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In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983)

by Peter Matthiessen

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908416,300 (4.08)13
An "indescribably touching, extraordinarily intelligent" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) chronicle of a fatal gun-battle between FBI agents and American Indian Movement activists by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the novel In Paradise   On a hot June morning in 1975, a desperate shoot-out between FBI agents and Native Americans near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, left an Indian and two federal agents dead. Four members of the American Indian Movement were indicted on murder charges, and one, Leonard Peltier, was convicted and is now serving consecutive life sentences in a federal penitentiary. Behind this violent chain of events lie issues of great complexity and profound historical resonance, brilliantly explicated by Peter Matthiessen in this controversial book. Kept off the shelves for eight years because of one of the most protracted and bitterly fought legal cases in publishing history, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse reveals the Lakota tribe's long struggle with the U.S. government, and makes clear why the traditional Indian concept of the earth is so important at a time when increasing populations are destroying the precious resources of our world.… (more)
Recently added byRelmyna, KABarnes, private library, GREGandDANICA, stevepotter, linav8ty, LanternLibrary
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Showing 4 of 4
Liked: lots of historical detail, attempts to give it a personal perspective of the participants. Disliked: much too partial for my taste, detail would seem less excessive if better organized ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
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 |
Showing 4 of 4
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We did not ask you white men to come here. The Great Spirit gave us this country as a home. You had yours. We did not interfere with you. The Great Spirit gave us plenty of land to live on, and buffalo, deer, antelope and other game. But you have come here; you are taking my land from me, you are killing off our game, so it is hard for us to live. Now, you tell us to work for a living, but the Great Spirit did not make us to work, but to live by hunting. You white men can work if you want to. We do not interfere with you, and again you say, why do you not become civilized? We do not want your civilization! We would live as our fathers did, and their fathers before the.
Crazy Horse (Lakota)
For all who honor and defend those people who live in the wisdom of Indian way.
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In 1835, five white prospectors who entered the old silences of the sacred mountains were attacked by Indians; their fate was scrawled in a last note, "All kilt but me."
Introduction: On June 26, 1975, in the late morning, two FBI agents drove onto Indian land near Oglala, South Dakota, a small village on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
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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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