In Mark Santiago’s A Bad Peace and a Good War: Spain and the Mescalero Apache Uprising of 1795-1799 (University of Oklahoma Press, $32.95) the author takes us to a forgotten war in prose so stirring one can almost smell the horses’ sweat. Because the Chiricahuas were at peace and fighting was along the fringes of the Spanish empire, the war that took the lives of a quarter of the Mescalero tribe has been overlooked until now. Meticulously researched, the book reports on battles, skirmishes and policies remarkably similar to those of the U.S. three-quarters of a century later. The Spanish used total war, the equivalent of reservations, tribe against tribe, and Mescaleros at peace against those at war. The war was good because the Spanish won the battles and the peace bad because no one was happy with it.
—Doug Hocking, author of the October 2019 release Terror on the Santa Fe Trail: Kit Carson and the Jicarilla Apache