Cochise: The Life and Times of the Great Apache Chief

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9780471383635: Cochise: The Life and Times of the Great Apache Chief
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Praise for Peter Aleshire?s The Fox and the Whirlwind

"Superbly crafted." --Dallas Morning News

"Offers a refreshing approach to understanding the Apache wars, allowing readers to grasp the conflict from multiple perspectives." --Library Journal

"An invaluable addition to western history." --Evans Connell, Author of Son of the Morning Star

"Written like fine historical fiction, but substantial, substantive, enlightening." &mdashKirkus Reviews

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The Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise (1804?-1874), as nearly every American officer who faced him would testify, was an ingenious tactician and a ferocious warrior. He was also, in historian Peter Aleshire's account, a far-seeing politician and careful diplomat who balanced dedication for preserving his people's homeland with genuine efforts to keep the peace with the invading Americans who arrived in Arizona in the mid 19th century.

Renowned though he was, Cochise did not attract biographers in his own lifetime, and chroniclers preserved only a few of his words. Concerned to present Cochise's life from an Apache point of view, Aleshire draws on the ethnographic and historical literature to imagine what Cochise might have been thinking and saying as he unified scattered bands of Apaches to fend off encroaching gold miners and interlopers such as the greenhorn army lieutenant George Bascom ("only a boy, not far out of baby grass, his whiskers soft and his face smooth"), whose insulting manner led to a bloody war that would take hundreds of lives and last for many years, not ending until long after Cochise's death.

From a purely historical point of view, Aleshire's reconstructions are impossibly speculative; he admits as much, opening his book by confessing his "sins against historiography." Still, his "seminovelistic" approach is convincing and effective, and he offers a vivid picture of a great warrior and hero. --Gregory McNamee

From the Inside Flap:

Master strategist, spellbinding orator, religious, political, and moral leader. This was Cochise, the most revered warrior of the embattled Apaches, and one of the pivotal figures in the history of the American West. A powerful and sophisticated leader after years of fighting, Cochise was the only Native American leader to win a war against the white Americans after they wrested the southwest from Mexico in 1848. In this rare biography, distinguished author and historian Peter Aleshire provides the first Apache view of a crucial period in American history?and offers an intimate glimpse of the intriguing man behind the legendary warrior.

Drawing from a range of sources to create an account that is both historically accurate and culturally authentic, Cochise presents a rich and unique blend of voices, including accounts of historians and anthropologists and firsthand descriptions of Apache life, attitudes, and beliefs. The result is an exploration of the internal politics of the Apaches, showing how the leaders derived their authority from spiritual power. This book examines the complex relationship between the Apaches and the Mexicans?as well as the bewilderment of Apache leaders in dealing with a confusing, contradictory, and, in the end, incomprehensible white world.

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9780785820352: Cochise: The Life and Times of the Great Apache Chief

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ISBN 10:  0785820353 ISBN 13:  9780785820352
Publisher: Castle Books, 2009
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