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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy

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Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark lies another journey every bit as poignant, every bit as dramatic, and every bit as essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation — the 1,800-mile journey made by Chief Joseph and eight hundred Nez Perce men, women, and children from their homelands in what is now eastern Oregon through the most difficult, mountainous country in western America to the high, wintry plains of Montana. There, only forty miles from the Canadian border and freedom, Chief Joseph, convinced that the wounded and elders could go no farther, walked across the snowy battlefield, handed his rifle to the U.S. military commander who had been pursuing them, and spoke his now-famous words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

The story has been told many times, but never before in its entirety or with such narrative richness. Drawing on four years of research, interviews, and 20,000 miles of travel, Nerburn takes us beyond the surrender to the captives' unlikely welcome in Bismarck, North Dakota, their tragic eight-year exile in Indian Territory, and their ultimate return to the Northwest. Nerburn reveals the true, complex character of Joseph, showing how the man was transformed into a myth by a public hungry for an image of the noble Indian and how Joseph exploited the myth in order to achieve his single goal of returning his people to their homeland.

Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce is far more than the story of a man and a people. It is a grand saga of a pivotal time in our nation's history. Its pages are alive with the presence of Lewis and Clark, General William Tecumseh Sherman, General George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull. Its events brush against the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, the great western pioneer migration, and the building of the telegraph and the transcontinental railroad. Once you have read this groundbreaking work, you will never look at Chief Joseph, the American Indian, or our nation's westward journey in the same way again.

Synopsis:

Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark lies another journey every bit as poignant, every bit as dramatic, and every bit as essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation — the 1,800-mile journey made by Chief Joseph and eight hundred Nez Perce men, women, and children from their homelands in what is now eastern Oregon through the most difficult, mountainous country in western America to the high, wintry plains of Montana. There, only forty miles from the Canadian border and freedom, Chief Joseph, convinced that the wounded and elders could go no farther, walked across the snowy battlefield, handed his rifle to the U.S. military commander who had been pursuing them, and spoke his now-famous words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

The story has been told many times, but never before in its entirety or with such narrative richness. Drawing on four years of research, interviews, and 20,000 miles of travel, Nerburn takes us beyond the surrender to the captives' unlikely welcome in Bisma to re-examine our everyday relationship with the natural world, and one another.

Synopsis:

Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark and the westward-moving pioneers lies another journey every bit as poignant and essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation. Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce is a grand saga of a pivotal time in our nation's history. Its pages are alive with the presence of Lewis and Clark, General William Tecumseh Sherman, General George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull. Its events brush against the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, the great western pioneer migration, and the building of the telegraph and the transcontinental railroad. But at its center lies a group of men, women, and children fleeing for their lives across the vast American West, and a man Buffalo Bill Cody called the "greatest Indian America ever produced."

About the Author

Kent Nerburn has been widely praised as one of the few writers who can respectfully bridge the gap between native and nonnative cultures. His book Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder won the 1995 Minnesota Book Award.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061136085
Author:
Nerburn, Kent
Publisher:
HarperOne
Author:
by Kent Nerburn
Subject:
History
Subject:
Indians of north america
Subject:
Native American
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies - Tribes
Subject:
United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
Nez Perce Indians
Subject:
Joseph
Subject:
Native American-General Native American Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.06x5.30x1.07 in. .75 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » Native American » Pacific Northwest
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » World History » General

Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy Used Trade Paper
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Product details 448 pages HarperSanFrancisco - English 9780061136085 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark lies another journey every bit as poignant, every bit as dramatic, and every bit as essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation — the 1,800-mile journey made by Chief Joseph and eight hundred Nez Perce men, women, and children from their homelands in what is now eastern Oregon through the most difficult, mountainous country in western America to the high, wintry plains of Montana. There, only forty miles from the Canadian border and freedom, Chief Joseph, convinced that the wounded and elders could go no farther, walked across the snowy battlefield, handed his rifle to the U.S. military commander who had been pursuing them, and spoke his now-famous words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

The story has been told many times, but never before in its entirety or with such narrative richness. Drawing on four years of research, interviews, and 20,000 miles of travel, Nerburn takes us beyond the surrender to the captives' unlikely welcome in Bisma to re-examine our everyday relationship with the natural world, and one another.

"Synopsis" by , Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark and the westward-moving pioneers lies another journey every bit as poignant and essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation. Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce is a grand saga of a pivotal time in our nation's history. Its pages are alive with the presence of Lewis and Clark, General William Tecumseh Sherman, General George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull. Its events brush against the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, the great western pioneer migration, and the building of the telegraph and the transcontinental railroad. But at its center lies a group of men, women, and children fleeing for their lives across the vast American West, and a man Buffalo Bill Cody called the "greatest Indian America ever produced."
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