Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Captured

Zesch, Scott. The Captured. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2004. Print.

My Thoughts
After many years of a co-worker asking me, telling me, badgering me, pushing this book on to me, I FINALLY read it, and I'm glad I did.

The is a non-fiction account of several children on the Texas frontier who were taken captive by Indians in the late 1800s. The writer's own great uncle was captured and lived with the Indians for two years. The author doesn't have much information about him, but in trying to find out more, he wove a story together of other captured children to piece together his own heritage. There is a section of pictures (although none of his relative Adolf Korn) that completes the book.

The writer truly goes in a full circle to write this book. Zesch's journey begins in a graveyard (the end of Adolf's story) and ends at the possible point of capture (the beginning of the tale). Zesch is careful in his writing to not embellish or sentimentalize the story. It does not read as some rewritten, politically correct version of history. He presents the captivity narratives as he finds them (sometimes with editorial remarks of the probability of the original source being embellished or inaccurate). The Indians are neither noble nor savage. They are a group of people who did certain things. The settlers are neither noble nor savage. They are a group of people who did certain things.

There are 30 pages of "Notes" to the accounts that Zesch writes about in this book. I wish I would have flipped to the back more often (and earlier) while reading. The next time I read this book, I will try to remember to flip.

There are 11 pages of bibliography, including a list of book references. These pages are divided by topic (the person captured) and includes references specific to that captive.

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