Here is a genuine Little Big Man story, with all the color, sweep, and tragedy of a classic American western. It is the tale of Herman Lehmann, a captive of the Apaches on the Southern Plains of Texas and New Mexico during the 1870s. Adopted by a war chief, he was trained to be a warrior and waged merciless war on Apache enemies, both Indian and Euro-American. After killing an Apache medicine man in self-defense, he fled to a lonely hermitage on the Southern Plains until he joined the Comanches. Against his will, Lehmann was returned to his family in 1879. The final chapters relate his difficult readjustment to Anglo life.
Lehmann's unapologetic narrative is extraordinary for its warm embrace of Native Americans and stinging appraisal of Anglo society. Once started, the story of this remarkable man cannot be put down. Dale Giese's introduction provides a framework for interpreting the Lehmann narrative.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Men that kidnap children, torture, murder, scalp and wear it like jewelry,, beat, enslave and abuse them are not honorable men. Add the torture of animals, cooking them alive, cutting the legs off horses in spite, and a full-blown sense of entitlement and lack of remorse for never working for anything, but stealing it from others, well, they are the scum of the earth. They even gave this boy a racist name: white boy. Fear is what bonded these tortured children to their captors, not love. Who today would ever claim a violated child loved their captors and saw them as good people? No one. People don't change throughtout history, only the time changes. Indians were called savages because their behavior was creatively savage. I can't help but think the world was done a greater good by conquering and forcing these tribes to become civilized. Barbarity isn't brave, it isn't noble, it has no oneness with the earth and isn't part of a beautiful and worthwhile culture. I felt nothing but disgust for the acts described here.
History need not be boring - this reads better than many novels - and gives the reader an insight into to lifestyles of both Apache and Comanche tribes. I've not read a more fair-handed way of dealing with the subject. He doesn't hate them, he doesn't love them, he simply describes what happened in a way that the reader can easily get an accurate picture. I'm reading it now for the second time, after many years, and enjoying it just as much.