Author: Geronimo as taken down and edited by S. M. Barrett
Favorite Quote: N/A
Summary: With the permission of the U.S. Government, Geronimo was able to dictate his life story to S. M. Barrett. He tells the tale of his childhood as well as the events that created the hostility against the Mexicans–his wife and daughters were killed while he and the warriors were gone. He led many raids against the Mexicans. Some of these raids were successful and others resulted in the loss of most of the party. While still battling and raiding the Mexicans, the white men were introduced into the mix and he soon became a wanted man, pursued until he finally surrendered for the final time. After surrendering, Geronimo was allowed to attend several events including a world fair and a wild west show.
Analysis: I’ve seen one of the Geronimo movies (the one starring Wes Studi) and I found that some of the events in the movie were different than what Geronimo talked about. I’m not saying that the movie was incorrect. After all, the movie was told from a soldier’s point of view and the book from Geronimo’s so there is bound to be some difference. It’s just a statement. However, the one thing I felt was important was the story behind his hatred for the Mexicans. There was a small difference in the stories, and I felt that his history should have been researched more. Sometimes movies are the way people get information about historical events, so I feel that producers should check their history. But I digress.
I enjoyed reading about Apache customs and looking at the pictures of several famous and obscure Native Americans who were alive at the same time Geronimo was. The one thing that cracked me up about the book was S. M. Barretts’s disclaimers whenever Geronimo said something judgemental about some revered white man: “The criticism of Lieutenant Purington is from Geronimo. The Editor disclaims any responsibility for it, as in all cases where individuals are criticised by the old warrior” (Barrett 2011). Though it is funny to me, it’s sad at the same time that disclaimers like that had to be made back then and still are. All in all, I liked Geronimo (you’ll probably find that I actually have a negative opinion of few books). It is a good book for people to read especially if they only have a one-sided opinion of Geronimo. Yes, he was a ferocious warrior, but he was also a family man. Having lost family, or having family in danger, can turn even the most sedate individual into one who shouldn’t be messed with.
Until next time…