The Apache wars of the mid to late nineteenth century continue to be a popular topic in American history, and authors have churned out a broad body of scholarship predominantly focusing on the roles of specific tribes and bands or biographies of participants. Using violence and military culture as an interpretative framework, Janne Lahti offers a new overview of the U.S.–Apache wars that seeks to connect the conflict to recent revisions in borderlands histories. Lahti argues that war and violence “constitute expressions of culture determined by cultural forms and norms”. Wars for Empire, consequently, pays close attention to the protagonists’ expressions and modes of military ethos, training, leadership, organization, and rhetoric. By understanding how Apache and U.S. military motives, goals, and methods differed and why, one can better understand “how one society was able to break the power of another and occupy its space”
Britten, Thomas A. Review of Wars for Empire: Apaches, the United States, and the Southwest Borderlands, by Janne Lahti. Southwestern Historical Quarterly 122, no. 1 (2018): 111-112. doi:10.1353/swh.2018.0057.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly