• Shadows at Dawn

  • A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History
  • By: Karl Jacoby
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Shadows at Dawn

By: Karl Jacoby
Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
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Publisher's Summary

A masterful reconstruction of one of the worst Indian massacres in American history.

In April 1871, a group of Americans, Mexicans, and Tohono O'odham Indians surrounded an Apache village at dawn and murdered nearly 150 men, women, and children in their sleep. 

In the past century, the attack, which came to be known as the Camp Grant Massacre, has largely faded from memory. Now, drawing on oral histories, contemporary newspaper reports, and the participants' own accounts, prizewinning author Karl Jacoby brings this perplexing incident and tumultuous era to life to paint a sweeping panorama of the American Southwest - a world far more complex, diverse, and morally ambiguous than the traditional portrayals of the Old West.

©2019 Karl Jacoby (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Shadows at Dawn

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  • Overall
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An excellent coverage of early Arizona History.

The narration of this period in early Arizona made this more like a storytelling than a book reading. This presentation was a triumph in enunciation and pronunciation. Hillgartner was exceptional, as was the content by Jacoby.

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Excellent

I loved this book. The author does a great job of telling history in a compelling , factual and unbiased way. I found myself questioning my own versions of retold events because of this author. History is complicated, the dead inhabit another world. We must try to put ourselves in the shoes of all sides, read all accounts, look for bias and only then will we get closest to the truth.

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Everyone should read this book!

Great structure, narrative and understanding of American History and humanity. As a current graduate student and history teacher this book has opened may different avenues to the way I will be teaching and view all history I view and analyze in the future.

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Honest history

Should be required listening/reading for all Americans, and all others who wish to understand the truth of conquest and its horror. This has been repeated many times over in many lands throughout history. When will we learn.

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an insightful, thoughtful, and powerful history

An unsparing look at a brutal and seminal moment in the wars between the Apache and nearly everybody else.

Jacoby's "Shadows at Dawn" explores in impressive detail, the history and aftermath of the 1871 "Massacre of Camp Grant" or the "Camp Grant Affair" (depending on who you ask) where 150 Apache (mostly women and children) were ambushed and killed by a combined group of Americans, Mexicans, and Tohono Indians at Camp Grant outside Tuscon Arizona.

There's nothing good that can be said about the attack and Jacoby never sugarcoats things. But Jacoby does an outstanding job challenging the popular narrative that all interactions with the Indian tribes were nothing more than "white atrocity" when the facts were far more complicated.

The constant ebb and flow between violence and peace (or rather, slightly less violence) among disparate Apache bands against the Spanish (later Mexican) authorities and settlers, American troops and settlers, and other Indian tribes culminated in a slow drawdown of American federal troop presence in Arizona following the Civil War, a settler population that could not rely on those Federal troops to take action against Apache (because the Federal Gov't often sided with the Apache following various treaties), and an emboldened Apache population that saw opportunity to exert power and influence over neighboring tribes (often brutally).

What's most interesting in Jacoby's history is that, despite Federal authorities (and Eastern press) decrying the massacre and being fairly uniform in its condemnation, how utterly unapologetic the locals around Tuscon were (white Americans, Mexicans, and Indians). For decades, they referred to it with pride or euphemistically as the "Camp Grant Affair." How much of this was intentional obfuscation or a sincere belief in the action isn't really possible to tease out (Jacoby does his best but narratives start to calcify after a while). Ultimately, that multiethnic collection of peoples that took part in the wars against the Apaches felt themselves completely justified in doing so in response to perceived savagery by the Apache. Just as the Apache felt completely justified in their responses to settler advancement and/or federal (be it Spanish/Mexican/American) perfidy.

"Shadows at Dawn" is an insightful, thoughtful, and powerful history that gives real depth (but not absolution) to all sides of a horrific event.

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You will rarely find history this well done ...

Karl Jacoby painstakingly deconstructs and analyzes a little-known but important massacre of in Arizona by looking at the same story from American, Mexican, and two different Indian perspectives. He then follows through as the consequences of the massacre reverberate through all four groups' histories after that. Outstanding narration as well. Highly recommended.