed the "Red Napoleon," Joseph has been credited as the strategic mastermind who nearly succeeded in leading 800 Nez Percé to the safety of Canada in 1877, though pursued by five different U.S. military units. The Nez Percé were being forced onto a small Idaho reservation, distant from their native lands in Oregon. Nerburn (Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder ) challenges the myths that have grown around Joseph by illuminating the roles of other Nez Percé chiefs, such as White Bird and Looking Glass, in the aborted journey to freedom. In this account, Joseph is initially a minor chief whose role grew as more influential leaders were killed. At the time of Joseph's surrender, he was one of only two chiefs still alive. Unlike Joseph, the other living chief chose not to surrender and thus missed the opportunity to be adored by white America. Nerburn vividly demonstrates that Joseph subsequently embraced white America's effort to elevate him to iconic status in the forlorn hope that his people would be allowed to return to their ancestral lands. Recommended for public libraries.—John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY --John Burch (Reviewed October 1, 2005) (Library Journal, vol 130, issue 16, p90)
  • A revisionist account of Nez Perce history and one of its most controversial figures.Under Chief Joseph's leadership, the schoolbook version of the story goes, hundreds of Nez Perce Indians outmaneuvered U.S. soldiers for three months, making their way to Canada. But on October 5, 1877, after a bloody five-day battle, Chief Joseph admitted defeat. The speech he made upon his surrender earned him a spot as one of America's great orators. Indeed, white America made a hero out of Joseph, affecting what Nerburn (The Wisdom of Native Americans, not reviewed, etc.) calls a "cultural canonization." The chief was lauded for his wit and his courage—once he was no longer a threat to the designs of the U.S. government. The Nez Perce themselves, the author notes, rejected the lionizing of Chief Joseph, and have been, in fact, rather ambivalent about him. Many resent that white America made an icon of Joseph but largely erased the Nez Perce people from the national story. Some natives even revile Joseph, blaming him for surrendering. In short, the familiar narrative is, at best, oversimplified. Nerburn, therefore, aims to provide not just a biography of Joseph, but also the story of the Nez Perce: their complicated and wily but largely trusting relationship with white Americans throughout the 19th century, their horrific and brave flight from Idaho. The author's most innovative interpretations come in the final 75 pages, in which he charts the "marketing" of Joseph and the commodification of all things related to the chief. The man who bought Joseph's horse knew that he could sell that horse's offspring for beaucoup dollars; the chief signed autographs for the white tourists who came to ogle the Indians in their post-surrender squalor; he courted reporters and, according to Nerburn, enjoyed his fame. Neither the first attempt to demythologize Joseph, nor the last word on his people, but an intriguing study of a man and a legend. (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005)
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
165828
Cataloging source
OCO
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1946-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Nerburn, Kent
Illustrations
maps
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Joseph
  • Nez Percé Indians
  • Nez Percé Indians
  • Indians, Treatment of
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the untold story of an American tragedy
Label
Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce : the untold story of an American tragedy, Kent Nerburn
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
513974
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxiii, 419 pages
Isbn
9780060513016
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9780060513016
Other physical details
maps
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780060513016
  • (Sirsi) ADS-6254
Label
Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce : the untold story of an American tragedy, Kent Nerburn
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
513974
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxiii, 419 pages
Isbn
9780060513016
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9780060513016
Other physical details
maps
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780060513016
  • (Sirsi) ADS-6254

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Willie Mae Kirk BranchBorrow it
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      30.2729762 -97.699748
    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
      5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3116523 -97.6902298
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