©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)
Having never read the print version, I couldn't say.
I wouldn't change anything.
It's a compassionate and sympathetic reading. Like all audiobooks it can really express that 3rd or 1st person narrative in a way that reading print does not. There's less projection of the reader into the text.
I did not have an extreme reaction.
If a person is unfamiliar with the history of Native Americans and their relationship with the first generations of European settlers, this book is an absolute must-read. It is a history of peoples and societies utterly rent from lands lived upon for thousands of years, by a wholly alien invasion. It is sympathetic to aboriginal Americans, but certainly not unfair to the Europeans whose ingress unto the American continent meant the end of an epoch.
Those familiar with the history of Native American and early Europeans may find this book dated, and overly simplistic. Much progress has been made in telling the story of Native Americans since Brown published this book in 1970, but this criticism is really the ultimate compliment to an author and book that set a standard for examining US history with deep scrutiny, while challenging readers and fellow historians to dig deeper. In subsequent years, the body of literature about these topics has expanded exponentially and some of Browns most controversial theses are now accepted wildly, if not universally, but those who engage regularly with the problem of US History.
Black Kettle's forthright position, and his subsequent betrayal.
The book is a fine work. Although it feels like repetition in the accounts of the U.S. Army massacres, I suppose there is no other way to drive the point home in a brutally frank manner - the repetition in the book exists because the repetition in history exists - the
I've read this book twice so when I saw it in Audible I jumped at it. It did not disappoint for my third go around. Very engaging yet sad as to how we treated the Native peoples.
Dee Brown has written some other quality books, but he would deserve a reputation as one of the more readable historians on America's 19th century even if he had never written another word. A true classic, the perspective of which was long overdue when it appeared, this book was as moving for me this year - expertly narrated by Grover Gardner - as it was years ago when I first read it for myself. The shameful treatment of native-American tribes by officials of the federal government at the highest levels, and by the military, should be impossible for any decent person to defend - if considered from the native side. No one has ever presented that side as well as Brown. His research is wide-ranging and his writing is effective. This book is a true paradigm-shifter. No one with an interest in U.S. history should fail to read or hear it.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
Great book, even better book for those who enjoy learning about American history and even better for those who are interested in learning about how the Natives were raped, slaughtered and had their land stolen from them. I especially enjoyed how each chapter began with a brief time line of what was going on in terms of history and curent events during those specific years that the book is discussing. Excellent narrator too! He did a great job in reading this book and captivated the listener. There was so much great information in this book, I will definitely need to listen to it again just to try to digest everything.
I never knew what really happened to the Indians when they encountered the White man. They sure took it hard from the Military. I will be listening to this story again.
40 years after being written, it is still very relavant, and helpful to gain a historical perspective that is not commonly discussed in the mainstream. The book was well written, well read, and very specific, rather than having a pan-American Indian style of generalizing.
This book is full of many real life heroes, why pick only one.
I have had this book on my wish list of reads for years, and even bought a couple copies but never got around to it (as I don't have much time to sit down and read), but thanks to it being available on audiobook, I have finally listened to it, and was not dissapointed at all. I lost many nights sleep due to not being able to "put it down" (what is the listening version to that term?). I have no doubt that I will re-read/listen to this book a few more times in my life.
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!
"Beautiful inspiring history"
Beautiful book read very well. Full of irony and pathos. The famous names jump out to inject life into the words whilst the reminder of so many thousands of anonymous brave men and women who were simply trying to live their lives in their country!
"What an awesome story"
This is probably the best book I've read this year and I'm now searching to know more about the history of the native Indian Americans.
The book knitted together many different parts of the varied history of the push west, the treaties, the broken treaties, the bloodshed, the desire for peace and living together which never truly appeared until the Indian was virtually wiped off the map.
Grover Gadrner's reading was very effective and told a story rather than just read the book. It made for really good listening.
I couldn't listen to the book for more than an hour at a time it was so dreadfully sad but it fully engaged me each time and I wanted to listen to more, I didn't want the story to end. One of the sadest parts of the story was when soldiers hanged 38 Indians in one execution and they went to their deaths as if horrible and early death was an expected part of their lives. How horrible that we let this happen because of our greed.
"I learned so much"
Great yarn with lots of nuggets of interesting information. Loved the narrator too. Whilst it was great entertainment I found it very educational too.
"Sad, sad story"
The litany of Indian names give haunting beauty to this sad and illuminating story of their demise. Something everyone especially the Americans should know about.
Probably best not to read this book at a time when you need cheering up.
The author often quotes what the Indians said in conference with the US officials. But also what they said to one another, when no stenographer would have been present. So as a piece of history it would have been interesting to know more about the sources the author drew upon.
Similarly, more about the politics between the Indians would be interesting to know. They weren't always on good terms with each other, to put it mildly.
But I guess these are subjects for a different book.
"Back to School"
This was pretty dry, but that's understandable as it played out like a text book. It did get to the stage where you were like, "Can these poor guys not get a break?". The government either cheated the Indians into giving up land or promised them ownership only to take it away again.
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