Picture of author.

Richard Erdoes (1912–2008)

Author of American Indian Myths and Legends

35+ Works 5,130 Members 50 Reviews

About the Author

Richard Erdoes traveled a long way from his birthplace in Vienna, Austria, to become a prominent writer on Native American issues and the Indian Civil Rights Movement. Born on July 7, 1912 into an artistic family, Erdoes moved to the United States where he lived and worked as a magazine illustrator show more and photographer. While visiting an American Indian reservation, Erdoes was shocked and outraged at conditions he found there. Although Erdoes had illustrated many books during his long career, the first illustrated work of his own dealing with Native Americans was The Pueblo Indians (1967). While doing a painting and portfolio for Life magazine on a Sioux Indian Reservation Erdoes met an old medicine man that asked him to write his biography. This resulted in Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions (1971). Erdoes lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he writes, paints, and is active in Native American issues. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Richard Erodes, Richard Erdoes

Image credit: courtesy of Erich Erdoes

Works by Richard Erdoes

American Indian Myths and Legends (1984) 2,417 copies, 20 reviews
Lakota Woman (1990) 1,219 copies, 16 reviews
Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions (1972) 563 copies, 3 reviews
American Indian Trickster Tales (1998) 260 copies, 1 review
A.D. 1000: Living on the Brink of Apocalypse (1988) 215 copies, 4 reviews
Legends and Tales of the American West (1991) 149 copies, 1 review
Saloons of the Old West (1979) 50 copies, 1 review
A picture history of ancient Rome (1965) 28 copies, 2 reviews
De mémoire indienne (1972) — Author — 18 copies, 1 review
The Green Tree House (1965) 7 copies

Associated Works

Butcher's Crossing (1960) — Cover artist, some editions — 1,724 copies, 64 reviews
Come Over to My House (1966) — Illustrator, some editions — 550 copies, 7 reviews
Ohitika Woman (1993) 205 copies
Growing Up Native American (1993) — Contributor — 169 copies, 1 review

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Birthdate
1912-07-07
Date of death
2008-07-16
Burial location
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Gender
male
Nationality
Austria
USA
Birthplace
Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Wikipedia)
Vienna, Austria (obituary and book jackets)
Place of death
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Places of residence
Vienna, Austria
Berlin, Germany
Paris, France
London, England, UK
New York, New York, USA
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Education
Berlin Academy of Art (studies interrupted fled the Nazi regime)
Kunstgewerbeschule (now University of Applied Arts, Vienna)
Occupations
illustrator
photographer
Awards and honors
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University (his archive)
Short biography
Richard Erdoes was born July 7, 1912, in Vienna, Austria. He studied art in Vienna, Berlin, and Paris. While working as a free-lance illustrator, he came to America as a refugee fleeing from the Nazis. In New York he met his future wife, Jean Sternbergh. She was an art director at Time, Inc., and she had contacted him to illustrate a book for her. For thirty years he made his living as a magazine illustrator and photographer. He had many travel assignments that took him and his family to the American West. In 1970 he accidentally got into serious writing when a writer with whom he was on assignment became ill, and he had to write the story for him. He found writing so rewarding that it became his focus. His books have been translated and published in eight foreign countries.

Members

Reviews

I suppose since this autobiography by Mary Ellen Moore-Richard (Crow Dog / Brave Bird), a Lakota / Sioux Native-American (9/26/1954 – 2/14/2013) and co-author, Richard Erdoes (7/7/1912 – 7/16/2008), a journalist of European extraction, is some 16 or 17 years old (c. 1990), a college text book, and the basis of a Jane Fonda produced 1994 movie, that most folks already know about this autobiography of a Lakota Indian from the Rosebud Reservation of South Dakota, or perhaps know of her activities from news reports of the 1970’s. . .but maybe not.
I appreciated the clinical writing style that allowed me to learn on a cerebral, rather than emotional, level about the conditions with which Mary Crow Dog lived at the Rosebud Reservation in the 1960-s and 70’s that led her, at the age of 10, to indulge in alcohol; as a young adult, to leave, giving up the fight to retain her dignity and cultural identity, the Catholic school that she’d been forced to attend (compliments of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie); to subsequently live for a time as an impoverished delinquent; and then, still a teenager, to become a key player in the American Indian Movement (AIM) protestations. She describes in detail the 1973 Wounded Knee Incident, during which she gave birth to her first son—less afraid of the many flying bullets, than a trip to a hospital from which she’d seen too many pregnant Native American women return infertile instead of with new babies.
On a lighter note, of particular interest are the descriptions of the role of the Medicine Man as not only a healer, but also a religious and political leader.
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Flagged
TraSea | 15 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
2.5 stars

It was interesting to learn about the Sioux people - their culture and history, etc. However, this book is more political rhetoric than memoir. Crow Dog recounts events from growing up in the 1960s and 1970s on a reservation. The book was published in 1990, so the nearness of events likely has influenced her opinions about race, which are quite generalized and unfair.

She attended a Catholic school, and during those times, Catholic schools were very strict (and unbiblical!) in their approach to education.

"[The beatings at school] had such a bad effect upon me that I hated and mistrusted every white person on sight, because I met only one kind. It was not until much later that I met sincere white people I could relate to and be friends with. Racism breeds racism in reverse." p 34

I cringe when I read this type of thing being perpetuated by people who are supposed to love others in response to God's love for them, but we can't change the past. We can only apologize that it ever happened, and attempt to do better going forward.

However, while I understand the sentiment of hating the people who hate you, I feel it's an illogical, and immature, position to hold as an adult. More racism will never right the original racism - it only keeps the cycle going.

And for all her talk of meeting "sincere" white people and becoming friends with them, she still seems to hate whites. Her assumptions about white people are terribly incorrect in many ways, and she made blanket, derogatory statements about whites on nearly every other page. Whenever the tiniest thing went wrong in her life, she always found a way to blame whites for it.

She also had strong statements to make about "half-bloods," whom she doesn't view as being "real" Indians - despite the fact that she is actually half-white herself! She sees herself as being a special exception; she considers herself a "whole-blood" because she practices the traditional religion of the Sioux.

She kept saying how brave she was and how everyone kept telling her she was brave during the American Indian Movement (AIM) stand at Wounded Knee, when she was 8 months pregnant, eventually giving birth there. In reality, she was selfish and immature. I was appalled at her failure to protect her unborn child. She tells how one day the government declared a cease-fire so that the women and children could leave, unharmed, but she decides to stay, stating, "If I'm going to die, I'm going to die here... I have nothing to live for out there." p 132

She also states, "One morning.... the feds opened [gunfire] upon me... some of the shots barely missed... all the men were overprotective, worrying about me." p 133

I certainly wouldn't consider that overprotective!

The timeline was very frustrating - Crow Dog kept jumping back and forth between multiple timeframes, without giving references so readers knew where she was in the story. In addition to all of this, there are also several sexual details given and quite a bit of language.

I've read that some of her historical reporting is not accurate, though I don't know it that's true or not. I would be interested in reading other accounts from Native American Indians to see how their accounts of the same time differed or remained the same.
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Flagged
RachelRachelRachel | 15 other reviews | Nov 21, 2023 |
Really great. I loved this book.
 
Flagged
k6gst | Jul 17, 2023 |
This collection is composed of stories from a wide variety of tribes. They're organized based on common themes (including but not limited to creation, war, and trickery), but each is different & interesting in its own way. Some are more humorous, some are more serious, but I enjoyed them all.
1 vote
Flagged
brp6kk | 19 other reviews | Jan 9, 2022 |

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Works
35
Also by
5
Members
5,130
Popularity
#4,862
Rating
4.0
Reviews
50
ISBNs
103
Languages
11

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