A true classic of American history, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. 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 in their won 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, this book changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.
Book Review: ★★★★★★
This is a book that I first came across in the movie format. I happened to be watching television one insomnia filled night — and I tuned in at about half way through. Even the movie was a gripping story. As I was watching the credits, I found out that it was based on the book. Needless to say, I went out the next day to try and locate it. I am sure glad that I did.
This is a heartbreaking story in so many ways. I was most captivated, however, at the plight of the main character, Dr. Eastman. Sent to a white school, and forced to abandon his tribe, beliefs, and traditions, he became the epitome of what the ideal “Indian” could become — at least in the white man’s perspective. I was so intrigued by his struggle, not only culturally, but personally as well. Walking a line between cultures, and never being truly accepted in either world; Dr. Eastman became a spokesman for the Native Americana’s, while still trying to maintain his identity as a tribe member. The whole while the tribe saw him as a traitor, an Indian, turned white man — that could not fit within his own culture. His story is powerfully portrayed in this book — and it provides a great insight into some of the greatest crimes ever committed against the Native American nations.
Further, it presents the history that ultimately lead to the tragedy of the Wounded Knee slaughter. The pain, misunderstanding, suffering, starvation, and fight for personal, as well as cultural identity all lead to an amazing story of not only the saga of the making of the American West, and the downfall of the Native American nations — but it is also an intimate look into the failure of nations in inter-relations — and the sacrifice of culture that results when nations divide.
This is a powerful history, and one that should not only not be forgotten, but it should be studied, and ultimately understood. Its power, and significance still carries importance today — and the value of the history presented applies not only to nations as a whole, but to individuals that make up the nations — particularly when those nations find themselves at odds with each other.
For more information about this book, and its author be sure to visit the following websites:
When you buy a product (not just books – any product), via one of my links, The Book Worm’s Library earns income from the sale and as always, it’s much appreciated as all affiliate income is used to support the blog by contributing to giveaways, postage, travel, and attending book industry related events. We appreciate all those that help to support our blog, and have provided links below for the direct links to this book.
Thank you Kaye. I really loved this book as well. It really had a lot to think about — and it really left me as a reader changed!
Leave a Reply
Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be. — Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha