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» » Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People (American Heroes)
Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People (American Heroes)


Candy Moulton


Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People (American Heroes)


Biographies & Memoris

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1853 kb

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1735 kb

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1172 kb

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Forge Books; Reprint edition (June 27, 2006)




Ethnic and National



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Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People (American Heroes) by Candy Moulton

The Nez Percé people lived in peace with white intruders in their homelands from the time of Lewis & Clark until 1863 when a treaty called for the tribe's removal to a reservation in Idaho. Chief Joseph (1840-1904), headman of the Nez Percé band in northeastern Oregon's Wallowa Valley, became the greatest diplomat, philosopher, and-from necessity rather than choice-war leader of his people and among the most respected Indian leaders of American history.

In this meticulous and moving new study of Joseph's life, Candy Moulton-who has traveled over all the trails he and his people blazed-emphasizes the pivotal year of 1877, when the frontier military tried to force Joseph and his people onto the reservation. Instead of meekly following these outrageous orders, he led 750 Nez Percés on a 1,500-mile, four-month flight from western Idaho across Montana and through the Yellowstone country and northwest Wyoming toward safety in Canada. After many battles, the flight ended at the Bear Paws mountains in north-central Montana, just forty miles from the Canadian border and potential refuge. There the U.S. Army surrounded the Nez Percés, captured their horse herd, killed all but two of their primary chiefs, and forced capitulation. When Joseph surrendered to military leaders he told them, "From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."

I have read several texts about Chief Joseph through the years. This, with its incredible research and detail, stands above all others. The heart and the emotion the author injects into the story of Joseph's life and the horrific journey of the Nez Perce is magnificent.
Candy Moulton superior writing and expertise of her subject delivers a tremendous account of this great Native American hero
A very memorable history. It is short and flows very well. The research is very good. This is a story I hope every American reads. It is a story of freedom, love of country, love of the land, love of the people all rolled up in one. Few stories of American History run close to this emotion and action packed story. This book tells the story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indian tribe in how the government pushed them off of their land. They ran to Canada and freedom. Then the Army chased them down mere miles from their goal.

It is more than the standard Indian story. The book brings glory to the Nez Perce Indian tribe like few books could. This is a tribe of a handful gave the Army a run for its money. It seems most of the Army in the Northwest was chasing them. The tribal chiefs seemed to know the tactics of the time better than most of the officers who chased them. Any officer today can learn from the story. They used inferior forces against superior numbers that would baffle most. This is also as they are pushing livestock, women and children hundreds of miles in the snow. I found myself as I was reading it cheering for the tribe. Then I was so sad when I read the ending I knew. The ending of their track. Nowadays we invade countries to help people get freedom. Back then we took it away for profit. Such a sad story but so important for us to learn from.
Steamy Ibis
As a resident of eastern Washington State, Chief Joseph has been a iconic presence for me since I was a boy playing wild Indian in the sweeping sagebrush-laden country I grew up in. Trips to Colville and Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River, as well as drives along the Snake River to Walla Walla, made Joseph as much a part of my childhood as Roy Rogers and Zane Grey.
What made Candy Moulton's "Chief Joseph - Guardian of the People" so memorable was her ability to put a great deal of history into a compact book, and to do it in a storyteller's style. Never does it bog down, in fact it carries itself from page to page, without the burden of needless disconnected or irrelevant information. Joseph is the star of this fine book and never does his courage, charm or charisma leave center stage.
Just last month my wife and I traveled through Yellowstone and portions of the Absaroka mountains, feeling at times the tragic spirit of the pursuit heavy in the air.
It's readable 221 pages makes this a prime candidate for required reading for college history majors, as it once again illuminates a tragedy played out across a dark page in history. Moulton has done the great man justice in her fine book.

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