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2oo7 Book Reviews93 ways ofwar, providing a stimulating demonstration ofhow French and British ideas relating to irregular warfare ("small wars," in the parlance of the day), military organization , training, and professionalization were embraced by nineteenth-century North American armies. Unfortunately, the attempt to come to grips with Indian motives and meanings ofwar comes across as superficial in comparison. The second part of the book follows chronological and geographical lines, describing in six chapters the Indian wars fought east of the Mississippi River during the first half of the century; the Yaqui revolt against the Mexican government; the Caste War that pitted Mayan Indians against the governments ofYucatán and later Mexico; the conflicts between the United States and the peoples of the Great Plains, including the (very briefly examined) frontier wars ofTexas; the American and Mexican defeat of the Apaches; and finally the two rebellions of the Métis (an ethnic group descended primarily from the union of French men and Cree and Ojibway women) in western Canada. Sixteen maps that situate the groups discussed and illustrate the important campaigns are scattered throughout this half of the book. It is made clear to the reader that while the armed conflicts of the first six decades of the century came less as a result of initiatives taken in political centers than of the special dynamics of the frontier, governments became increasingly proactive, effective, and willing to cooperate with each other to defeat indigenous peoples beginning in the late 1860s. The book concludes with a succinct, sketchy effort to trace the legacy of the Indian wars to our own time, followed by endnotes and a good thematic bibliography. While this is an important survey that should deservedly find a broad scholarly and popular audience, readers must bear in mind that Bruce Vandervort is deliberately —and apologetically—selective in his coverage (see pp. xv-xvi) . His focus is on the longest lasting wars and on the most persistent enemies. A number ofwars go unnoticed, including ones that might have enriched the analysis, such as the Ankara War of 1823, arguably the first military conflict between the United States and western Indians. Accordingly, Indian Wars ofMexico, Canada, and the UnitedStates may leave some readers wondering about the nature and historical significance of the smallest kind of "small wars." University ofTorontoJean-François Lozier Native Insurgencies and the Genocidal Impuhe in the Americas. By Nicholas A. Robins. (BIoomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. Pp. 302. Acknowledgments, appendixes, glossary, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0253346169. $39.95, cloth.) Drawing mosdy from secondary works but also from archival sources housed in Spanish and Bolivian repositories, Native Insurgencies discusses three Indian uprisings from different periods and regions in the Americas: the 1680 rebellion of the Pueblo Indians in Spanish New Mexico, the so-called Great Rebellion that took place in present-day Peru and Bolivia between 1780 and 1782, and the so-called Caste War ofYucatán that extended between 1849 and 1903. In spite of the ambi- g4Southwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly tious scope of his venture, Robins manages to analyze each revolt in considerable detail. According to him, all three uprisings were nativistic revitalization movements, both millenarian and genocidal in nature. As a matter of fact, Robins questions the validity ofthe expression Caste War for what he describes as an "exterminatory conflict" (p. 9). However, as the author himself acknowledges, many "uprisings in the Americas were neither millennial nor exterminatory, but rather localized responses to local grievances" (p. 6). Robins's insightful analyses ofdie three revolts reveal a number ofsimilarities and differences between them. In all three cases the ultimate causes ofthe uprisings were material deprivation, and cultural or religious oppression. The initial sense of hopelessness of the oppressed gave way to the belief that the emergence of a new age of indigenous freedom and hegemony was close. In all three cases, the insurgents operated under the leadership of charismatic individuals that claimed godly guidance and assistance in dieir endeavors to restore native rule and eliminate non-Indians, mosdy Hispanics. According to Robins, the main objective ofthe rebels was to restore native power and traditions in their respective societies through the extermination of those deemed nonnative and their culture. Robins...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 93-95
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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