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Publisher's Summary

Since its publication in 1932, Black Elk Speaks has moved countless readers to appreciate the American Indian world that it described. John Neihardt’s popular narrative addressed the youth and early adulthood of Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux religious elder. Michael F. Steltenkamp now provides the first full interpretive biography of Black Elk, distilling in one volume what is known of this American Indian wisdom keeper whose life has helped guide others.

Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic shows that the holy-man was not the dispirited traditionalist commonly depicted in literature, but a religious thinker whose outlook was positive and whose spirituality was not limited solely to traditional Lakota precepts. Combining in-depth biography with its cultural context, the author depicts a more complex Black Elk than has previously been known: a world traveler who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn yet lived through the beginning of the atomic age.

Nicholas Black Elk explores how a holy-man’s diverse life experiences led to his synthesis of Native and Christian religious practice. The first book to follow Black Elk’s lifelong spiritual journey - from medicine man to missionary and mystic - Steltenkamp’s work provides a much-needed corrective to previous interpretations of this special man’s life story.

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

"A valuable contribution...offers a consistent and insightful interpretation of Black Elk's religious life." (Western Historical Quarterly)

"Easily the best reference work on Black Elk's life to date." (Montana: The Magazine of Western History)

"A significant contribution.... The author is to be commended." (Wendy L. Fletcher, Dean, Vancouver School of Theology, British Columbia)

©2009 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

What listeners say about Nicholas Black Elk

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Great overview of little known subject.

Very few of us outside of Native Americans have any knowledge of the main aspects of this Book.

With a great Narrator receive a wonderful introduction to the timeless culture of the first Americans.

It is worth a listen.



This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

3 people found this helpful

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A life well lived

I have listened to other books narrated by Charles Henderson Norman, so I was expecting the deep timber and strong voice. For this book, it was perfect.

Although I am Canadian and had never heard of Black Elk, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. We have stories of Canadian Indigenous persons throughout our studies and there is always a question of how much of their story is based in reality and how much is added after the fact. For Nicholas Black Elk, I would say much of his story has been now told.

This book is part repudiation and part addition to John Neihardt’s 1932, Black Elk Speaks. In this book, Michael F. Steltenkamp delves deeper into Nicholas Black Elk’s life, examining each documented event in his life, verifying it for accuracy. Everything from Black Elk’s date of birth through to his conversion to the Catholic Church, to his death, is examined in great depth, making this a definitive tome. Although steeped in history, the book had a narrative quality that I enjoyed, bringing to life this famous Indian. It also shed light on some of the dark periods of interactions between Native Indians and the white settlers who clearly felt themselves superior. The treatment of the original people of North America is often shameful and I always hope the situation will improve, but it never seems to.

This book is also full of hope for a man who set a shining example of what a life well-lived looks like. I enjoyed it and recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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So Much to Learn

NICHOLAS BLACK ELK: MEDICINE MAN, MISSIONARY, MYSTIC
: Michael F. Steltenkamp

When I saw the Black Elk name and South Dakota I knew I wanted to listen to this audiobook. I was born in northeastern Wyoming. Before I was born my uncle, aunt, and parents were missionaries at Wounded Knee. They left there before my birth, but we took many trips to Mt. Rushmore where I remember Ben Black Elk. My mother died shortly before I turned 11 in 1968, and I went to live with relatives across the country. My Dad and I didn't talk much about the early times until shortly before his death in 2014. Unfortunately by that time he suffered dementia. I lost the chance to learn more from him.

I wanted to know if there was a connection between Ben and Nicholas. I was amazed within the first 10 minutes to learn Ben was his son. There were many things I learned and found fascinating.



The narration was well done. Charles Henderson Norman gave a good performance.




I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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very dry

this is a very dry book, only for those very interested. it does not convey the mans connection to the sacred....but "puts the record straight" regarding his genuine Christian faith.

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Perfect

This was an awesome review of a complex man’s life. The context of his last Fr was taken into account in a new way when looking at the words he gave to Niehardt earlier in his life.

It looks a a great review of the entire life and time of a great holy man of two traditions.

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Excellent insights!

I have read Black Elk Speaks,. so this was an interesting addition to the other. Black Elk was an amazing Holy Man with great knowledge to share. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to anyone interested in his life and thoughts. The Narrator did a super job... as always.

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Well worth a listen.

A great look into the life and times of a Lokata medicene man and spritual leader.

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Good book for information on Nicholas elk

I enjoyed this book and the information that was put in it. Good book instead of black elk speaks.

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Nicholas Black Elk

I found this a very interesting and educational book.It makes you want to delve into the subject more. Charles Henderson Norman was a fine narrator.Very precise in pronunciations.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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Excellent History Lesson

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is for the audio copy of Nicholas Black Elk, Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic by Michael F. Steltenkamp and narrated by Charles Henderson Norman. I really enjoyed this story with all the background and references that help validate the story. This is one of my most favorite things to learn about and this book provided a plethora of information. The narration was perfect for the story. Charles treated it with the reverence and respect required for this history lesson.