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70 Western American Literature who edited more than 250 publications,”Bennion has produced a broad study based upon secondary sources ranging from the 1880 census report to other publications’ comments aboutjournals for which no copies exist. Such a large number of relatively small bits of information poses major organizational prob­ lems, and the grouping of some material does seem a bit arbitrary. One chapter, for example, discusses editors preoccupied with some major topic (such as suffrage), another features editors who confined themselves to women-oriented subject matter, and another, “The Queen Bee and Other Characters,”focuses on editors’ personalities. But, for the most part, this methodology works well, despite the occasional awkward transition. Bennion incorporates considerable biographical information into her so­ cial history. For example, embezzlement, murder, and heartbreak shadowed the life of Sarah Moore Clarke, and a literary vendetta with a former partner marked Ida Chase Merritt’s editorship of TheIdaho Recorder. Unrecognized until very recently, Maude Hulbert Horn edited California’s The Georgetoiun Gazettefor thirty-three years, the credit going always to her husband or father; male chauvinism also accounts for Bennion’s title, one editor proclaiming in 1889 that though female, his colleague was indeed “equal to the occasion.” Anecdotes such as these as well as examples of sheer boosterism and overt politicking make for interesting reading and allow Sherilyn Cox Bennion to achieve twin goals: she augments the available information about women’s impact on the West, and she contributes to the history ofjournalism. Moreover, she cites some telling statistics about modern journalism, reporting, for in­ stance, that only “17 percent of today’s managing editor positions”are held by women. These are all tasks worth doing; similarly, Equal to the Occasion is a book worth reading. JANE S. BAKERMAN Indiana State University “I Am Looking to theNorthfor My Life”:Sitting Bull 1876-1881. ByJoseph Manzione. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1991. 172 pages, $17.50.) Among the annals of the American West, probably no event has stirred more contemporary controversy, speculation, revisionism, and just plain seri­ ous study than Custer’s Last Stand. Even the Congress of the United States is currently debating whether the name of that famous confrontation between the 7th Cavalry, led by George Armstrong Custer, and a loose confederation of Sioux, Cheyenne, and other plains tribes, led by Sitting Bull, should continue to be known by the defeated brevet-general’s name. In a far greater sense, indeed, it was the last stand of the American Plains Indian tribes against irrepressible white encroachment and Manifest Destiny. Reviews 71 Joseph Manzione is a self-confessed aficionado of the battle of the Little Big Horn. But in the course of his study and reading about the event and its tragic aftermath, he noticed that little or no material existed about what happened to the Sioux and their famous headman, Sitting Bull, after they left the scalped and mutilated bodies of Custer and his men behind them. Manzione’s curiosity about the fate of the Sioux who confronted and defeated the best troops the U.S. had to offer led him to write this partial biography. In the main, the project succeeds admirably. Manzione carefully docu­ ments the flight of the Sioux across Montana and into Canada, where they sought refuge from what Sitting Bull and others were sure would be bloody reprisals for their victory along the Greasy Grass. After they arrived in the British dominion, the Indians became pawns in an increasingly bitter intrigue which had to do with American annexationists’ designs on the Northwest Territories and strained relations between the United States and the British Empire. To further complicate matters, other tribes also refused to reserve themselves on U.S. soil and became players in a high opera plot of attempted alliances, broken treaties, the unlikely bedfellows of nineteenth-century politics. While the plot thickened, though, the Sioux starved, and the nation’s newspapers thirsted for revenge for Custer’s defeat. For the casual reader and armchair historian, however, this new addition to western history may prove more confusing than clarifying. The plight of the Sioux as they attempted to bridge the diplomatic abyss between the U.S. Army...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 70-71
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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