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Geronimo's Story of His Life

Unabridged Audio Book

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Sue Anderson

3 Hours 49 Minutes


January 2015

Audio Book Summary

Geronimo's Story of His Life is the oral life history of a legendary Apache warrior. Composed in 1905, while Geronimo was being held as a U.S. prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Geronimo's story found audience and publication through the efforts of S. M. Barrett--Lawton, Oklahoma, Superintendent of Education, who wrote in his preface that "the initial idea of the compilation of this work was . . . to extend to Geronimo as a prisoner of war the courtesy due any captive, i.e. the right to state the causes which impelled him in his opposition to our civilization and laws." Barrett, with the assistance of Asa Deklugie, son of Nedni chief Whoa as Apache translator, wrote down the story as Geronimo told it --beginning with an Apache creation myth. Geronimo recounted bloody battles with Mexican troopers, against whom he had vowed vengeance in 1858 after they murdered his mother, his wife, and his three small children. He told of treaties made between Apaches and the U.S. Army--and treaties broken. There were periods of confinement on the reservations, and escapes. And there were his final days on the run, when the U.S. Army put 5000 men in the field against his small band of 39 Apache.

Geronimo had been a prisoner of war for 19 years when he told his story. Born in 1829, he was by then an old man, no longer a warrior, and he had come to an accommodation with many things "white," including an appreciation of money. U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel took him to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, where he roped cows in the "wild west show" and signed his name for "ten, fifteen, or twenty five cents." By then he was perhaps the United States' most "famous" Indian. In 1905 he was even invited to ride horseback in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade (though still a prisoner of war!).

Geronimo dedicated his book to Roosevelt with the plea that he and his people be allowed to return to their ancestral land in Arizona. "It is my land, my home, my father's land, to which I now ask to be allowed to return. I want to spend my last days there, and be buried among those mountains. If this could be I might die in peace." Geronimo died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909, still a prisoner of war. (Introduction by Sue Anderson)

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  • Christopher G

    Good story. Reader not so great.

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  • Anonymous

    Bad reader, sorry!

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  • William B

    An amazing man and story. It is a sad history we share in America and our treatment of our native peoples.

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  • Anonymous

    What a great warrior.

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  • James H.

    Truly wish Geronimo had offered or had more detailed report of his life and times. For as much as anyone can tell the tale I believe he would be the most honests reporter of the events and times that gave them birth. Today Bill Clinton say he knows not ta about cocaine sales and government persons playing at being lawful agents. Or Bush winning the election. I would trust and believe the Indian over any western reporting then and especially now the all media is owned and owned by corporate monied interests. This is and has to be by its format short.

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  • Anita M.

    I love

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  • Robert B.

    Not a proud era of US history, told from the perspective of loss.

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  • Aaron H.

    This was a real gem and so glad I listened. I don’t understand why some complain about the narrator, but I felt she was fine and did a good job. The story overall illustrates how bloody, violent, and antithetical the Wild West was to the current romanticized view. okay hen you hear Geronimo retell his exploits and how wantonly they killed and robbed people, it is then understandable how soldiers then came. Anyhow, required reading to understand just how recently America was wild and not very romantic

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  • Milagros V.

    Love how it was mainly all in his words. Geronimo allow us to have a glimpse into his world and that of his people, all for which I humbly am grateful.

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  • Anonymous

    Very interesting a lot of historical information. Sad story concerning his life.

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