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Encyclopedia of American Indian wars, 1492-1890 /

Main Author: Keenan, Jerry.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 1997
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Review by Choice Review

Because the Indian Wars were made up of numerous skirmishes and campaigns lasting four centuries, the entries in this encyclopedia are necessarily selective. The author has chosen topics that have an importance in the overall history of the wars, topics that "mirror the struggles of a particular region in a particular time," and general topics that illuminate the setting. The 450 entries, ranging from a brief paragraph to a few pages, cover battles, tribes, leaders, sites, and topics (e.g., weapons, scalp bounties, dog soldiers). Only those portions of North America that now make up the US are covered. The clear, concise entries end with cross-references and suggested readings, and many are accompanied by illustrations. An index and a wide-ranging bibliography of 300 words complete the volume. This title fills a niche, bringing together and giving order to a great deal of information about a complex series of interwoven incidents. Recommended for general and academic collections. J. Drueke University of Nebraska--Lincoln

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

When thinking of Indian wars, images of John Wayne movies flash in the minds of most people, but the conflicts between European Americans and native people go back much further in time. Keenan, who contributed to Hostiles and Horse Soldiers: Indian Battles and Campaigns in the West (1972), documents conflicts and wars between 1492 and 1890. The entries cover most battles, wars, individuals, tribes/groups, countries, and concepts. Most entries are less than a page, but longer ones include Revolutionary War (three pages) and Yakima-Rogue War (two and a half pages). Conflicts covered range from the Battle of Mabila (1540) to the Wounded Knee massacre (1890). Biographical entries include Native Americans from Pocahontas and Powhatan to Geronimo. Entries for various pioneers, government officials, and officers include Edward Braddock, commander-in-chief of British forces in America during the French and Indian War; Simon Girty, a former Indian captive who acted as a scout for the British during the Revolution; and Nelson Miles, who waged war against the Nez Perce and the Apaches. There are entries for tribes, such as the Cherokee. Other entries include those for forts, policies, treaties, and weapons. Entries close with see also references and suggested readings, when appropriate. Full citations for the suggested readings are provided in the nine-page bibliography. There are black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout. The entries are short and closely focused on the Indian Wars, no doubt due to constraints on the overall length of the encyclopedia. However, additional information would sometimes help put a topic in perspective. For example, the entry on General Miles is illustrated with a political cartoon, with a caption saying that Miles felt the Indians rebelled because they were starving while the Indian agents profited. There is no further elaboration on this point of view in the entry, only information on the General's aggressive campaigns against the Indians during the 1870s and 1880s. With this new title, Keenan fills a gap in reference collections. Information on many of the entries can be found in other sources, especially given the increase in reference materials on Native Americans, but the Encyclopedia of American Indian Wars pulls them together. Recommended for large public libraries and academic libraries. (Reviewed April 1, 1998)

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-This alphabetically arranged volume provides descriptions and assessments of events, individuals, cultural groups, and geographic locations associated with the military conflict between the Native people who resided within the contemporary borders of the United States and Europeans or their descendants. Articles vary in length from 35 words ("Athapascan") to 1700 words ("Revolutionary War"). Thirty-five entries provide brief overviews of tribal or linguistic groups. Keenan approaches this broad subject from a military-history point of view, enumerating topics such as "Forts, Camps, Cantonments, Outposts," "Military Units, White," and "Treaties and Agreements." The 130 biographical entries center on military service, including each individual's education, assignments, experience in action, and reputation as a warrior, soldier, or commander. The majority of these articles focus on non-Indians. There are a few entries for white women captives and two of Native women, Pocahontas and Sarah Winnemucca. For the most part, the tone is balanced and consistent; aggression and victory are reported, when appropriate, to either side of the battle. Native warriors are sometimes referred to as braves on the warpath, though, while whites engage in military pursuits. Entries are accompanied by citations to further reading. The black-and-white illustrations are captioned but appear without source documentation. A useful reference title for a general collection as well as one that specializes in Native American studies.-Loriene Roy, University of Texas, Austin (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.