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In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter…

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983)

by Peter Matthiessen

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822416,506 (4.1)12

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I cannot recommend this audio book. It was really long (23 Discs) and it was mostly depositions from trial documents.

It was interesting just the same, and I still may purchase the dead tree version for reference. It may be easier to follow then too.

Regardless if you want more information on the American Indian Movement (including Leonard Pelltere) and the adventures of the Natives versus the government in the 1970s, I recommend the autobiography of Russel Means "Where White men fear to tread" instead. There is an abridged 6 tape audio book available, but again dead tree is better. ( )
  fulner | Apr 25, 2016 |
This controversial book about controversial subject (AIM and Leonard Peltiers trial) is very important in itself, because it was collected mostly from interviews quite soon after the so called "reservation murders". However, nowadays its better to be familiar with more recent material from subject and so you can read this somewhat "between the lines". As said, the book is mostly from AIM informants interview and no wonder there´s a lot of unnecessary hodge-podge (how good person someone actually is/was and so on). On the other hand there´s quite little information you can really find non-controversial (like the case itself, ´till nowadays nobody is really too sure about it), because almost everything is from interview material. But, reading with this in mind, one can find this very much satisfying, book really tries to make a complete story from all this very much. The story is told around Leonard Peltier case which is quite understandable, because during writing this he was just becoming the symbolical "indian hero", he know is made. There´s a lot stuff about AIM and governments reaction to it too, which is really the main subject of the book, but the trial case being the main plot in this.
So, to fully understand this book (and to be able to judge peoples words at the time) one needs to have read more recent stuff about this too. Of course one can start from this too, there´s much things not mentioned widely elsewhere (its over 600 pages.), but as a fact you can not rely on almost anything. This can only give one guidelines from the subject and the happenings described. ( )
  hepsodus | Nov 8, 2007 |
"The first solidly documented account of the U.S. government's renewed assault upon American Indians that began in the 1970's"
- Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Book I
Thieves Road: The Oglala Lakota, 1835-1965; The Upside-Down Flag: The American Indian Movement, 1968-73; To Wounded Knee: February-May 1973; The Wounded Knee Trials: January-September 1974; The New Indian Wars: AIM Versus the FBI, 1972-75; The U.S. Puppet Government: Pine Ride and Dick Wilson, 1975
Book II
The Shoot-Out I: June 26, 1975; The Shoot-Out II: June 26, 1975; The “Reservation Murders” Investigation: June-September 1975; The Fugitives I: July-November 1975; The Fugitives II: November 1975-May 1976; The Trial at Cedar Rapids: June-July 1976; The Trial at Fargo: March-April 1977
Book III
The Escape: Lompoc Prison and the Los Angeles Trial; The Real Enemy; Another Important Matter: Myrtle Poor Bear and David Price, 1976-81; Forked Tongues: The Freedom of Information Act and the New Evidence, 1980-81; In Marion Penitentiary; Paha Sapa: The Treaty, the Supreme Court, and the Return to the Black Hills; Red and Blue Days
  tyrnimehu | Aug 30, 2007 |
By the end of the book, I felt that although this is a righteous cause, AIM is the wrong group of people.

What bothered me, what made me distrust Matthiessen, is that at several points he was rather coy, very odd in such a normally detailed work. He never does tell us what AIM claims happened at the shootout. Nor does he ever give us a coherent account of the trial. He covers the flaws in the government's story, while contorting to avoid giving us AIM's side. Which makes me wonder what he can't afford to say. He dramatically announces that someone else confessed to him, clearing Peltier, but despite this anonymous person's vow that he would come forward rather than let Peltier suffer for his crime, the latter sits in jail. Makes me wonder if Mathiessen is a little too gullible.

This could desperately have used some editting. In addition to being quite long, it is disjointed. I think that both flaws could have been simultaneously fixed, and the book would have been greatly improved. ( )
  juglicerr | Jul 14, 2007 |
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For all who honor and defend those people who live in the wisdom of Indian way.
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The original printing of this book was suppressed by the FBI who objected to this version of their conduct at Wounded Knee in 1975. It was re-called, then re-issued eight years later, in 1991.
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Examines the 1975 confrontation between Indians and FBI agents that led to the conviction of Indian leader Leonard Peltier.

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