©1970 Dee Brown; Preface 2000 by Dee Brown; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking....Impossible to put down." (New York Times)
"Shattering, appalling, compelling....One wonders...who indeed were the savages." (Washington Post)
I have been in my "Native American" reading phase and usually I read a lot of historical fiction to learn about cultures. But because this is actually part of MY culture (so says the family tree, though nothing I've grown up with and not obvious by looking at my generation) I thought I would check out some actual history. I am tentative when reading history - it can be so boring. That's why I like historical fiction.
This book was not as "good" or interesting or readable as, say, David McCullough, but really, that's a pretty high standard. This is what I can say about the book - I am glad I listened to it or I might not have finished. But I DID listen to it, and sometimes rewound to listen again if I got lost in the bunch of names. THEN when I went on to read (and listen to) other books about the same people and era, I recognized a lot of what was going on...so even though it wasn't as "fun" to read as fictionalized accounts, I did actually learn. And cry at the end...THAT never happened in school history class!
It sounds like the narrator is on fast forward! Very unpleasant to listen to!
Read this book years ago and loved the history but could not lisdsten to narrator, he was so abrasive. Very dissapointed.
Audio Addict! Usually listening to History these days. Love Will Durant most of all authors!
If I had to pick one book that every human being should read, this is it!
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is beautifully written. The book isn't centered around Wounded Knee, instead it tells the painful history of the many Native American tribes during our nation's early years.
The author does an OUTSTANDING job of using the words of the native Americans themselves, thus giving them a voice that is seldom heard! I must admit that my pride in my country has been lessened by reading this book. The broken promises, lies and greed of the founders of our nation is devastating. The absurd ideology of Manifest Destiny demonstrates a nation of tremendous greed and unjust entitlement. In the end, our policies and treatment of the native Americans amounted to centuries of persecution and mass ethnic-cleansing,
Please don't let my opinion of the events shade the book itself!! Brown doesn't overdramatize the events and stories in the book. This book isn't an opinion piece or editorial. The writing style is very straightforward and fact-oriented. That is what makes it so powerful and important. The events and stories speak for themselves. There were good and bad on both sides. This book provides historical context and perspective.
Exceptional audio performance. This is an award worthy performance for the great Grover Gardner!
The saddest thing is that it doesn't feel like the policies and treatment of Native Americans have changed much. We fought to the death for the abolition of slavery and civil rights of black Americans and women. Why didn't we fight for Native American rights as well? Why are native Americans treated differently?
I'm very thankful that I listened to this book. I wish there were more books about native Americans and their circumstances up to the present day.
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.
I had read the book a long time ago and thought it was very good - and a cautionary tale on "American Greatness"
So when the Audible version showed up in a 3 for 2 sale I decided to give it a listen.
Very powerful - and sad tale of how we so brutally destroyed Anerican Indians - both good and bad
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.
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