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In War Chief Joseph, Helen Addison Howard has written the definitive biography of the great Nez Perce chief, a diplomat among warriors. In times of war and peace, Chief Joseph exhibited gifts of the first rank. Even though he was a leader for peace and tribal liberty, he was destined to see the defeat of his people in the Nez Perce War of 1877 and the loss of all that was important to them—their lands, their horses, and their independence. The struggle of the Nez Perces for the freedom they considered paramount in life constitutes one of the most dramatic episodes of Indian history. This presents in exciting detail the full story of Chief Joseph, with a reevaluation of the five bands engaged in the Nez Perce War, objectively told from the Indian, the white military, and the settlers' points of view.
Originally published in 1941, this book was revised in 1965 and retitled Saga of Chief Joseph. The amazing thing about it is that so much is based on the testimony of people who were alive, or who lived during the lifetimes of people who were alive, during the Nez Perce war of 1877. It also drew heavily on historical documents from the military, so the battles are rendered in detail.
Of War Chief Joseph, reviewers have said: "A priceless contribution to the history of a great and noble race" (Los Angeles Times); "A stirring and dramatic biography of a great man (Montreal Star); "This work . . . is a standard in the field" (Choice Books for College Libraries).
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