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One Thousand White Women | [Jim Fergus, J. Will Dodd (introduction)]

One Thousand White Women

One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who travel to the Western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians.
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Publisher's Summary

One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the Western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians.

The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world.

Toward that end, May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetimes.

Author Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.

©1998 Jim Fergus; (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"Fergus lets his imagination go wild and creates a journal of one of his ancestors who became one of those brides in 1875. Laura Hicks renders this imaginative work splendidly. She is vivacious and expressive as May Dodd." (Audiofile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (676 )
5 star
 (256)
4 star
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3 star
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Overall
3.9 (409 )
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4.1 (403 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tracy Alberta, AB, Canada 04-29-12
    Tracy Alberta, AB, Canada 04-29-12 Member Since 2008

    Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One interesting woman is better than one thousand!"

    I expected the everyday details between the white women and the Native Americans these women had chosen to marry as their lives moved forward. Instead there is not much conversation at all in this book, context is taken from "journals" written by one of the woman. There were some dramatic moments, funny situations and characters that made me laugh, it is just too bad more character development or time was not spent to make the novel much more interesting. I would start to care about certain characters, but then the story would curve and we would never hear much about that person again. The novel seemed very unrealistic, and as if it had huge holes in it. I would not recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin San Acacio, CO 09-23-11
    Robin San Acacio, CO 09-23-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Journal Unbelievable"

    While I think the premise of the story was good, it was obvious to me that in parts it was a man's fantasy imagining a woman's fantasy which I found a little insulting.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marybeth Dailey 05-16-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty good book"

    This book is an okay listen. The main character annoyed me with her superior attitude. She was always the best, the prettiest, the wittiest, the toughest....the best at everything. You also wonder which parts of this story are "historic" and which ones are "fiction." I think that what they say about an Indian leader going to Washington to offer this deal is true, but some were even questioning if that part even happened. It is interesting to listen to and if one narrator read this which I think she did, then she did a great job with voices/accents. You want to keep reading to see what happens to these women once they marry the Indian tribe members. It is a good book. Nothing to write home about. Not super eloquent,but entertaining.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly silver spring, MD, USA 03-29-08
    Beverly silver spring, MD, USA 03-29-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Enjoyable listen"

    I listened because my book club selected it but it was a pleasant surprise...engaging, would recommmend it. The cowboys vs the indians from another point of view...

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Mount Vernon, NY, United States 08-16-11
    Diane Mount Vernon, NY, United States 08-16-11 Member Since 2008
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    "one thousand white women"

    All I can say is that I am from those white women. I grew up in Nebraska. I was surprised there was no mention of the rattle snakes. They were always all over the place. It is such a rugged territory. Back then, just as the book says, it was "uncivilized". No porta-potties." anywhere to be seen.

    I am grateful to have spent my youth there. I am now 65 years old. This book did, indeed help me to know and understand , not only my own beginnings, but how the United States came to be. Not all of it swathed in honor.

    Thanks, a good book and a good listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 08-17-09
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 08-17-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Already Knew American Indians Are Not Savages"

    The continuing theme appears to be "American white women are feisty, gritty and capable; American Indians are quiet, strong and mostly not savage." The story in this book revolves around the journal of a 19th century white woman who escapes a mental institution (where she has so very unjustly been incarcerated) and joins a dozen or so other hearty-adventurer women to become wives of "savages" and bring them into the warm arms of "civilization" through the children they will bear with them. Got that? While accomplishing these not-small tasks this young woman also keeps (through storm, attacks, vagabond treks) a very detailed journal (of course, because how could we have this story without it) written in everlasting-pencil. Okay, I admit I found this a bit over the edge of believability, but even though I was incredulous, I was interested enough to persevere and finish this book. I decided (after the decision that the book is unbelievable fiction) that I was enjoying the story. I like science fiction sometimes, too, and never need to think it is believable, so why not historical fiction? There we have it again - a book I rate at three stars just 'cause it was a darned good story.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Dargis Fulton, MD USA 09-24-09
    Julie Dargis Fulton, MD USA 09-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not worthwhile"

    Don't waste your time. I gave it one star because they won't let you give zero stars. I read this book because it was this month's book for our book club. When we met it was clear that no one enjoyed it and even the person who had suggested it to the club was perplexed as to why it was highly rated. It is more like a romance novel, and not a good one at that, than an historical fiction. The writing was weak. He had limited descriptive range, for example, every time he talks about an indian they are "nut brown" and one character is always "a sight to behold" There was no subtlety.
    I wouldn't even take this one as a beach read

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Rogue River, OR, United States 12-29-07
    Linda Rogue River, OR, United States 12-29-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The premise was good,"

    the book was not. This could have been an interesting historical novel. It was written like a bad romance with unlikely characters. There is an unusual amount of repitition of scenes and lines. I couldn't decide if it was poor writing or poor editing. Definitly not for anyone interested in the history of Native Americans.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 05-17-14
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 05-17-14 Member Since 2007

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "predictable, but enjoyable"

    Generally I really enjoyed this fictional messianic tale of a group of white women traded to the "savages" in the 1870s to assimilate them to the white culture. The story is told through the journal/diary of May Dodd, who became the de facto leader among the white women on this journey. It kept my interest, and while I predicted the ending early in the book, I still enjoyed the trip to get there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela York, PA, United States 12-16-13
    Angela York, PA, United States 12-16-13 Member Since 2010

    Angel

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    "ode to the modern woman"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Well written from the perspective of a strong female.


    Which character – as performed by Laura Hicks and Erik Steele – was your favorite?

    Both did an excellent job of reading and performing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wish I could have read it all in one setting...the read was so engaging.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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