That is, until Scott Zesch stumbled upon his great-great-great-uncle's grave. Determined to understand how such a "good boy" could have become Indianized so completely, Zesch traveled across the west, digging through archives, speaking with Comanche elders, and tracking eight other child captives from the region with hauntingly similar experiences. With a historian's rigor and a novelist's eye, Zesch paints a vivid portrait of life on the Texas frontier in The Captured and offers one of the few nonfiction accounts of captivity.
©2004 Scott Zesch; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A fascinating, meticulously documented chronicle of the often-painful confrontations between whites and Indians during the final years of Indian Territory." (Booklist)
The Captured is billed as the story of the kidnapping of 10 year old Adolph Korn by Plains Indians. That is not totally accurate, but the book is no less exciting, interesting, informative, and captivating (pardon the pun). What Scott Zesch actually does is tell what is known about the kidnapping while fleshing out the era with information about other such kidnappings. Zesch is particularly helpful when he relates how captive children were integrated into indian culture, how they were returned to their families if they were, and how they adapted to their white lives after captivity (if they did at all).
This book is well written, very informative and expertly read by Grover Gardner. This is a great listen.
I expected from the publisher's description to hear more stories about what things specifically happened to the people who were captured by Indian tribes. Basically, the author carefully follows only those historical facts that can be verified reporter-style and he finds that no one knows what happened during their capture. Most of them won't talk about it at all in later years, so anything we know about them is just observation after they return home. They seem to be loyal to the tribe, but we never learn why. The often forget how to speak English and even when they re-learn their native tongue, they don't translate anything that happened to them from the Apache or Comanche. The most we know are vague things like, "Apparently the Indians let the boys run wild, learn to jump on horses and become warriors. Apparently the women had to learn to clean the animals from the hunt and to prepare them as food." As an historical treatise, it is well documented and concise and there is no dramatization or conjecture about what is covered. As drama, it is pretty dry and does not deliver any real stories about the human beings involved.
I have a small amount of American Indian blood in my history. I never read or studied anything in my life until the last few years, when my curiosity started to drive me to study the plight of the American Indians for a while. I have read a number of books trying to understand a bigger picture of what the end must have looked like for the American Indian’s living on the open plains of the west. After reading about Cynthia Anne Parker I had to read more about the children who were captured and raised by American Indian tribes.
I am not surprised but sad to see that this book points out so many inconsistencies in the books that I have read so far. There are so many “lies” (for lack of a better word) told about the Indians and how they treated people. It is also sad to see that we still objectify the Indians and rationalize the genocide perpetrated on them by all of the immigrant Americans, meaning those of European ancestry.
Much like “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”, this book paints, what I have come to believe is much more accurate picture of how the “Americans” waged a war on the Indians with the intent of wiping them out then named monuments, streets and markers to celebrate those who presided of the slaughter of, relatively innocent women, children and old men. The names of Wynkoop, Chivington, Sheridan, Forsyth and many more, are words that should be used as pejoratives or synonyms of evil.
This is a well written story. The facts as presented stand on their own under closer scrutiny. Unlike my review the author, Scott Zesch, is balanced and measured with his presentation of the facts around the events. The Zesch carried the story through a logical conclusion and wrote a fantastic ending or closing to his book. I enjoyed his style, the book, the presentation of a balanced truth and a viewpoint that I did not have before reading the book. This one is worth your time, even if you only want a taste of life on the prairies of the west.
I enjoyed learning about the experiences of the white indians however the review was misleading. little of the book had to to with the authors great uncle. most was about other captives which was very interesting and enlightening.
When I purchased this book, I didn't know if I would like it or not, but it was so interesting, that I would stay longer than necessary in the car because I wanted to keep listening. Well worth the money...wish there were more books about our pioneer ancestors like this one.
The impetus for this book was the story of the author's ancestor, Adolph Korn, and his abduction in the 1870s by Apaches in central Texas. But Scott Zesch turns it into a much broader history of Indian abduction in general and the particular challenges faced by white children who were abducted, grew up in Indian families, were returned to their white communities, and struggled to re-adapt.
The details and sympathies the author evoked for both Native American and European settlers. I especially liked Zesch's perspective on why many German immigrant boys often loved growing up "Indian" -- the truth about the harshness of their birth families versus the exhilaration of life with their adopted tribes.
Gardner never disappoints -- with this as with everything else I've listened to, he matches his performance to the book perfectly.
I believe this book should be nominated for a Pulitzer and a Nobel - and I am certain this will become a blockbuster movie!
Hey, read my other 100-plus reviews at amazon.
For me, Bill Anderson, to be uttering such rave exclamations about a historical account, this must be a treasure! It is. Mr. Scott Zesch has provided a book that really gets into the souls of the abducted children and their captors. He somehow does so with balance and sensitivity and refrains from cliches.
I listened to the audio version twice (back-to-back), on my iPOD while driving between job sites in Egypt. The first hearing was problematic due to traffic conditions here.
Hey, dodging microbuses and women drivers here is a bit similar to evading arrows and bullets in the old west! Anyhow, I wanted to listen again so I could commit to my soul my new realization of something I think so many researchers have failed to grasp.
Stockholm Syndrome is perhaps only part of the issue. Just as stem cells seem to adopt the particulars of their surroundings, and just as many wild critters can be raised by other species (and occasionally will suffer a confusion as to their own species), so, too, do human beings adopt those existences (sorry for a bad choice of words here) and become as their custodians, captors, siblings or peers. I realize this seems a bit, "duh, no kidding" but the import goes beyond the obvious. Further, it would seem, that any particular species is apt to more fundamentally accept, or accomodate, that which is least hampered or complicated by rules or regulations. In other words, transitioning toward simplicity is more pleasant than is adjusting to more and more complex organizations or societies.
Such lessonS may be good advice when establishing any system or organization. Too much regulation or too complex the controlling body makes routine operation will lead to chaos and failure. Read rest of review at amazon to understand, BUT BUY THIS BOOK!
I bought this very cheaply on sale, so I wasn't expecting much. But in the end I couldn't stop listening.
The narrative deals with various white Indian captives and how their time in captivity affected the rest of their lives. It's also a poignant glimpse into a dying age. By the time some of the captives reached old age, the days of the free-roaming plains Indians were long gone. It's very well-written, and I found the story consistently fascinating.
Grover Gardner is the reason I chose this one, and he does a great job as usual. His voice is perfect for this book, and the audio is very good.
Overall, if you're interested at all in Native American history, or even the frontier in general, chances are you'll love this!
Love this book! I had heard a bit about these children, but this book goes into alot of details about the fate of these kids, although sad, an interesting part of American history.
I expected this to be another one-sided Indian captivity narrative, but instead it turns out to be a well-written, balanced account of several captivity narratives arranged around the theme of the author's search for his distant great ++ uncle, who was one of many "white Indians" who had various degrees of trouble fitting back into their own (in this case) German-Texan society after they were reunited. The author explores how and why children (adults were rarely adopted into plains Indian society) did have difficulty and how this theme is common in captivity narratives, through American history, even if the circumstances of their capture was quite horrific. The author doesn't leave out unpleasant details--on both sides of the conflict, yet it's still a balanced and even moving account that takes us through the facts of the captives' lives to death and beyond, right up to the present day (the actual settler-Indian conflict took place a decade or so before and after the Civil War, over 150 years ago). The present day comes into play because the author is dealing with a member of his own family. Once again I'm amazed at the brutality and beauty of American history, when it's written as it actually happened and not in the cliches and snippets we learned in school and from the movies. Definitely a 5- star book. Note: I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job too, but I can't comment on the Kindle formatting.
I came across this book by accident and am very glad I did so. The way the author put together the strange stories of the german/american child captives makes you want to keep listening until you find out the end game. It is a real 'page turner'.
I was unaware of the fate of Adolph,Rudolph, Dot and the rest of the captives until I read this. Scott Zesch tells of their capture, release and subsequent struggle to come to terms with life back with their families. It tells the history of the plains indians in Texas over a 20 year period using these captives as a means to tell the story.
I was so enthralled that I listened to the whole thing in less that 2 days. It is all the more interesting because it is not just a story, it is about real people who survived well into the 20th century.
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