CHOICE MAGAZINE CALLS HAUPTMAN'S BOOK OUTSTANDING
NEW PALTZ -- Choice Magazine has selected a book written by a State University of New York at New Paltz professor to receive its "Outstanding Academic Books of 1996" award. The book, Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War, was written by Laurence Hauptman and published by The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, in 1995. It was one of three books Hauptman, a member of the College's history department, had published that year. Between Two Fires was published in paperback by Simon & Schuster in late 1996.
The awards are given for overall excellence in presentation and scholarship; importance relative to other literature in the field; originality of treatment; value to undergraduate students; and its importance in building undergraduate library collections.
Hauptman earned his doctorate in American history from New York University and has taught at New Paltz since 1971. He has written nearly a dozen books on Native Americans. His publications have earned him the respect of many Native Americans and he has been called upon to present oral and written expert testimony [related to the Seneca Nation, City of Salamanca (NY) lease controversy] before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives and a U.S. Senate Select Committee. In 1987, he was awarded the Peter Doctor Memorial Foundation Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Iroquois, for distinguished service which has been beneficial to the image of the Indian.
Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War tells the Civil War stories of nine different tribal groups, located in all parts of the United States. Nearly 20,000 Native Americans enlisted in the Civil War, fought for both the Confederacy and the Union, and served as generals, infantrymen, sharpshooters, guides, guerrillas, and spies.
Hauptman movingly reveals how the Indians, desperately seeking legitimacy, autonomy, or simply the retention of their land, were devastated by a war that ultimately sealed their tragic fate as dependents of the U.S. government.
Robert M. Utley, author of Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian, commenting on Hauptman's book states, "The important role of Indians in the Civil War has long been an unwritten chapter of the history of the war and the history of Indian peoples. Laurence Hauptman has now written that chapter in a book notable for insight, comprehensive treatment, and deep research..."
Peter Iverson, at Arizona State University, calls Between Two Fires "a valuable contribution to our understanding of American Indian history."
William T. Hagan, at The University of Oklahoma, describes the book as having "the admirable qualities we have come to expect from Hauptman--thorough research, cogent reasoning, a lively style, and a profound sympathy with his subjects."
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