The Buffalo Soldiers PDF
by John Prebble
Shaggy Dog Story: When I was sixteen my family traveled through Europe one summer in a VW bus. I dragged them to all sorts of history-dork pilgrimage sites like Karl Marx's birth house in Trier and the battlefield at Culloden. This last, near Inverness, entailed driving all the way across Scotland. My father must really love me. At any rate, in every Scottish Historical Landmark Gifte Shoppe one could find a trilogy of Penguin paperbacks by John Prebble about the Jacobite uprisings: Glencoe
, and The Highland Clearances
. For reasons that escape me now, I bought the first two volumes but neglected to buy the third, perhaps because it lacked a bad-ass, broadsword-wielding Highlander on the cover. I didn't read Glencoe
until years later, but when I did theywere excellent. Over the years I have sporadically tried to get hold of The Highland Clearances
(I just purchased it from Amazon, actually). When I started at Pratt and began to explore the collection here, I found that we had audio versions of the two books I had read, but no HC
. We did, however, have two WESTERNS by John Prebble. Imagine my excitement.
Well, you can't, because when I finally cracked The Buffalo Soldiers
, it turns out it fit right into my Quanah jag! A story of the pursuit of a renegade Quahadi Comanche named Quasia (! Not a fictionalized Quanah, though. The actual Quanah is mentioned several times in the narrative) by African-American troops under the command of an Irish immigrant brevet lieutenant, this is, for the most part, a boiler-plate chase story, somewhat evocative of Peckinpah's roughly contemporaneous film, Major Dundee
.The writing is of a high quality, and there is some intelligent treatment of race, imperialism, and genocide.
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Download PDF The Buffalo Soldiers