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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian…
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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (original 1970; edition 1972)

by Dee Brown

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,347100917 (4.27)300
Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century uses council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions. Brown allows 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 ...… (more)
Member:bmusser
Title:Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Authors:Dee Brown
Info:Bantam Books (1972), Edition: 1st, Mass Market Paperback, 458 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (1970)

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    I Will Fight No More Forever: Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War by Merrill D. Beal (myshelves)
  2. 51
    Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost by Colin G. Calloway (eromsted)
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  3. 20
    The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West by Peter Cozzens (Cecrow)
  4. 10
    Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Jr. Vine Deloria (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Both are excellent overviews of US policy towards Native Americans.
  5. 10
    The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King (Cecrow)
  6. 10
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: A different perspective on the tragedy of the American West.
  7. 10
    Massacres in the jungle : Ixcán, Guatemala, 1975-1982 by Ricardo Falla-Sánchez (Muscogulus)
    Muscogulus: This book documents the systematic massacre of indigenous people in Guatemala in the more recent past.
  8. 00
    A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson (John_Vaughan)
  9. 00
    Son of the Morning Star by Evan S. Connell (John_Vaughan)
  10. 00
    Touch the Earth: A Self Portrait of Indian Existence by T. C. McLuhan (dypaloh)
    dypaloh: An oral history expressing what was lost to North America’s first peoples after dispossession from their lands and cultures. The voices are sometimes despondent but most always eloquent.
  11. 00
    A long and terrible shadow : white values, native rights in the Americas, 1492-1992 by Thomas R. Berger (caballer)
  12. 01
    Black Hills/White Justice: The Sioux Nation Versus the United States : 1775 to the Present by Edward Lazarus (dkohler52)
  13. 02
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    Artymedon: Black Elk was at Wounded Knee and reenacted Little Big Horn in Buffalo Bill's show.
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» See also 300 mentions

English (97)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Can’t say I have much pride in my country left. But a very well written book with important information to know. ( )
  anthrosercher | Jul 11, 2021 |
Remains powerful and yet its concerns remain unattended, unresolved these many years after written the republished ( )
  grimmerlaw | Jul 11, 2021 |
Absolutely fantastic book. Very educational and hard to read at times because of the terrible things the white men did to the Indians. Need to read again some time and use a map to locate all the places detailed in the book. ( )
  lexiej | Jun 27, 2021 |
Heartbreaking, mindset-shattering, eviscerating.

To get the positives out of the way first: Dee Brown's immense wealth of knowledge and research contributes to make Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee a detailed-yet-well-paced experience. Each chapter chronicles a particular battle, people, or plight, in rough chronological order. Without resorting to extensive flashbacks or appendices, Brown manages to create a sense of the West's treatment of Native Americans from colonisation to the particularly brutal 1800s, when genocide was effectively carried out.

Using transcripts, interviews and evidence from the time, Brown creates a moving portrait that shatters many myths which still resonate, and reminds us of the sins of such ground-level intolerance.

Admittedly, the book would've held more sway when first released, for a generation raised on WWII and '50s-era patriotism. Nowadays, we're more aware of the graphic nature of the treatment of the Native Americans, and so the book's heavy-handedness is particularly evident. Yet, it's easy to forget how marginalised this culture remains - in social understanding, in cultural portrayals, etc. With a pointedness approaching black humour, Brown opens each chapter with a detail of the more commonly-known 'great' events that occurred around the world concurrently with that particular act of one-sided warfare. The development of the telephone. The publication of all the great works of Romantic literature and art. The freaking Emancipation Proclamation! Yet here, in the very same country, an entire race - nay, many dozens of races - were being wiped out. It seems gauche to qualify levels of genocide, but this remains a particularly insidious one. Unlike the oligarchic genocide of the Nazis (where one feels as if removal of a few key figures would destabilise the structure), or the hereditary problems that plague, say, Israel and Palestine, this crime seems one of brutal, individual hatred. The most chilling massacres that Brown describes often occur simply because a few individuals decided - in a moment - they didn't care to be civil with these fellow human beings.

Bury My Heart is perhaps the pinnacle of pop history. In telling his tale exclusively from the other side, Brown weaves a manipulative, overly literary tale. Most of his characters are pure heroes, they speak entirely in riddles, and he pours on emotion like it was a John Williams soundtrack. At times, the academic and the writer in me cry out for some editing, perhaps some levity between the darkest moments, definitely the occasional examination of social and historical contexts that doesn't rely entirely on pandering to our heartstrings. Even when he does describe those white men who were sympathetic, or - as is always the case - seemed to find greater strength in "crossing over" to the Native side completely, Brown could give us more. It's fascinating to read of these men who married into tribes and basically lived with them, or of the young Native Americans who went to university and obtained degrees in the white man's world. But they only enter the narrative at the point when they become part of the bloodshed. What were their daily social patterns like? How did their friends and family respond to the change, and how did it affect the way they interacted in their respective new worlds? This would have been eminently more fascinating, but perhaps it's just outside the scope of Brown's aims.

Yet, this seems a cheap allegation to hurl at such a noble work. After all, where were the moments of levity during what was effectively a decades-long trench war? Where were the moments of tolerance? With each passing chapter, and each passing massacre, the book beats down any resistance you may have to the idea that there is goodness in the minds of men. It's not happy news, but if there's one area of history where that worldview needs to be accepted, it may just be here. ( )
  therebelprince | Jun 24, 2021 |
Once upon a time, when I was but a lowly volunteer ESL tutor, I remember trying to read this book one night while supervising a placement test--one of those cassette tape jobs, you know the type. I just had to be a body in the room, so I had a couple hours to read. That was my first and only attempt at reading Bury My Heart...I might have even started to nod off a couple times. It was during a time in my life where I desperately wanted to move to the Southwest and absolutely had to read everything I could on American Indian life, past and present, but I pretty much sucked at reading non-fiction at that point. And then I spent over a decade thinking, "Well, I'd like to revisit it one day, but..." and read a bunch of other stuff instead.

So I'm not entirely sure what made me pick this up *now*, but dang. Good choice. I am not entirely sure what proved a hurdle back then because I found it totally engaging. I did listen to it, and even though I am less fond of male readers, I liked the reading well enough. There were several passages I had to comb through with my own print copy though, just to make sure I was getting the order of events right. It is dense, but it is a pretty solid overview of the holocaust. It is biased, something I am generally skeptical of when reading non-fiction, but it should be. Brown's use of primary sources is formidable. It is a shame--a disgrace--these voices are hardly found in history classes. There was a lot of cursing and gut-churning going on while I listened, but I thought I could make it out with a dry eye. I was wrong.

The only drawback for me was the difficulty I found trying to keep everything straight. There's just so much information. In the future, I might keep more to books like [b:Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History|7648269|Empire of the Summer Moon Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History|S.C. Gwynne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1395176404s/7648269.jpg|10199919] for the context and depth of looking at individuals and tribes. Still. This is not to be missed.

Fucking haoles, man. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dee Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Degner, HelmutTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knipscheer, JosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sides, HamptonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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)
Dedication
For Nicolas Brave Wolf
First words
It began with Christopher Columbus, who gave the people the name Indios.
Quotations
Americans who have always looked westward when reading about this period should read this book facing eastward.
Now they were all good Indians.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century uses council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions. Brown allows 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 ...

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