Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

Thunder in the Mountains Chief Joseph Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War Oliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny Chosen to lead the Freedmen s Bureau after the Civil War the Union Army general was entrusted with the era s most crucial task helping millions of f

  • Title: Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War
  • Author: Daniel J. Sharfstein
  • ISBN: 9780393239416
  • Page: 400
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

    Oliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny Chosen to lead the Freedmen s Bureau after the Civil War, the Union Army general was entrusted with the era s most crucial task helping millions of former slaves claim the rights of citizens He was energized by the belief that abolition and Reconstruction, the country s great struggles for liberty and equality, were GodOliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny Chosen to lead the Freedmen s Bureau after the Civil War, the Union Army general was entrusted with the era s most crucial task helping millions of former slaves claim the rights of citizens He was energized by the belief that abolition and Reconstruction, the country s great struggles for liberty and equality, were God s plan for himself and the nation To honor his righteous commitment to a new American freedom, Howard University was named for him.But as the nation s politics curdled in the 1870s, General Howard exiled himself from Washington, D.C rejoined the army, and was sent across the continent to command forces in the Pacific Northwest Shattered by Reconstruction s collapse, he assumed a new mission forcing Native Americans to become Christian farmers on government reservations.Howard s plans for redemption in the West ran headlong into the resistance of Chief Joseph, a young Nez Perce leader in northeastern Oregon who refused to leave his ancestral land Claiming equal rights for Native Americans, Joseph was determined to find his way to the center of American power and convince the government to acknowledge his people s humanity and capacity for citizenship Although his words echoed the very ideas about liberty and equality that Howard had championed during Reconstruction, in the summer of 1877 the general and his troops ruthlessly pursued hundreds of Nez Perce families through the stark and unforgiving Northern Rockies An odyssey and a tragedy, their devastating war transfixed the nation and immortalized Chief Joseph as a hero to generations of Americans.Recreating the Nez Perce War through the voices of its survivors, Daniel J Sharfstein s visionary history of the West casts Howard s turn away from civil rights alongside the nation s rejection of racial equality and embrace of empire The conflict becomes a pivotal struggle over who gets to claim the American dream a battle of ideas about the meaning of freedom and equality, the mechanics of American power, and the limits of what the government can and should do for its people The war that Howard and Joseph fought is one that Americans continue to fight today.

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      Published :2018-08-02T11:16:18+00:00

    One thought on “Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

    1. Matt

      “Over time, the impact of sharing his story became fully apparent to [Nez Perce warrior] Yellow Wolf. He saw how the summer of 1877 had been remembered – primarily by white settlers and government officials – and connected it to real consequences in the present. ‘Nobody to help us tell our side – the whites told only one side,’ he said to [farmer and amateur historian Lucullus] McWhorter. ‘Told it to please themselves. Told much that it not true. Only his own best deeds, only the w [...]

    2. Christopher Saunders

      Daniel J. Sharfstein's new book, Thunder in the Mountains, offers an engrossing, full-blooded account of the Nez Perce War and its protagonists. Sharfstein's book evokes this most intriguing of Indian conflicts with narrative verve, recounting the Nez Perce's epic journey across the West, its constant, improbable victories over pursuing American troops, the infighting and indecision among its chiefs and its ultimate downfall. Yet more than that, Sharfstein provides a fascinating treatment of his [...]

    3. P.e. lolo

      The author has done an excellent job in recreating what took place when the government decided to relocate the Nez Perce Tribe. He first gives you back ground on General Howard on some of his failures after the Civil War when he was in charge of reconstruction. Because of those in the East he was sent to command the North Pacific which would put him in direct line with this Tribe and with Chief Joseph. What we learned in school so many years ago is nothing to what you will gather in this book. T [...]

    4. Adrienne

      The beginning and last third of the book were fantastic, especially the deep analysis of Chief Joseph's remarkable advocacy for the legal rights of his people. The middle part, which is basically a play-by-play of the long flight of the Nez Perce, dragged a bit and didn't add as much to the standard accounts of the Nez Perce War.

    5. Ben

      For me, no account of the tragic, brutal Native American chapter of our history compares with Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. But this book reveals an intriguing other side to Oliver Otis Howard, the Union general, staunch abolitionist and defender of African American rights, founder of historically black Howard University -- and dogged but largely inept pursuer of Indian genocide. You know how this book will end for all involved, and it's sad to see proud warrior Chief Joseph reduced to an Ameri [...]

    6. Pam Walter

      This is an historic work of nonfiction set in the post civil war era where the American army and General Oliver Otis Howard attempts to conquer the area of the western Rockies which is inhabited by a nomadic tribe of American Indians known as Nez Perce. The tribe has several warrior chiefs, but the one most remembered, and the one who used every conceivable method to save the land of his forbears for his sons and daughters was Chief Joseph.The land area occupied by the Nez Perce is N.E. Oregon, [...]

    7. Ted Hunt

      This book provides a very captivating narrative of the New Perce War and its chief protagonists: General Oliver Howard and Chief Joseph (whose Indian name translated loosely to "Thunder in the Mountains"). After providing quite a bit of interesting background material about these two men, including the story of how Howard University came to be named after the general, it provides almost a day-by-day account of the events that were part of the 1877 war in the Pacific Northwest, one that ended- tr [...]

    8. Bill Yeadon

      Most of us during our time in school in history class heard of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians. If you read one of the many books written about his tragic march towards the Canadian border with hundreds of women, children, and elderly in the dead of winter you may think there isn't a reason to read another book. This book will change that perception.As Joseph has been probably been the figure used to represent the sad plight of the Indians. While Cochise, Geronimo, and Sitting Bull were kn [...]

    9. Melissa

      This is near the top of my favorites list. I was just transported to another era, albeit an emotionally charged, and unbelievably sad one. Although this book was titled to be about Chief Joseph (I've been a huge fan since childhood), Oliver Otis Howard (and his self-absorbed idealismd hypocritical pursuits), and the Nez Perce War - I surprisingly got lost in the sections about 4 other characters in the story. I tried to post pictures for the following, but I am technologically illiterate - sorry [...]

    10. Dan-o

      Though I had heard of Chief Joseph and his famous "I will fight no more forever" quote since I was a child, I knew little about the Nez Perce Indians and their struggle to maintain their land. Having read about the Lewis and Clark expedition a few years ago I was reminded of the role of this small tribe in shaping America, so when I came across this book I was interested. It is a little bit long and I listed to the audiobook version, but overall I enjoyed the book and felt like I gained a much g [...]

    11. Dave C.

      Interesting but tragic. Howard's narrow-minded approach to the issue triggering a needless war. A great insight into 19th-century thinking. However, it is difficult to conceive these days that the only acceptable lifestyle is subsistence farming on a 10-acre plot. This even truer when that plot is in the high mountain where it drops to -10 F in the winter. Far more sensible to move between sheltered campsites in the low country in the winter and graze your cattle in the high country in the summe [...]

    12. Bill Curtin

      One of the best books I have read this year. There is also a Portland connection with the highly featured aide, Lt. Charles Erskine Wood, to General Howard. He later settled and raised a family in Portland. He also started a prominent law firm. He remained lifelong friends with Chief Joseph.This is the best book I have read about the nomadic life style of the Native Americans. That was always the issue and in conflict with the settlers need to have defined property boundaries etc. He spent his l [...]

    13. Mark Mears

      Many of us know the basics of the story of Chief Joseph, the Nez Perce, and the famous "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever" quote. Mr. Sharfstein takes us well beyond this into details which inspire, and others that disgust, the reader or listener. I don't want to give spoilers, so suffice it to say the degradations and injustices inflicted upon native Americans seem to know no bounds.This said, I was impressed how the author provided these details while doing what a his [...]

    14. wade

      This is a well researched parallel biography of Chief Joseph the inspirational leader of the Nez Perce in the American Northwest and the man chiefly responsible for trying to force the Nez Perce onto a reservation. Chief Joseph fights him both militarily and politically and ultimately loses. With regard to Mr. Howard it goes back to his Civil War service (he loses an arm), his time working for the Freedman's Bureau after the war, his Native American campaigns and his later life. It also follows [...]

    15. Liz

      This is a worthwhile listen, especially for anyone familiar with the Wallowa Valley or anyone who would like to learn more about the Nez Perce War.

    16. Steve

      An interesting book on General Otis Howard and Chief Joseph. In 1877 a war broke out between soldiers and the Nez Perce where the ideals of federal government oppressed the Indians.

    17. Doug Caldwell

      Quite the story on both sides of the war and all the elements that lead to it. It might have been avoided.

    18. Peter

      One of the central characters of the historian and law professor Daniel Sharfstein’s book, Thunder in the Mountains is General Oliver Otis Howard who was the commander of the Department of the Columbia, which was in control of the military in the American Northwest and Alaska during the Nez Perce War. General Howard was the namesake of Howard University, in honor of his role as the head of the Freedman’s Bureau and role in founding the university. The book follows Howard’s public career, f [...]

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