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 Brownfocused attention on a national disgrace. Still controversial but with many of its premises now accepted,Bury My Heart at Wounded Kneehas 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
"Their manners are decorous and praiseworthy" -- Long walk of the Navahos -- Little Crow's war -- War comes to the Cheyennes -- Powder River invasion -- Red Cloud's war -- "The only good indian is a dead indian" -- Rise and fall of Donehogawa -- Cochise and the Apache guerrillas -- Ordeal of Captain Jack -- War to save the buffalo -- War for the Black Hills -- Flight of the Nez Percés -- Cheyenne exodus -- Standing Bear becomes a person -- "The Utes must go!" -- Last of the Apache chiefs -- Dance of the ghosts -- Wounded knee.
Weight of evidence builds to the sad but inescapable conclusion of Wounded Knee. Brown lays to rest any romantic notions of misunderstood white paternalism toward Native Americans, and leaves the reader feeling the immutable burden of a race war against the Native Americans that was akin to that against black slaves. The saddest part is that nothing can be done to change or redeem the history. No amount of sorrow, or guilt-feeling, or even reparations can restore justice. &nb … more
I originally read this book back in my freshman year of college for an American history class. I wasn't expecting or prepared for what I read. I was, perhaps naively, expecting something dry, a typical historical text. What I read was something passionate, powerful and even life-changing. I'd always considered myself sympathetic to the plight of the original American Indians, but the story Dee Brown tells, backed up by facts, historical records and personal … more
What an awesome alternate history compilation. Anyone who wants to see the other side of the Old West, the other side of cowboys and indians, this is a must read. It's a bit slanted against the white-man, but none more than traditional American history has been slanted for the white-man. They say the victors write the history books; well this book is a victory for the other side.
The strength of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" is also its weakness: Its commitment to telling an ugly truth about American history so searing as to become numbing after a while. It's impossible to consider fairly this, Dee Brown's 1971 examination of the Indian Wars of the American West, without remembering how much it cut against what was then still the mainstream thinking and literature regarding just what happened. The Indians were often bloodthirsty, it was alleged, … more
I have never before read a book like this. It is utterly fascinating, a real page turner, and yet it makes you ashamed of something that happened many years before your birth. Ashamed because you know that similar things are happening elsewhere in the world, and ashamed becuase we never seem to learn from our mistakes.On a lighter note this is a meticulous essay on a life long lost, and country unspoiled and beautiful, and a world we will never be lucky enough to know.If you only read one book in … more