This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by…

Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Leonard Peltier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
361643,058 (3.82)5
Title:Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance
Authors:Leonard Peltier
Info:St Martins Pr (1999), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:NON-CIRCULATING, from Hackley Public Library

Work details

Prison Writings: My Life is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier (1999)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
There is something very moving in this book, which is a testimony of a life. And it isn't the mere chain of events that brought a man in prison in spite of his innocence. It is the strength that oozes from every page, Peltier's simple and yet shockingly strong act of resistance: refusing to become a victim. Be true to himself, to his beliefs, to his people. The act of choosing who he is and will be, no matter who others try to turn him into.
I'm happy I read it. ( )
  JazzFeathers | Jul 27, 2016 |
This is a poignant and truth filled book written by Leonard Peltier, who is still incarcerated unjustly by the federal government for a crime they admit he did not commit.

Leonard tells of the events leading up to his unjust incarceration, the many attempts made on his life by the feds while being incarcerated, and his undying faith in Tunkashila (Creator) and his life on this here Canka Luta Waste (Good Red Road).

Leonard Peltier is a hero in no uncertain terms.

Mi Takuye Oyacin ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Inevitably, even reviewing Peltier's words turns into a platform for debate about his innocence. I feel like that is secondary here. What we have is a voice who grieves for the suffering of his people and for Native people across the world. His voice is mournful, and it is painfully human. However, it is also a voice filled with strength and resolve. A courageous voice, yet a humble one, reaching out from beyond cold steel and cement to whoever may listen with a plea that is not so much on behalf of himself as it is on behalf of his people. It is a plea to bring justice and fairness and true reparations to American Indians. A moving work of memoir.

As for Peltier's alleged crime, his trial was unfair regardless, with too other men who were there with him in the exact same situation having been acquitted and the evidence used to acquit them having been unjustly withheld from Peltier's trial. The government needed, and procured, their scapegoat. Even assuming Peltier is guilty of killing those officers, I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing if I was being pursued without reason and people all around me, people I knew and cherished, were being indiscriminately shot dead on the pretense of one man stealing some cowboy boots. I have a sneaking suspicion that many who condemn Peltier hypocritically vindicate the likes of George Zimmerman ... ( )
2 vote poetontheone | Jul 1, 2015 |
This book wasn't very well written and as the story progressed, it because more obvious that Peltier was guilty of killing the federal agents. He denies the crime throughout the book but came off much like Ted Bundy in "Conversations With a Killer". He too maintained his innocence but gave away too much in the telling of the story.

It's true that Native Americans are still suffering but they would do better to try to improve their situations like the Choctaw did than to rally behind a murderous, revolutionary felon. Leonard Peltier is no leader and does not deserve the accolades that he has been given. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
In this collection of writings, Leonard Peltier recalls his early childhood, his introduction into political activism, and (somewhat) the events leading up to, and during, that fateful day when two FBI agents ended up dead. Sprinkled throughout is also some of his poetry and musings.

According to Peltier, he was set up by the United States government. He denies any involvement in the agents' deaths; he does admit firing a gun that day, but only into the air, and not at anyone. If this is true, there is a grave miscarriage of justice.


I don't know what I believe about this case (not that my opinion matters). Peltier steadfastly denies being guilty, but so do a lot of people who really did do bad things. And while I do agree that there were irregularities (not being able to plead self-defense as others had, Myrtle Poor Bear, etc), there are other questions that I have. If everyone on the Jumping Bulls' property was firing into the air, as Peltier asserts here, how exactly did those agents end up dead? How did their car become riddled with bullets? Why are there people who say that they heard him not only take credit for the killing, but brag about it (all part of the conspiracy, I suppose)? Why does Peltier's story change? Sometimes he doesn't know what happened to the agents, and at other times (not in this book) he claims that Mr. X, whom he knows, killed them, but he won't reveal Mr. X's identity. His account of the morning varies too.

I know it's likely considered gauche (and likely racist) to question Peltier's account (because, it seems, many people believe he is innocent, period), but I can't help it. Can I believe that the government set someone up? Yes, especially during this tumultuous period. Do I believe that Native Americans have been scapegoated, abused, mistreated, and shuffled off onto reservations with no economic opportunities? Yes. But do I believe Leonard Peltier's story? I don't, at least not 100%. Something just doesn't ring true here in his words. ( )
  schatzi | Aug 12, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leonard Peltierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arden, HarveyEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312263805, Paperback)

Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

In 1977, Leonard Peltier received a life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents. He has affirmed his innocence ever since--his case was made fully and famously in Peter Matthiessen's bestselling In the Spirit of Crazy Horse--and many remain convinced he was wrongly convicted. Prison Writings is a wise and unsettling book, both memoir and manifesto, chronicling his life in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Invoking the Sun Dance, in which pain leads one to a transcendent reality, Peltier explores his suffering and the insights it has borne him. He also locates his experience within the history of the American Indian peoples and their struggles to overcome the federal government's injustices.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A prisoner for over twenty years, Peltier reflects on his childhood, his years with the American Indian Movement (AIM), the events at Oglala, and the infamous trial that followed.

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.82)
1 1
1.5 1
2 3
3 5
3.5 4
4 16
5 11

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,950,093 books! | Top bar: Always visible