The Heart of Everything That Is

The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
Narrated by: George Newbern
Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (918 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed New York Times best-selling biography of the legendary Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy...and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).

Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography, and painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the 19th century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told. 

In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud’s War, they provide intimate portraits of the many lives Red Cloud touched - mountain men such as Jim Bridger; US generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the memorable warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, like the legendary Crazy Horse. And at the center of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life. 

“Unabashed, unbiased, and disturbingly honest, leaving no razor-sharp arrowhead unturned, no rifle trigger unpulled....a compelling and fiery narrative” (USA Today), this is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way. 

©2013 Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    613
  • 4 Stars
    228
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    12
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    526
  • 4 Stars
    212
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    13
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    572
  • 4 Stars
    185
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    11

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Book

Would you listen to The Heart of Everything That Is again? Why?

The narration is great, the historical narrative is terrific. This is one I'll be coming back to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heart of Everything That Is?

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.

18 people found this helpful

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

Couldn't put it down!

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.

27 people found this helpful

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

Terrible reading

I was so disappointed in the reading of this book. The performer mispronounced the names of many people and places so badly I was put off the entire book and am planning on returning it. As a professional production , I think it is reasonable to expect at least proper pronunciations.

7 people found this helpful

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

excellent

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.

7 people found this helpful

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

The Irresistable Force Paradox: Manifest Destiny

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.


49 people found this helpful

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

Brutally honest

I am 75 but spent 47 years in AZ and the southwest and have read many accounts of Indian wars. I actually taught US History before our society stopped thinking it was valuable thing for young people to learn. This was the best, and unlike many others, spoke frankly to the violence and emotion on both sides. The narrative seems to cover what it was really like and not what Hollywood and our politically correct history portrays.

4 people found this helpful

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

An untold story from the Native American perspective

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.

4 people found this helpful

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

An Outstanding Lession in History

Would you listen to The Heart of Everything That Is again? Why?

Yes, I most certainly would because there is some much history about the American West.

What other book might you compare The Heart of Everything That Is to and why?

Crazy Horse. I was born in Nebraska and have always been interested in Indian History.

Have you listened to any of George Newbern’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not listened to George Newbern's before but he did a wonderful job and I would enjoy listening to him again.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

I am now a big fan of Audible books and plan on hearing more as time permits.

11 people found this helpful

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

Mispronunciation of important nouns distracting

What did you like best about The Heart of Everything That Is? What did you like least?

Very interesting story full of details I didn't know.

What other book might you compare The Heart of Everything That Is to and why?

Hanta Yo

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of George Newbern?

Anyone who could correctly pronounce Kearny, Pierre, Arikara etc. etc. Having grown up a few miles from Fort Phil Kearny ( pronounced Car-nee) which is one of the main locations in the book, I found it very distracting to have it pronounced "Keer nee" hundreds of times in the narration. Pierre, South Dakota is pronounced "Peer" and Arikara is pronounced "uh-rih-kuh-rah". There were several more names and places mispronounced in the book.

Was The Heart of Everything That Is worth the listening time?

Very much so!

Any additional comments?

Narrators should check out pronunciations of names and places before reading!!!!

13 people found this helpful

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

Interesting

“The Heart of everything that is” is a Sioux expression for their sacred homeland in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I was familiar with all the battles, people and problems presented in the book but this is the first time I have encountered it all in one place. Drury and Clavin chronicled in great detail the shameful treatment of the Indians across the plains and the destruction of their way of life. Red Cloud (1821-1909) chief of the Oglala Sioux presided over a vast swath of the western United States, from Canada to Kansas, from Minnesota to Wyoming. Red Cloud’s father died of alcoholism, so Red Cloud never drank and hated the Whiteman who provided the “fire water”. The author’s tell the tale of the Fetterman Massacre and the battles along the Bozeman trail in great detail. Red Cloud had the unique ability to unite various tribes of the Sioux, as well as the Cheyenne, and Arapaho to fight the white men. Red Cloud changed his battle tactic to keep the Army off guard. The defeat of Capt. Fetterman was the largest defeat of the U.S. Army by the Indians up to that date. Of course, eleven years later Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse would “chastise” George Armstrong Custer at the little Big Horn using the tactics they learned from Red Cloud. Red Cloud proved to be not only a brilliant military tactician but a shrewd negotiator. He went to Washington and secured land in Nebraska. The reservation was named after Red Cloud. Of course, the government took this land away from them when settlers wanted the land. Red Cloud and his people were moved to the grim Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Red Cloud took repeated trips to Washington seeking better treatment for his people. Lots of famous names dance e across the pages such as Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Man afraid of his horse, Jim Bridger, President Grant and Hays, Col. Henry Carrington, Capt. Fetterman, Phil Kearny, Ridgway Glover, John Protégée Phillips. I found it great to have all these events and people I was aware put into one place in chronological order. The treatment of the Native Americans is one of the more disgraceful events in our history. If you enjoy history you will enjoy this book. George Newbern did a good job narrating the book.

11 people found this helpful