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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian…

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (1970)

by Dee Brown

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (61)  Dutch (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This is a valuable book for students and researchers to understand and expand knowledge of the history of oppression and, many times, murder that occurred of Native Americans by an ever expanding, manifest destiny driven external population. Although it was primarily White, Caucasians that perpetrated the murders, there were also Dog Soldiers (many of them African American) and even other Native Americans who sought vengeance for tribal rivalries. Despite the mixed group, the leaders and strategists of this near genocidal crusade were predominately White.

There were few redeeming features reported for the Whites. There was Three Star Crook who initially did his fair share of land expropriation and killing. Done mostly at the behest of his military and political superiors, after ten years he changed his views and felt that acting more justly would result in less problems that necessitated military solutions. At one point, he was forced to resign his position, thus having no impact on continuing discriminatory actions toward the tribes. This seems to have been the fate of other reformers reported in this work, such as the founder of the newspaper Tombstone Epitaph. Former Indian Agent Clum found he could influence actions outside the system rather than as a member of it.

Each chapter begins with a global view of what was going on in the world and the US for a specific year, such as 1878. By mentioning what was happening in politics, technology, and the arts, the reader can establish his historical point of view. This was followed by the pronouncements of influential tribal leaders of the year under consideration. Then followed a narrative relating to interactions between Whites and Native Americans for that year.

Despite such organization, it is easy for the reader to become confused as action jumps back and forth in time. Some tribal leaders traveled geographically, appearing in different territories in different, or even the same, year. To resolve reader confusion, there is a great index at the end of the book with hyperlinks so a reader can choose to follow only the story of Cochise or Geronimo in a seamless narrative.

I read this after reading a collection of short stories "Blasphemy" by Sherman Alexie. In that collection of short stories it is interesting to read how the resentments formed and displayed in this factual account continue to play out today.

( )
  ajarn7086 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Stale. Very, very stale. It's almost like bullet-point list of events with the occasional flourish or quote. This happened, then this happened, then that happened, then a few primary source quotes. Not sure why people like this. ( )
1 vote benuathanasia | Jan 14, 2016 |
An absolutely blunt and heart-wrenching account of the white expansion into the American west from the Native American's point of view. I like how each chapter focused on a different tribe or event if the tribe's plight was revisited. The only thing that I wish the book included were maps, which would be very helpful for someone (me) not familiar with the areas as well as an overall timeline.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2015 | Task 9: By or about indigenous culture. ( )
  Bodagirl | Nov 17, 2015 |
Heartbreaking and powerful. This book is a bit of a hard read for two reasons. Firstly, the story is not that well presented. The narrative clear relatively soon and then it is repeated and repeated. Quotes are repeated and random historical facts are presented without context at the beginning of each chapter. The second reason it is powerful is that despite the author not presenting the material in the best way, this history does not need to be tarted up to be powerful.

The callousness with which the native Americans are screwed over again and again is alone enough to create a heavy impact. This book will never leave you. ( )
  StigE | Sep 15, 2015 |
A definite classic. ( )
  LindaAcaster | Mar 8, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dee Brownprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knipscheer, JosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sides, HamptonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.

- (Stephen Vincent Benét)
Ik zal daar niet zijn. Ik zal mij oprichten en heengaan. Begraaf mijn hart bij de bocht van de rivier. (Stephen Vincent Benet)
For Nicolas Brave Wolf
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It began with Christopher Columbus, who gave the people the name Indios.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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There is also an adaptation of this book "for young people" by Amy Erhlich with the same title and Dee's name listed as author. ISBNs for the adaptation have been identified as 0006713416, 0030915597, 0440957680, 0606029982, 0701122366, 0785712712, 0805027009, 9780006713418, 9780030915598, 9780440957683, 9780606029988, 9780701122362, 9780785712718, 9780805027006. Please do not combine the adaptation with the original full-length book.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805066691, Paperback)

First published in 1970, this extraordinary book changed the way Americans think about the original inhabitants of their country. Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos in 1860 and ending 30 years later with the massacre of Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, it tells how the American Indians lost their land and lives to a dynamically expanding white society. During these three decades, America's population doubled from 31 million to 62 million. Again and again, promises made to the Indians fell victim to the ruthlessness and greed of settlers pushing westward to make new lives. The Indians were herded off their ancestral lands into ever-shrinking reservations, and were starved and killed if they resisted. It is a truism that "history is written by the victors"; for the first time, this book described the opening of the West from the Indians' viewpoint. Accustomed to stereotypes of Indians as red savages, white Americans were shocked to read the reasoned eloquence of Indian leaders and learn of the bravery with which they and their peoples endured suffering. With meticulous research and in measured language overlaying brutal narrative, Dee Brown focused attention on a national disgrace. Still controversial but with many of its premises now accepted, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee has sold 5 million copies around the world. Thirty years after it first broke onto the national conscience, it has lost none of its importance or emotional impact. --John Stevenson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. For this elegant thirtieth anniversary hardcover edition, Brown has contributed an incisive new preface. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.… (more)

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