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Praise for Dr. Paul Hutton's new book, The Apache Wars

Departmental News

Posted: Apr 11, 2016 - 12:00am

In a recent press release...


The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

By Paul Andrew Hutton




“Paul Hutton is one the great scholars of Western Americana, but he’s also a natural born storyteller, with a rare gift for locating the deep ironies that suffuse history. Hutton has brought this sere landscape—and this classic clash of the borderlands—to pungent life on the page.”

—Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and In the Kingdom of Ice

“A fast-paced, well-written page-turner. Hutton gives an excellent account of individuals, both Native American and White, who contested for control of the Southwest in the 19th Century.”

R. David Edmunds, Watson Professor of American History, University of Texas at Dallas
“After reading this masterfully researched and written book I thanked my lucky stars for Paul Hutton. It took an author and historian of his caliber to at long last deliver the definitive explanation of the longest war in the nation's history. The wait was worth it. By using the legendary Apache scout and manhunter Mickey Free as a vehicle to tell the story, Hutton cuts through layers of myth exposing one of the most exciting and pivotal episodes in the annals of the American West.”

—Michael Wallis, author of The Wild West: 365 Days


“Hutton captures the intensity and drama of the history of both sides in this vibrant segment of western history.” 

—Robert M. Utley, author of Geronimo and The Lance and the Shield 

“Humane, insightful, and vivid, The Apache Wars immerses readers in the rugged landscape of Apacheria, the meeting ground and battlefield of nations. In telling the gripping story of the Apaches' long fight against Mexico and the United States, Hutton proves once again why he is a great writer as well as a great historian.”

—T.J. Stiles, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

“[A] sprawling, fascinating tale of conflict in the late 19th-century American southwest...Hutton moves beyond standard descriptions of battles between Apache warriors and American troops (though there are plenty of those) to paint a larger, more detailed picture of Southwestern life... Hutton provides an unexpected twist that keeps the story fresh until the end.”

—Publishers Weekly


        “An outstanding, comprehensive overview of the Apache Wars of Arizona and New Mexico…This recounting of the Southwestern battles for Apacheria will be valued by general readers and researchers alike for its colorful personalities and strong representation of the cultural context of historical events.”

               —Library Journal


        When a band of a dozen Apaches kidnapped a slight eleven-year-old boy in Arizona’s Sonoita Valley in 1861, they could hardly have predicted the impact it would eventually have on the history of the entire region. But, as renowned historian Paul Andrew Hutton recounts in his remarkable work THE APACHE WARS: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

(Crown; May 3, 2016), the boy would become a man named Mickey Free, and his kidnapping ignited a decades-long war that both sides—the Apaches and the white invaders—would blame him for.


A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, Mickey Free was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. And he played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in the 1890s with his pursuit of the renegade scout, the Apache Kid. This is Mickey Free’s story but also the story of the great Apache leaders Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio; the soldiers Kit Carson, O. O. Howard, George Crook, and Nelson Miles; the scouts and frontiersmen Al Sieber, Tom Horn, Tom Jeffords, and Texas John Slaughter; the great White Mountain scout Alchesay and the Apache female warrior Lozen; the legendary fierce Apache warrior Geronimo; and the Apache Kid.


As Hutton explains, the lives of Mickey Free and his contemporaries shaped the brutal history of the deserts and mountains of the Southwestern borderlands—an area “where every plant bore a barb, every insect a stinger, every bird a talon, every reptile a fang—an inhospitable, deadly environment known to the outside world as Apachería.” In this bleak and unforgiving world, a people would make their final, bloody stand against an American war machine bent on their destruction.

In this sprawling, monumental work, in language by turns poetic and violent, Hutton examines more than two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. In the process, he separates myth from reality and draws real flesh and blood characters out of fabled historical figures.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Andrew Hutton is an American cultural historian, an award-winning author, a documentary writer, and a television personality. He is also Distinguished Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, a former executive director of the Western History Association, and former president of the Western Writers of America.





The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

By Paul Andrew Hutton

Crown | On Sale Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 9780770435813 | ebook: 9780770435820; $30.00