I would recommend this book. The story brings an understanding as to how and why the country and all citizens got to where we are today. There is a lot of heart break and a lot of greed that is disturbing. Historically we need to understand.
There were many
I can't say I had a favorite scene as there are so many historical battles that I wished never happened. All are good to know and understand.
I have read a lot on Indian history but for some reason never read this book - published in the 70's! I found it moving and it made me better understand the Indian culture and the hardships they endured. I think our taking of land was to say the least, uneducated. I can't help but wonder how the US would have developed if we had chosen to learn from and partner with the Native Americans. Where would we be if we had better cared for all people, the environment, forests and animals from the beginning of America's settling?
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, by Dee Brown, and narrated By Grover Gardner. I first read the history in the late 1970s. I had to stop before I finished the complete paperback. Too much sorrow. But its poignancy remained in my mind these last 30 years. So it was time to go to the book again. This time on Audible.
Bury My Heart explains the North American Indians realized the white migrants to their land were far too numerous to withstand. So, as nations, they entered into treaties to provide themselves the opportunity to live in peace and preserve some of their traditional life. But the Americans treated the original natives as being less than human. Each treaty promise, and in fact any promise made was never given the slightest necessity to be upheld by the white settlers, their military or the political government. Not even flags of truce. More than once when a parley was asked for under a white flag, it was but an opportunity for the military to murder the peace seeking emissaries. The attitude was ever present that since these were mere Indians they could be lied to, detested, blamed without cause, abused; all done in the name of the superiority of the European genetics and a methodology for taking the bounty of the land from the aboriginal natives. The tragedy is only multiplied because those tribesmen from the Iroquois, to the Cherokee, to the Sioux, to the Apache, to the Arapaho and all the others were obligated in their own moral ethos to adhere to their word and expected the great white fathers/settlers to do the same.
The settler’s lack of compunction against killing a Native American, whether a warrior, a woman, a child or an elderly is now unfathomable. When a native was found they were butchered, for any or no reason at all. The truth is, according to Dee Brown, we, the European Americans, were no better then, than Isis in today’s world. Doesn’t that surprise you? Some examples: At the Battle of Sand Creek on November 29, 1864, U.S. Army Colonel John Chivington, a Methodist preacher, freemason, and opponent of slavery set out to kill any and every Indian he could find with a 700-man force of Colorado Territory militia. In the morning hours he attacked and destroyed a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapaho in the southeastern Colorado Territory. His direction and undertaking was to kill and should you wish mutilate, any found Indian. An estimated 70–163 Native Americans, about two-thirds of whom were women and children were murdered. The village men were off hunting. This was not a tragedy by error, it was an intended slaughter, notwithstanding a treaty between the U.S. and the nation to which the village inhabitants belonged to. The whites had a manifest destiny and that permitted not obeying their Treaty obligations. The Indians did not have the same option. In the end, they just needed to be murdered because they were “savages,” according to the Colonel. Then there was General Philip Sheridan who in the Winter Campaign of 1868–69 attacked the Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes in their winter quarters, taking their supplies and livestock and killing those who resisted, driving the rest back into their reservations for no other reason than they were Indians. The Indians left the reservation because the promised lands did not provide wildlife to hunt or livestock to manage, were un-farmable and in most cases the U.S. Congress never authorized funds for meeting its commitments to supply the Treaties’ obligations to the Indian nations with promised supplies. Congress promised but never authorized. When the starving Indians left the reservation to trap food, the American whites claimed a treaty violation and the right to punish the nation for its attempts in derogation of the Treaties. General Sheridan’s two famous quotes are, (1) “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead," and (2) "Let them [the railroad agents] kill, skin and sell until the buffalo is exterminated."
Should you think I have given away the tragedies in the story? Fear not. Bury My Heart has at least a dozen and a half more embarrassments to tell you about.
The Indian nations left us two moral standards which we continue with today and which have become an essential part of our ethos. A man’s word is his bond and we are all humans benefiting from our gracious earth. Because they believed in a man’s word, they succumbed to the treachery of the latter half of the 19th Century American double crossing land grabs, gold diggers, and American politicians.
At least, though, they left us the values of humanity and preservation of our earth. I finished the book this time. An easy read, yet a difficult chore.
First of all, I'd listen to Grover Gardner read the back of a cereal box. The story was heartbreaking; a telling of how the greed of our nation wiped out the indigenous peoples of this country.
Yes, I was better able to listen to the story than to read the book. It was emotionally difficult for me to read on paper and I'd failed twice before to get through the book.
I felt like I was watching a war movie. Highly informative, though sad.
The character who I continue to think about is Mangas Coloradas. I was crushed at how violently and disrespectfully he was tortured and killed.
I was moved each and every time the book mentioned a chief being killed, land being stolen and sold for nearly nothing and the murders and mutilation of women and children.
Gut-wrenching information, but imperative to know this true history of the U.S.
It makes me doubly sad to watch present day news where men like Trump shows no respect or regard for history. Noone can turn back time, but please don't forget that history happened. Have a heart, my friends.
The material is solid and well researched, so would likely READ the book than listen to it.
As mentioned, the material is very interesting, though sad. I would look for more from this author.
To be frankly honest, hated the narration of this title. It was speed reading, and just rifling though the material. I would have preferred a Native American Indian reading this at a slower pace and with more personal investment in the material.
I have mixed feeling about this audio title. Felt it was not read well and the material was presented in a fact after fact manner. It was as if this was college text book.