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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West [Kindle Edition]

Dee Brown
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (407 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dee Brown’s powerful and unforgettable classic that awakened the world to the nineteenth-century decimation of American Indian tribes

First published in 1970, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee generated shockwaves with its frank and heartbreaking depiction of the systematic annihilation of American Indian tribes across the western frontier. In this nonfiction account, Dee Brown focuses on the betrayals, battles, and massacres suffered by American Indians between 1860 and 1890. He tells of the many tribes and their renowned chiefs—from Geronimo to Red Cloud, Sitting Bull to Crazy Horse—who struggled to combat the destruction of their people and culture.
 
Forcefully written and meticulously researched, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee inspired a generation to take a second look at how the West was won.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

First published in 1970, this extraordinary book changed the way Americans think about the original inhabitants of their country. Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos in 1860 and ending 30 years later with the massacre of Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, it tells how the American Indians lost their land and lives to a dynamically expanding white society. During these three decades, America's population doubled from 31 million to 62 million. Again and again, promises made to the Indians fell victim to the ruthlessness and greed of settlers pushing westward to make new lives. The Indians were herded off their ancestral lands into ever-shrinking reservations, and were starved and killed if they resisted. It is a truism that "history is written by the victors"; for the first time, this book described the opening of the West from the Indians' viewpoint. Accustomed to stereotypes of Indians as red savages, white Americans were shocked to read the reasoned eloquence of Indian leaders and learn of the bravery with which they and their peoples endured suffering. With meticulous research and in measured language overlaying brutal narrative, Dee Brown focused attention on a national disgrace. Still controversial but with many of its premises now accepted, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee has sold 5 million copies around the world. Thirty years after it first broke onto the national conscience, it has lost none of its importance or emotional impact. --John Stevenson

From Library Journal

This 1970 volume greatly changed the view of pioneers' westward advancement. Based largely on primary source materials, this volume details how white settlers forced Indian tribes off the plains, often simply by killing them. Though Hollywood and penny dreadfuls portrayed Indians as red devils who launched unprovoked attacks on innocent homesteaders, Brown's research shows that the opposite is closer to the truth. The text is buttressed with numerous period photos. An essential purchase. (LJ 12/15/70)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2727 KB
  • Print Length: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media; 1st edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009KY5OGC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,049 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wounded knee, broken heart, shattered nation December 29, 2000
Format:Paperback
Be prepared to be affected by this book. I guarantee that you can not read it without being emotionally touched and moved by this account of the loss of a beautiful land, the demise of a conscientious and spiritual way of life and finally the extirpation of a nation of people; or at least their ceasing to exist as free, independent, proud and noble individuals.
The book had a profound impact on readers when it was first published in 1971 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it took a unique perspective. Reports of Treaty meetings, tribal histories, Congressional findings and interview transcripts have all been distilled to provide the Indian point of view. Indeed the books' subtitle is 'An Indian History of the American West'. The second factor has to do with when the book was published. Interest in environmental issues was growing and the accounts of the destruction by the settlers of the Eastern forests, the soiling of the rivers and the slaughter of the Buffalo herds struck a chord, especially when contrasted with the practices of the Indians. Readers began to see Indians in a different light, as the first conservationists.
The period of history covered is short. From about 1860 to 1890. The first chapter briefly sketches the interactions between Eupopean and Indians from the formers' arrival in Massachusetts in 1620 up to the setting up of the 'permanent indian frontier' west of the Mississippi in 1847.
The 'frontier' lasted no time at all. Gold was discovered, land was sought and settlers flocked west. To cover this in legitimacy it was necessary to invent 'Manifest Destiny'. The Indians were now doomed as history has shown that this policy made it manifest that the Indians were destined to be swept aside by the white man. All that we have left is their legends, their magical placenames and some works like this book that provides insights into how the West was really lost.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden History July 14, 2000
Format:Paperback
Nothing could prepare me for the emotional effect that "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" would have on me. Dee Brown brings us the history of the white settlement of the American West as told by the people who were there, both white and Indian. This is not the history we learned in school, and the book will shatter the images of many of our heroes, but the story is important enough that I think every American should read it.
I also recommend "The Trail of Tears", by Gloria Jahoda, which is the history of the removal of the eastern tribes to the west. These two books are neccessary if you, as an American, want a complete education of American History.
Beyond education, these books present a people who loved the earth, trusted and respected mankind, and lived honorable lives. I trust that these stories of the near annihilation of our native people at the hands of our forefathers will effect you in unexpected ways, and that you will come away from the experience with new heroes, and a broken heart.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars historic read February 3, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Saw this book at the Smithsonian Indiian Museum in Washington DC. My husband couldn't put it down. This is the one with the illustrations which really brings home the story. Great read, great book. Anyone interested in learning the other side of the Indian story needs to read this.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Necessary Corrective...Just Overdone March 26, 2009
Format:Paperback
The strength of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" is also its weakness: Its commitment to telling an ugly truth about American history so searing as to become numbing after a while.

It's impossible to consider fairly this, Dee Brown's 1971 examination of the Indian Wars of the American West, without remembering how much it cut against what was then still the mainstream thinking and literature regarding just what happened. The Indians were often bloodthirsty, it was alleged, and our American forefathers imbued themselves in the pioneer spirit by bringing the red man to heel. Brown took an entirely different course.

"Americans who have always looked westward when reading about this period should read this book facing eastward," Brown writes in his preface.

And that's how he writes it, from the perspective of displaced Navajos, Utes, Sioux, Apaches, and more than a dozen other American Indian tribes who were the victims of Manifest Destiny. As Brown tells it, their story is one of being washed away by the greed and savagery of white Americans.

The book is often strongest when that savagery is at its ugliest. At Sand Creek in 1864, a regiment of Colorado volunteers under the command of an American Eichmann, one Col. John Chivington, rode into a peaceful village of treaty-abiding Cheyennes and gunned down more than a hundred men, women, and children. Asked about the children, Chivington replied: "Nits make lice!"

It's a raw tale that sits like lead in the stomach of any decent-minded American. But for Brown, that's all you need to hear. The fact that Chivington was cashiered for his murdering, and Colorado's governor cast from office for his part in the massacre by President Andrew Johnson, is not mentioned here.
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222 of 260 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, and well written, but shortsighted. April 23, 2006
Format:Paperback
Let me first say, Dee Brown's book, BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE is a well written classic that flows nicely. It contains great structure and is a pleasure to read. Certainly no right thinking person would disagree that the American Indians were used and abused by the government at every turn. The treaties the Indians signed were more often than not, not worth the paper they were written on. Murderous cowards like Chivington betrayed those who declared themselves peaceful and friends of the whites, like Black Kettle and the Cheyenne atrocity at Sand Creek. While still under British rule, Indians of the Ohio Valley were victims of one of the first instances of bio-terrorism when the British knowingly and deliberately infected them with small pox.

So while it is safe to say the sentiment of Brown's book is clearly accurate and justified, for the overall scope of the book, exception must be taken by anyone seeking the cold hard truth. Since Brown's book was published, and quickly popularized, most historians have followed Brown's approach to viewing the Indian wars of the American West from a strictly ethnocentric viewpoint. To them, the term "Indian wars" has come to mean only "Indian - White wars", fought primarily to interrupt the flow of the expansion of white settlement. Paul Wellman began this trend in 1934 with his publication of the account of the 1862 Minnesota Massacre, DEATH ON THE PRARIE. However, what Wellman began, Brown perfected, until we have now reach, in this country, where the history of the American Indian is involved, a sort of Zinnian approach (a phrase I coined myself after revisionist historian Howard Zinn) to the re-writing or revision of American history, in this case specifically, the history of the American West.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me feel sad and guilty and ignorant...
Dee Brown has done a just and wonderful thing in putting this book together. Native American people, much more than blacks, have suffered from the onslaught of Europeans who... Read more
Published 6 hours ago by beatnik
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is the second time I've purchased this book, I lost the first one that I purchased many years ago... I have to reread it every now and then just to REMEMBER... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Jolene P Duff
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read of the plight of the American Indian
An excellent history of the American Indian Tribes and especially of the different Tribal Chiefs.The Indian Wars were a sad time in U.S. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Ray Rinella
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
We have all heard some of the horror story's of how the Native Americans were treated as Manifest Destiny evolved. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Sam Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This book is a wonderful read for those that are looking for a little bit more knowledge of Native American Indians.
Published 10 days ago by NZ RED RAIDER
5.0 out of 5 stars A detailed comprehensive history of Native American history.
Written as it happened from the point of view of the Native Americans themselves. A wonderful read. A must read for anyone with any interest in American history.
Published 16 days ago by Patricia Markham
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every American
Dee Brown lays bare the ugly history of the American west. The book lays bare the terrible nightmare that existed for the Native Americans west of the Mississippi during the second... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Adam Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unsettling American Land Grab
Great summary of the very sad history of the numerous American Indian tribes and their dimise from the concept of Manifest Destiny.
Published 29 days ago by Elliot K.
5.0 out of 5 stars More than excellent
This is a classic and gripping book - one that is very difficult to put down once you have started. Unfortunately they are getting rarer now.
Published 1 month ago by Zainal Abiddin Tinggal
3.0 out of 5 stars Aclassic tale partially true
If books could achieve sainthood this is clearly one. Over the years it has become the Holy word of the story of the Native Americans. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neil Slocum
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