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Buffy Sainte-Marie: It's My Way Paperback – September 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Fifth House (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897252781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897252789
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Blair Stonechild is a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nations in Saskatchewan. He obtained a BA from McGill University and his Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Regina. Blair co-authored LOYAL TILL DEATH: INDIANS AND THE NORTH-WEST REBELLION with Bill Waiser.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tim Mammel on November 13, 2012
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Buffy Sainte-Marie is well known for her fine achievements as a songwriter and musician. Her accomplishments in the music business alone are worthy of a book. From her enduring hit songs from the 1960's to the pioneering of electronic music to her developing a unique Native American "Pow-wow rock", she has attained rock star status. But even those who are very familiar with Buffy's career will discover, in Blair Stonechild's intriguing biography, that her show-biz stardom as a musician and her familiar appearances as part of the cast of Sesame Street are only a small part who this woman is and what she has accomplished, so far.

Dr. Blair Stonechild is a historian and tells the story of Buffy Sainte-Marie's life that is not the routine biography. What he uncovers is a story about a creative life that is well worth telling. He uses his mastery of history telling to give concise historical backgrounds of her birthplace, and the place where she grew up. We also get a clear picture of historical events relating to the Vietnam War and the political struggles of Native American activist groups during the 1960's through the present. With historical backdrops and the story of her childhood, we discover where this highly creative woman came from and what drives her to live such an extraordinary life that has touched so many people with her message, music and art. The writer creates a fine balance of telling about her public life and her private life. Buffy is generous about sharing events in her private life (such as being abused as a child, and a destructive relationship with Jack Nitzsche) that show influences on her artistic development and that can offer consolation and encouragement to others who go through similar circumstances.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Thomas K. on January 7, 2013
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I must say that I looked forward to reading this book, having followed Buffy Sainte-Marie's entire performance career. While I have been especially touched by her music, Buffy is a whole package of talent and energy and I'm drawn to her expressions of art, politics, activism, philanthropy, education and creativity. To me, this is more than a passing interest - Buffy's perspective on the world and our place in it guides my moral compass.

So, to learn that an accomplished, native historian from Buffy's beloved Saskatchewan has authored a book about her life, I'm going to be first in line to read it.

I started this book from the back to better understand how Stonechild obtained the background and experience to take on the task of telling the life story of Buffy Sainte-Marie. What hits me first is that principal reference material came from seven interviews with Buffy along with "various communications". Sure, there are other interviews and newspaper and magazine articles used to develop the book but somehow I can't comprehend that the story of the multi-faceted life of Buffy Sainte-Marie could be captured in seven interviews taken over a four year time period.

Upon reading the actual book, I'm struck by two things: one, it reads like a term paper and two, it fails to capture Buffy's magic and mystery. Dr. Stonechild would have been better off to have spent some time listening to some of those who appreciate all the ways that Buffy Sainte-Marie has enriched their lives. That perspective would have added interest to his endeavor and captured some of the reasons why Ms. Sainte-Marie is so highly regarded for her talent and achievements. "It's My Way" seems to be more about Dr. Stonechild's approach to subject matter than about Buffy Sainte- Marie's life story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JLee VINE VOICE on April 25, 2013
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I am giving away my age here, but I have absolutely adored Buffy Sainte-Marie since I first saw her on a TV game show back in the mid-60's. She sang and demonstrated playing the mouth bow, and the next day I was at the store buying her records (two at that time, as I recall, It's My Way and Many a Mile). I have eagerly awaited every new release throughout her career. However, I knew very little about her as a person, as in many ways she seemed to be a very private person. I was very much looking forward to this book, especially as I know she cooperated with the author. So I was, happily, not expecting anything sleazy or gossipy.

The book is very respectful of Buffy and her privacy. There are some sad mentions of traumatic events, but few details. That is not a criticism; we don't need to know the particulars. However, I find that the book did not always relate her personal life to her music. In a few instances, we learn the story behind songs (such as Cod'ine or The Big Ones Get Away), but there are many others instances where I am sure a song has a deeper meaning that I cannot begin to understand. I would have appreciated more insight into her lyrics.

The author is mostly interested in Buffy as a Native American activist. He details her involvement, and mentions many other people involved, many of whom I was not familiar with. Although that was very interesting, I sometimes felt that he narrowed his scope a bit too much.

There seemed to be things missing, perhaps because of his emphasis on activism. For instance, I never miss a chance to see the TV movie, Son of the Morning Star, because of Buffy's voice over. She adds heart and soul to the movie.
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