Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

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

4.2 (42,412 ratings by Goodreads)
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The American West, 1860-1890: years of broken promises, disillusionment, war and massacre. Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos and ending with the massacre of Sioux at Wounded Knee, this extraordinary book tells how the American Indians lost their land, lives and liberty to white settlers pushing westward. Woven into a an engrossing saga of cruelty, treachery and violence are the fascinating stories of such legendary figures as Sitting Bull, Cochise, Crazy Horse and Geronimo. First published in 1970, Dee Brown's brutal and compelling narrative changed the way people thought about the original inhabitants of America, and focused attention on a national disgrace.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 36mm | 458.13g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • b/w, inset
  • 0099526409
  • 9780099526407
  • 28,069

About Dee Brown

Dee Brown spent the early part of his life in the lumber camps and oil fields of the American South West. He worked as a printer, journalist and a librarian, and has published numerous books, mostly non-fiction, dealing with the history of the American West. The tragedy of the American Indians haunted him from boyhood, when he first became aware of their fate, and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was a product of many years research in an attempt to set the record straight. Dee Brown died in 2002, aged 94.show more

Review Text

A well-intentioned, weepy account of frontier wars against the American Indian. The scope of the book is more restricted than the subtitle suggests, dealing almost exclusively with the Fate of the Cheyenne and the Sioux between 1860 and 1890. Though amply researched, the narrative is excessively anecdotal and apart from the eloquent testimonials of the Indians themselves concerning their progressive disillusionment with the good faith of American treaty-makers, there is almost no sense of historical development. Every Indian warrior from Black Kettle to Sitting Bull is portrayed as a noble and pathetic soul while the American generals are simply butchers and sadists. Though Miss Brown perceives some differences between the appeasers and the radicals, her treatment of Indian nationalism lacks sophistication - thus for example, the glaring contrasts between Black Kettle, the white man's friend, and the militant Dog Soldiers who broke away from his authority, are neither stressed nor interpreted. Similarly, the crucial role of the half-breed as emissary between two civilizations is not sufficiently explored either in psychological or political terms. Between massacres, Miss Brown provides the background to such immortal American aphorisms as Custer's "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." A good book to read before taking off to see Soldier Blue. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

"Original, remarkable and finally heartbreaking...Impossible to put down" New York Times "Shattering, appalling, compelling" Washington Post "An essential insight into modern America" Daily Telegraph "Calculated to make the head pound, the heart ache and the blood boil" The Timesshow more

Rating details

42,412 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 45% (19,247)
4 35% (14,920)
3 15% (6,449)
2 3% (1,267)
1 1% (529)
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