Nez Perce Country

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-4: Tribal College Leadership and Vision, Media Reviews

By Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.
University of Nebraska Press (2007)

Review by James Thull

Nez Perce Country is a detailed, informative, and easy-to-read history of the Nez Perce people and their interactions with white society from the earliest influences of the Spanish through the mid-20th century. The late Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., begins the book with the Nez Perce creation story and a chapter on the tribe prior to contact with Europeans. The final two chapters briefly discuss events since 1900.

The remainder of the book focuses on the tribe’s relations with the United States during the 19th century. Early trading, tribal politics, and armed conflicts with the United States are described in a straight-forward and descriptive manner. The Nez Perce War of 1877 is covered particularly well.

The photos, maps, and drawing are excellent and informative. The author has succeeded in writing a history of the Nez Perce that is appropriate for students, casual readers, and those with a general interest in Nez Perce history. The only issue with the book is its lack of citations and bibliography. I recommend this book for high school, public, and junior college libraries.

James Thull is a reference librarian at Montana State University-Bozeman and the assistant coordinator of the Tribal College Librarians Institute.

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