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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    997
  • 4 Stars
    462
  • 3 Stars
    220
  • 2 Stars
    96
  • 1 Stars
    85

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    888
  • 4 Stars
    347
  • 3 Stars
    144
  • 2 Stars
    46
  • 1 Stars
    38

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    820
  • 4 Stars
    344
  • 3 Stars
    163
  • 2 Stars
    72
  • 1 Stars
    66
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda
  • United States
  • 05-22-18

Only Fair

The message about how badly the Indians in America were treated is loud and clear. I found the book to be long on message and short on interest. It took forever to develop. I also felt like it was written in a semi-childish way. The narration was borderline irritating. The voice of the narrator was grating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

BFI really ?

Great narration. The characters are so well written and Laura Hicks gives them life. Beautiful, funny, informative, sad. The inclusivity described is refreshing and hopeful. Highly recommend this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janet
  • PLANO, TX, United States
  • 04-26-18

Well written

the story is very interesting and highlights some historical truths. Chief Little Wolf, for instance, was an actual person. It kept my interest with a very good Audible production.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting twist on history

This book was an extremely interesting historical fiction. I liked the way the author jumped off an actual point in history to create his story. It was predictable at times, but good character and story line development.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great Beauty and great sadness

I appreciated the Grassroots perspective of the transition of Native America to European America. It shined a bright light on so many different aspects of human nature.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your $$$

I bought this thinking it was historical fiction by an acclaimed author....it could have been an interesting read. After listening to the narration for about 10 minutes I decided maybe it was a stab at comedy or sarcasm....it is so stereotypically driven. Every white character a racist, native Americans depicted as the "noble savage", blacks as great dancers and runners, etc. That this book won the 1999 Fiction of the Year Award from ANY book association says a lot about our society today and would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

I began to realize it was a pathetic rendering of what could have been a powerful and interesting tale based partially on fact.
Listening to Laura Hicks has been a fingernails-on-the-blackboard experience for me, somehow managing to turn every character into silly, eccentric bafoons. Enough said. Don't buy this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertained the whole way through!

I was hooked from the beginning, and never let go till the end. I loved it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Story

This was an awesome book. It was an awesome story. Sometimes it was gruesome, however it was told really well.