This book by Elliot West is well written and documented including photographs, maps and notes. It is an easy to read and understand history of the Nez Perce war that is divided into three parts. He writes about the individuals on both sides of the conflict.
Part One is about the early history of the Nez Perce and documents the friendly relations that they had with the white trappers and settlers of the region. Unfortunately, their territory was lush and was very attractive to the those who passed through it. It also addresses the treaties that were put in place and then broken by the whites continually shrinking the land available to the Nez Perce. Then the discovery of gold brought a stampede of miners and settlers that lead to the tribe breaking away in one last attempt to have a homeland.
Part Two addresses the war and flight of the Nez Perce. They were very effective guerilla type fighters who used their knowledge of the land to their advantage to out manuver a much larger invading force. It is truly amazing to read about what they accomplished with so little.
Part Three is about the defeat and the return to the reservation. It includes Chief Joseph’s famous words – I will fight no more forever. The epilouge addresses what happenned to the main characters in this noble fight to retain independence and a way of life.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in American History, the Indian Wars or specifically the Nez Perce.