Let Me Be Free: The Nez Perce Tragedy

David Sievert Lavender, Author HarperCollins Publishers $30 (403p) ISBN 978-0-06-016707-3
Despite a long, unstinting friendship with whites dating from the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805, the Nez Perce later fared no better than other Native American tribes. Once nomads of a vast area where Idaho, Oregon and Washington converge, the Nez Perce were stripped of most of their land by treacherous politicians and economic interests under the so-called thief treaty of 1863. Lavender ( The Way to the Western Sea ) vividly traces the history of this tragic and illegal land grab from the arrival of Christian missionaries, like Marcus Whitman, to the capture of Chief Joseph's dissident band in 1877 following a long, bloody chase by U.S. troops. The author largely succeeds in demythologizing Chief Joseph, who reached heroic stature among compassionateused in next review whites of the era. While at timesper original overinterpretingwhat is this word? LEN documentary evidenceok? ``account'' ends sentence , Lavender has nevertheless created a readable, informative account . History Book Club main selection. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1992
Release date: 05/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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