In the best-selling tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, this is the untold story of Red Cloud, the most powerful Indian commander of the Plains who witnessed the opening of the West.
The great Oglala Sioux chief Red Cloud was the only Plains Indian to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the American government to sue for peace in a conflict named for him. At the peak of their chief’s powers, the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States. But unlike Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, or Geronimo, the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, his incredible story can finally be told.
Born in 1821 in what is now Nebraska, Red Cloud grew up an orphan who overcame myriad social disadvantages to advance in Sioux culture. Through fearless raids against neighboring tribes, like the Crow and Pawnee, he acquired a reputation as the best leader of his fellow warriors, catapulting him into the Sioux elite - and preparing him for the epic struggle his nation would face with an expanding United States. Drawing on a wealth of evidence that includes Red Cloud’s 134-page autobiography, lost for nearly a hundred years, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin bring their subject to life again in a narrative that climaxes with Red Cloud’s War - a conflict whose massacres presaged the Little Bighorn and ensured Red Cloud’s place in the pantheon of Native American legends.
A story as big as the West, with portraits of General William Tecumsah Sherman, explorer John Bozeman, mountain man Jim Bridger, Red Cloud protégé Crazy Horse, and many others, The Heart of Everything That Is not only places you at the center of the conflict over western expansion, but finally gives our nation’s greatest Indian war leader the modern-day recognition he deserves.
©2013 Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio
This was an excellent read!
“The Heart of Everything That Is” provides the reader an insight into the lives of the Native Americans as never heard before. Clavin/Drury do an excellent job of telling (most) of the story thru the eyes of these brave and noble people as their land is stolen from them and their people are forced to live where the whites say. It was fascinating to learn about the Indian culture without candy-coating their actions and using Hollywood as the yardstick for which to measure them. They were far from savage; noble, brave, gallant, courageous.
Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Old Man Afraid of his Horses and countless others are the true heros of the frontier by defending what was already theirs. It was interesting to understand how the Indians interacted within their tribes and with other (Indian) communities, and it was fascinating to learn how they lived and fought whether or not it was against other Indians or the Whites. And it was difficult to comprehend the true history of the United States as the chapters unfold and the white soldiers continue to take.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The even-flow from page to page and chapter to chapter along with the easy to listen narration by George Newbern made this 2-part down load any easy selection for a second read in the coming weeks. We as Americans owe a great deal to the Natives who were here before us and we have Clavin/Drury to thank for sharing this small part of their valiant history.
Yes, I most certainly would because there is some much history about the American West.
Crazy Horse. I was born in Nebraska and have always been interested in Indian History.
No I have not listened to George Newbern's before but he did a wonderful job and I would enjoy listening to him again.
I am now a big fan of Audible books and plan on hearing more as time permits.
The narration is great, the historical narrative is terrific. This is one I'll be coming back to.
This book brings the listener/reader back to the old west. It gives the listener/reader the viewpoints of both sides in the struggle and helps you to see things from both vantage points equally well.
Say something about yourself!
When an unstoppable force (aka the white man) meets an immoveable object (aka the American Indian). Vae Victis...
Well-researched and presented piece of American history that does not take sides, but rather presents the battles between the savage efficiency of the Oglala Sioux and a technologically advanced U.S. government. Chief Red Cloud realized early in his life that the government treatise "existed on paper and dissolved on the ground," and refused to continue meeting with the U.S. government, saying he would continue instead, to fight their encroachment on his people's sacred grounds. Considered by historians as the greatest American Indian military strategist, Red Cloud was able to analyze the U.S. soldiers fighting style and their conditions, and use the knowledge to his tactical advantage to fight for the Indian way of life. In his later years, after a life of battles and meetings with the government, Red Cloud knew his people and their life style was no match for the empire-minded white man; the bow and arrow no match for guns that fired multiple bullets.
Similar to Empire of the Summer Moon, but focused on Chief Red Cloud as opposed to a tribe of American Indians. I found the read fascinating, but definitely brutal. After reading dozens of books about the American Indians, a favorite subject of mine, this is the first time I have had the authors actually explain the reason for such savage butchery.
I read the Autobiography of Red Cloud (by R. Eli Paul) about a dozen years ago, told by Red Cloud to different journalists, writers, etc., (which would be a good companion read to this book) but found this one better organized and the better view into life in the American West from both sides on the great plains in the mid 1800's. Don't miss if this is a subject you are interested in--the information is riveting and the narration/production very good.
An excellent history of the Sioux peoples and its transformation as a nation from other native nations and then the jugernaut of US migration west. Red Cloud has slipped between the historical figures of the time (I had never heard of him) but really deserves a prominent spot in the history books. The story is told with compelling and interesting narrative.
Good material about Red Cloud. Sometimes it seemed to get focused on the different pale face military individuals.
How that Lincoln has been portrayed as the great emancipator but did nothing for the original owners of the USA.
The extermination of the great American Bison.
The first & only book I have read (listened to) that explained the Native People's point of view & the extraordinary lengths the US government went to in order to steal their land & practically exterminate them like the buffalo.
I would recommend that a friend read this book rather than listen to it. I was struck with this book, more than any other, how much the narrator interprets the voice of the author as he reads the written page. I read the comments of other readers about the mispronunciations throughout the book, but I was struck by how disrespectful it felt to American Indians that the publisher/editor did nothing to correct them. Surely someone who is being paid to read a history book can take the time to look at the pronunciation key in the dictionary before reading aloud. More than the pronunciation, the tone, and inflection of the narrator felt even more slanted as I listened. Perhaps, had I read the book, I would have attributed this to the author. I guess I will never know.
I have not.
I am partial to George Guidol and Scott Brick, but I would like to have heard this one read by an American Indian narrator.
I do not think this story lends itself to a movie, though I'd like to see a Ken Burns series that explores the history of the many treaties and violations of treaties that have taken place in our country.
I am not sorry I listened to this book, just that it left me unsatisfied with the treatment of what I consider an important piece of American history.
Author seemed quite biased against the US government while shrugging off the extremely violent acts of the Indians.
Warriors on both sides, always good to learn how our great nation was born.
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