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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

    Sad story. Liked learning new facts.

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  • Okie

    I thought this was a great book especially since it was Geronimo's own story. Adding in letters and perspectives from other people that experienced some of the same events was an added bonus. The reader was above average for a volunteer and I do appreciate people that take the time to record these great books. I did cringe each time she pronounced "Washington" as "Warshington".

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  • Jeffrey B.

    Finished listening to Geronimo’s autobiography today. Found amazing the Apache version of the Creation story and the religious significance of their ceremonies. Tragic accounts of personal and societal loss at the hands of Mexican and American armies. Sad betrayals of peace treaties with U.S government. Heroic tales of his days on the war path and fascinating insights into both Apache culture and the white man’s culture. Highly recommend if you are interested in any of those topics.

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  • Steven T.

    Very interesting! Very descriptive.

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  • Anonymous

    Informative book

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  • Anonymous

    I was fascinated to learn more about Geronimo, and enjoyed his informative autobiographical telling. This recording was annoying, tho, because of the very monotonous and long intro (that I finally skipped over in order to just hear the book). Then at every main chapter break, there was the same annoying recitation about who produced the recording. It made the listening experience unpleasant, tho the book itself was good. Needed a better reader too.

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  • Anonymous

    Good story, good reader. Something we all need to know...

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