Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life

The Civilization of the American Indian Series
Narrated by: John Burlinson
Length: 25 hrs and 48 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Crazy Horse was as much feared by tribal foes as he was honored by allies. His war record was unmatched by any of his peers, and his rout of Custer at the Little Bighorn reverberates through history. Yet so much about him is unknown or steeped in legend. 

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life corrects older, idealized accounts - and draws on a greater variety of sources than other recent biographies - to expose the real Crazy Horse: not the brash Sioux warrior we have come to expect but a modest, reflective man whose courage was anchored in Lakota piety. Kingsley M. Bray has plumbed interviews of Crazy Horse’s contemporaries and consulted modern Lakotas to fill in vital details of Crazy Horse’s inner and public life. 

Bray places Crazy Horse within the rich context of the 19th-century Lakota world. He reassesses the war chief’s achievements in numerous battles and retraces the tragic sequence of misunderstandings, betrayals, and misjudgments that led to his death. Bray also explores the private tragedies that marred Crazy Horse’s childhood and the network of relationships that shaped his adult life. 

To this day, Crazy Horse remains a compelling symbol of resistance for modern Lakotas. Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life is a singular achievement, scholarly and authoritative, offering a complete portrait of the man and a fuller understanding of his place in American Indian and United States history. 

The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2006 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

What listeners say about Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life

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Very Good

Was a very good and informative telling of the life of a Man who was an inspiration to the Lakota people. It cleared up a lot of folk tales and presented him in a new light. The narrator did a very god jog keeping you involved in the story. I received a free copy of the book in return for an unbiased review.

2 people found this helpful

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Loads of info

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author. There was a lot of detailed information in this book. For some unknown reason, I had a hard time focusing on the book and therefore did not grasp everything. It was not boring however. This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( John Burlinson ). The audio quality was not good. It sounded like he was in a can and there was static background noise. His narration style was pretty good for this content. There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review. Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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I learned so much!

An account so detailed that you could recreate the battle scenes if you wanted to!

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Sing-song presentation, Arrogant style. Offensive.

I attempted to listen to this book several times. Each time I could not stand the narrator for more than five minutes. His nasal voice and strange tempo, inappropriate inflection, unrecognizable accent and delivery felt like I was listening to a person struggling with English trying to read a children's book. I cannot judge the contents of this selection because if the above mentioned narration and the fact that the author critically attacked a previous book on Crazy Horse unmercifully in the first chapter. The author's " My book is so much better" attitude is antithetical to the subject and offensive to people familiar with the culture of The Lakota people generally and The Oglala specifically.

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try to not fall asleep

I really enjoyed this book it has a lot of details that I had not heard before. The narrator was the drawback to this whole book. I like narrators that that can keep me intrigued in the story. I could have named a number of a better narrator.

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Terrific! I've been a follower of Crazy Horse.

Much better than Sandoz's book. Crazy Horse was a true, genuine hero to his people.

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Excellent

This book goes into great detail about the life of Crazy Horse. Fascinating and full of action and drama.

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Informative, Rewarding, Painful

I was prepared for the worst, a 25 hour slog through pointless detail. And while I think the Audible version could have benefited from a PDF with photos of the individuals spoken of, maps depicting the battles and topography described, family trees showing the relationships between the main relations with Crazy Horse, more attention on the commercial and military motives of the Americans from within the boardrooms, caravans and army forts, and a bit more attention to editing words that were doubled during narration (which happened about 4 or 5 times and are typically caught and edited before a final release), I enjoyed this Audible book on several levels. First, it was informative without being a hagiography. Effort was made to piece together the truth, and when that was not certain, to make a better attempt at supporting the truth as it was likely to be so based on testimonies. There was a serious effort not to be led astray by irrelevant story lines attached to ahistorical agendas. Aside from the historical advantage of this, there are lessons to be learned not only about the Lakota and their battles with other Tribes and the Americans; there are lessons we all can learn about out own conflicts with other cultures, tribes, court, gangs and points of view. And while the message could be that "might makes right" as it ended up being for the American Army, the destruction described in this book seemed so unnecessary. The message could as easily have been a warning to carefully consider the role and timing of compromise and the maintenance of good relations, rather than seeking always to negotiate from strength as a means to share and live together peacefully. To teach this lesson, the book traced Crazy Horse from his formative youth as "Curly Hair" living in a land largely untouched by foreign influence , to the end of his life as he resisted the one "red line" he thought his acquiescence to American hegemony would prevent his crossing to, captivity. When all is lost, the one thing we must be allowed to retain is our sense of freedom. This was one compromise too far for him, and resisting captivity led to his death at the hands of an American soldier. The second thing I noticed was how similar in historical structure the experiences of the Lakota were to those of my own People, that of the Nation of Israel during the battles with Roman and Greek powers that led to the destruction and exodus from our Land, the latest time being about 2000 years ago. Through the study of the works of Josephus, and later the recounting of what happened in the Talmud, many of the stories were similar and the motive of free practice of our culture was identical to Crazy Horse's. Just as with us, the Lakota had those who wished to compromise and those who wished to fight to the end. Just as we had traitors and political intrigue, so did the Lakota. Leaders who were rebelled against in life, were revered in death. With all these similarities, I realize just how impervious some recountings of history can be without nuance, just like today. I thought, until now, that there were the "Indians" and there were the "Americans". In fact, the Native Americans were often at war with each other, and built alliances with the American Army to gain advantage against other Native Tribes. I also see how important the Land was to the Lakota, since as a comparison, I feel how important ancestral land was to us - such that even nearly 2 thousand years later, we remembered our Land - never having forgotten it, always having folded it into our rituals. And yet we, like the Lakota, are treated as usurpers on their own ancestral lands by others, who cite their own view of "the law", which they've shaped to exclude us. Naturally then, I felt especially strong affinity to Crazy Horse. I felt especially pained by the perfidy of those who pretended to be friends, and who betrayed his trust. And I also felt the pathos of having to compromise on something that feel so completely unnatural, due to forces that threaten the existence of my People not less than connection to ancestral lands. Crazy Horse had his faults to be certain. This book doesn't try to hide them. And, his fine qualities were not his alone - others also showed bravery, integrity and foresightedness, both within the Native American Nations and on the side of the Americans. I walked away from this book wondering, if whether it'd make a difference if the integrity of our word and the willingness to share - even when we feel we should not have to - would be a more successful path to take. I, hope that unlike Crazy Horse and the Lakota, that the fate of my own People will be better favored. I received this book at no cost, and in return I've offered to write my honest review of it.

1 person found this helpful

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A serious history

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life: The Civilization of the American Indian Series.This work is mainly about the life of Crazy Horse but it also covers much of Lakota daily life and beliefs. It is a comprehensive work 25 hours and it is a testament to the author that it will hold your interest throughout . Hollywood gave the Lakota a bad press and this book goes a long way to show them in a true light, Superb narration, I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my own request, and voluntarily leave this review.

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Comprehensive account of Crazy Horse

Wow, this was a super book! It was very long so it took me a while to get through it but it was so good and well worth the time to listen. From birth to death, this covers the life of Crazy Horse and the Lakota people. For anyone with an interest in Crazy Horse, the Lakota people or Native American history, this is an absolute must. Very well written and with good narration, you will not be disappointed. I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.