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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Audiobook

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

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Publisher's Summary

Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century uses council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions. Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was really won - and lost.

©1970 Dee Brown; Preface 2000 by Dee Brown; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking....Impossible to put down." (New York Times)
"Shattering, appalling, compelling....One wonders...who indeed were the savages." (Washington Post)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Rebecca 11-16-13
    Rebecca 11-16-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A Book that Changed Hearts and Minds"

    A look at the treatment of Native American's from their view of the history of the U.S. Widely acclaimed when it was published in 1970, the book brought to light a viewpoint generally not covered in American History.

    I knew some of it, from places I've been and other books I've read, but Brown's book helped connect some other dots for me - especially events in Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico/Kansas where I know the name of the person or place, but not what occurred, and what lead up to some of the major events. It definitely makes me want to learn more.

    A great follow-up book is "Empire of the Summer Moon".

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. 04-12-16
    J.B. 04-12-16
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    "Easy to Listen To, Difficult to Hear About"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Knoxville, MD, United States 11-23-16
    Bruce Knoxville, MD, United States 11-23-16 Member Since 2007
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    "A must Read"

    All Americans should read this book. There are some gaping holes, but it accomplishes the Author's goals.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BDHumbert Fort Pierce, FL, United States 03-21-16
    BDHumbert Fort Pierce, FL, United States 03-21-16 Member Since 2017
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    "A must read!"

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 10-27-13
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 10-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Very troubling account from the Indian perspective"


    Documents the injustice, broken promises, double standards, lies, theft, dispossession, and frequent massacres of Indian women and children that lie at the heart of U.S. expansion across North America.

    The narrator does an admirable job presenting the antithesis to the propaganda myths of heroic Americans conquering the west that most of us were raised with.

    Highly recommended, but definitely troubling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-22-13
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Most important American History book ever written."

    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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HikeBikeCampKayak United States 10-18-17
    HikeBikeCampKayak United States 10-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Unbelievable "

    Unbelievable... ...the racism, greed, and scheming lies of expansionist whites as they sought to fulfill their “manifest destiny” ...the hatred directed toward Native American Indians and the expressly-stated desire to exterminate them as a race ...the desire of the white man’s organized religion to eliminate Native American beliefs and to crush the Indian’s way of life ...the terrible punishments and actions taken against the Indians ...the simple eloquence of the Native American Indians stating their desires for peace, brotherhood, freedom, and to maintain their values and way of life A powerful book that leaves one with with a sense of sadness and great loss. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Javier 08-25-17
    Javier 08-25-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Heartbreaking"

    Heartbreaking and tragic tale of betrayal and broken promises. Brought tears of injustice to my eyes and the spirit of warrior fire to my heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delena 08-25-17
    Delena 08-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Heartbreaking."

    I have always been fascinated with the native way of life, of time's past when people lived in connection with creation. This documentary is both completely heartbreaking and enlightening to recount the bloodshed and tremendous loss of a great era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Cleveland 08-17-17
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    "Hard but true"

    This was tough to listen to but a story that must be told. The narrator did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Cliff
    Frinton on Sea, United Kingdom
    5/6/12
    Overall
    "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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ciaran
    Guildford, United Kingdom
    11/1/13
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    "What an awesome story"
    Where does Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Grover Gadrner's reading was very effective and told a story rather than just read the book. It made for really good listening.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cliff
    Frinton on Sea, United Kingdom
    1/23/13
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mark h
    1/5/15
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    "How greed killed a peoples"

    Amazing story from the true Americans. How through "rascally" ways white settlers and successive government ignored treaties and broke promises to steal Indian land and lives. To hear the voices of those Indians who's names have become legends as evil savages and how they where in fact great leaders pushed to extremes.

    I could not stop listening to this book and spent long nights listening to it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Acapella
    Cornwall, UK
    9/29/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda
    6/30/17
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    "minkind at its best and worst."

    sombering,accountable and reflective of times past. of a people who lived the perfect balance of nature and trust. the best of mankind also a snapshot of the worst in mankind and the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • p.new
    Swindon, Wiltshire, England
    3/21/17
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    "An important work"

    A litany of betrayal and murder, a catalogue of atrocities. Difficult but essential reading.

    Everyone should, at some point, read this book and take a moment to think how the modern world is built on the blood and bones of innocent people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Nik Jewell
    3/15/17
    Overall
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    "'The Only Good Indians I Ever Saw Were Dead'"

    Even though, 40 years after this book was first published, we are now familiar with the events that took place in the American mid-West in the nineteenth century, listening to this was both shocking and saddening.

    It is one long tale of continually broken treaties, of moving the native Americans out of their homelands to poor land, and then on to even worse land, again and again, where they would be unable to sustain themselves and become dependent on government handouts from corrupt agents. Any who didn't want to move would just be annihilated without compunction or conscience. There were a few brave stands by the native Americans along the ways, temporary victories, but these just proved to be short lived stays of execution.

    Dee Brown's telling of the tale is well-researched, beautifully written and the narration by Grover Gardener is excellent. Despite the anger and sadness that the book provokes I found it compelling and hard to stop listening.

    I note amongst the reviews by our American cousins that some readers seem genuinely surprised by learning of these events in their country's past but then I guess that I didn't learn much about the sordid history and atrocities in Britain's colonial past when I was at school either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • gary
    yorkshire
    10/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the alians have landed."

    always sticks in my mind heard a saying once if the alians landed on earth they would do want the americans did to the Indians ?
    brilliant way it was writen made a history lesson enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • t.baruch
    9/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "intresting starter for further reading"
    What did you like most about Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee?

    would recommend this book.


    Has Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee put you off other books in this genre?

    no


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    the killing of custer


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the way the Indian number were reduced, through continues killing chasing and general murder ...


    Any additional comments?

    On the bones of the Indians a great nation was built.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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