Geronimo’s Story of His Life

Read by Sue Anderson

(4.4 stars; 473 reviews)

Geronimo’s Story of His Life is the oral life history of a legendary Apache warrior. Composed in 1905, while Geronimo was being held as a U.S. prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Geronimo’s story found audience and publication through the efforts of S. M. Barrett--Lawton, Oklahoma, Superintendent of Education, who wrote in his preface that “the initial idea of the compilation of this work was . . . to extend to Geronimo as a prisoner of war the courtesy due any captive, i.e. the right to state the causes which impelled him in his opposition to our civilization and laws.” Barrett, with the assistance of Asa Deklugie, son of Nedni chief Whoa as Apache translator, wrote down the story as Geronimo told it --beginning with an Apache creation myth. Geronimo recounted bloody battles with Mexican troopers, against whom he had vowed vengeance in 1858 after they murdered his mother, his wife, and his three small children. He told of treaties made between Apaches and the U.S. Army--and treaties broken. There were periods of confinement on the reservations, and escapes. And there were his final days on the run, when the U.S. Army put 5000 men in the field against his small band of 39 Apache.

Geronimo had been a prisoner of war for 19 years when he told his story. Born in 1829, he was by then an old man, no longer a warrior, and he had come to an accommodation with many things “white,” including an appreciation of money. U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel took him to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, where he roped cows in the “wild west show” and signed his name for “ten, fifteen, or twenty five cents.” By then he was perhaps the United States’ most “famous” Indian. In 1905 he was even invited to ride horseback in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade (though still a prisoner of war!).

Geronimo dedicated his book to Roosevelt with the plea that he and his people be allowed to return to their ancestral land in Arizona. “It is my land, my home, my father’s land, to which I now ask to be allowed to return. I want to spend my last days there, and be buried among those mountains. If this could be I might die in peace.” Geronimo died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909, still a prisoner of war. (Introduction by Sue Anderson) (3 hr 48 min)


Dedicatory, Preface, Introductory 20:45 Read by Sue Anderson
The Apaches, Part 1 22:30 Read by Sue Anderson
The Apaches, Part 2 27:47 Read by Sue Anderson
The Mexicans, Part 1 20:04 Read by Sue Anderson
The Mexicans, Part 2 25:08 Read by Sue Anderson
The Mexicans, Part 3; The White Men, Part 1 18:36 Read by Sue Anderson
The White Men, Part 2 22:12 Read by Sue Anderson
The White Men, Part 3 34:43 Read by Sue Anderson
The White Men, Part 4; The Old and the New, Part 1 17:30 Read by Sue Anderson
The Old and the New, Part 2 19:35 Read by Sue Anderson


Spell binding book about Geronimo's life as well as his tribe.

(4.5 stars)

Very good book. It draws the reader into the life of Geronimo and his reaction to the White man's world. He gave his insite to a worlds fair he attended. In his earlier life he was an accomplished warrior leading many trips to Mexico for waring. And he explains the events in the first person. Good reading (auto book).

one small account of genocide

(4 stars)

One small account of the genocide that made way for the United States of America. Fascinating but all to brief glimpse of life here before "we" arrived. Do keep in mind that Geronimo wrote his autobiography, as an "prisoner of war", for his captors, the government and people of "America" when you read about his hatred "the Mexicans" and his and capitulatory closing chapter.

(5 stars)

Wow! Step back in time and see American history through the eyes of one of the greatest American Indians. Follow him through the wars with Mexico through his first encounter with white men all the way to his visit to the world fair!

Geronimo's story of his life-so well done!

(3.5 stars)

This story is so well told. One can only wish that the U.S. had given the natives a chance to live free in a place of their desire to see if peaceful coexistence could have come to to be fact.

(5 stars)

This is a gripping tale told in a direct fashion that is compelling not only because of its narrative but because it is part of a larger story emerging at the time about the US's policies of betraying Indian treaties in the name of manifest destiny. The reader is clear (thanks!) and it's well worth a listen.

Great and sad story

(4 stars)

It would have been great had he and his tribe been able to return to their home. this is a very interesting listen. The voice actor is adequate and I thank her for reading.

Loved it. Eventful and rich with Apache culture.

(5 stars)

I really want to thank to all the people volunteering for Librivox for bringing all these books to our ears, every time I finish a book I feel like I've took part in the action and really connected with the characters and in some other sense to the voice giving life to all of those written. I am very passionate about American Indian culture and history and this account of apache history I believe to be pretty accurate and well put together. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone looking for general wisdom.

violent & sad history lesson

(4 stars)

its always sad reading about the treatment of the native americans. to think of how i and my family would feel being forced out of our homes just because the other people were larger in numbers & equipped better, regardless of us being in the place longer & first. this book will explain just how WILD the wild west was. the Apache were a fierce group of fighters & Geronimo held a serious grudge against the mexicans. the other sad thing is to hear how alcohol was starting to be introduced & become a problem that reservations still struggle with today. this is history read monotone, so if you are not into history you may find it tiring or boring... but it is something everyone should be familiar with.