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Sitting Bull
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 15, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Much has been heard and written on the Lakota chief Sitting Bull, famed from the battle at Little Big Horn, he was cast as the villian, the killer of Custer. He met Annie Oakley and he and she got along wonderfully. Sitting Bull was a headliner in Buffalo Bill's Wild West for a year and the photographs of him and Bill Cody are well known. This book covers all of the life of Sitting Bull, and traces his trials and tribulations, from the leader of a people faced with attacks by the US Army, driven from one spot to another, their supplies and winter food burned and destroyed, the bison which covered the plains in his youth, dropped to below a 1000 animals during his lifetime. A wise man, a humble man, a man not to be trifled with, he was brave, not afraid to take a life, not afraid to be kind and gentle with children, but a strong leader to his people and devoted to them. The author does a wonderful job in telling this story, well written, well organized, an enthralling story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand the life of one of the most important Native Americans of the late 1800s.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
SITTING BULL
Bill Yenne

Sitting Bull by Bill Yenne is an interesting read. Yenne utilizes Stanley Vestal, Jerome Stillson of the New York Herald, Sitting Bull's Hieroglyphic Autobiography, and an assortment of first hand accounts to present this historic American Indian. For all of us "Custer People", there is a chapter on the Little Bighorn Battle in which Yenne writes "Custer probably feared that if he delayed his attack for another twenty-four hours - as he planned - then Gibbon would be a day closer and Custer would have to share this victory with him". There is an argument which establishes a good book. The book is filled with informative and controversial quotes. Yenne frequently dwells on Washington's government officials arguing over the necessary actions to solve their Indian dilemma. Politicians and red tape do not make a good western adventure, unfortunately that was their role in the history of the American West. I want to be with Custer out on the plains or in an Indian camp, not in an office in Washington.
Overall, the book was very good. Even the cover with Sitting Bull's picture and autograph is notable.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The critic's review of this book is right on: the book is well researched and written. The maps and photographs were much appreciated.

However, I found the abundance of typographical errors absolutely maddening. It's not unusual to find one, perhaps two type-set errors in any book, but the number of misspelled words and mangled sentences here was ridiculous. Not only are typos a discredit to the author's hard work, but they disrupt the flow of reading. As a reader, I want to interpret the author's sentence, not the typesetters mistakes.

While I recommend this book for content, I suggest waiting for a second print run which will hopefully correct the too numerous errors. As someone who enjoys collecting hard bound books for my library and supporting an author by paying the hard bound price, I was very disappointed that a book retailing at $30.00 was so poorly printed.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Tatanka Iyotake - Sitting Bull - was not the killer of Custer. He was certainly no villain. He was a spiritual leader of our People. According to my ancestors, who handed this story down to my generation, Custer killed himself rather than take what he had coming - and had fully earned - at the Battle of the Greasy Grass / what the majority culture calls "the Little Bighorn". I'm a great-grandmother now, writing through my man's account, and I have no reason to doubt the truth of the story my ancestors told.
We kept it among ourselves because of the repercussions we suffered back then, and still suffer today. To this day, we Lakota out here in "Dakota" Territory are harrassed in every way, all too often. Not as openly as used to be, but it's still there - the coffee-shop talk, the disparaging stereotypes, stuff like that. I call it, "the Custer effect". My People beat the crap out of Custer and his goons that June day so long ago, and whites have been crying about it ever since, and trying to "prove what really happened".
Custer was no hero; he was a murderer of babies and women, unarmed warriors and the elderly. Sitting Bull was a man of great pride and honor and strength. This book is worth reading more than once. Thanks for writing it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
The story of Sitting Bull is captivating and Bill Yenne does a great job telling this story. Yenne extensively sifted through the research and rumors surrounding Sitting Bulls' birth, later life, and even death. Although interesting as a whole, the text has numerous grammatical errors. Whether editor or printing press errors, they got to be fairly distracting and made me stop and re-read several sections to make sense of them.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading "Sitting Bull." Enjoyed it very, very much. There are wonderful photos and maps, one including good old Highmore, SD. The book is a dramatic and scholarly accomplishment. Professor Yellowtail's glowing endorsement must feel like a crowning feather. Has he given the author an Indian name?!
I was surprised to learn that Sitting Bull was only with Bill Cody's Wild West in 1885 and never went to Europe, never performed for Queen Victoria. As the book points out, it was his deaf stepson, later known as John Sitting Bull, who toured Europe with Cody's Wild West during a few years after the turn of the century. Indeed, the popular confusion about this persists and resurfaced the other day at lunch with our tennis players. How nice to have it right!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this effort by author Bill Yenne on the life of Sitting Bull. However, as others have stated, typographical errors abound throughout the book. As an example I found the word "contingent" spelled "continent" twice. The part that was new, at least to me, was the section relating to James McLaughlin's efforts to thwart Buffalo Bill Cody's attempt to meet with Sitting Bull during the ghost dance craze in December of 1890. Sitting Bull took part in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and Nelson Miles requested Cody's assistance in talking with Sitting Bull and gave him the authority to meet with him at the Standing Rock agency. James McLaughlin made up the excuse that Cody's life may be in danger if he be permitted to meet with Sitting Bull. McLaughlin felt insulted to think a non-military man such as Cody be permitted to intervene. Perhaps things would have turned out differently had Cody met with Sitting Bull who was made to be the scapegoat for the ghost dancing. Sitting Bull may not have been killed on December 15th of 1890, and the massacre at Wounded Knee may not have taken place on the 29th of December. I found the part on the burial of Sitting Bull's remains to be interesting, and the maps and photos were helpful. Ironically both McLaughlin and Bullhead (one of Sitting Bull's assassins) have towns named after them while Red Tomahawk (the other assassin of Sitting Bull) has his profile on the state of North Dakota's highway signs and the state seal of North Dakota. I found the part on the burial of Sitting Bull's remains to be interesting, and the maps and photos were helpful. However, those annoying typographical errors throughout the book has to knock it down a notch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
A really well written book and easy to read. Explains things really well, including his oft misunderstood role in Little Big Horn. Has pretty detailed chapters on his time with Buffalo Bill Cody which I wasn't familiar with.

There have been many Sitting Bull bios written, but many of them have simply covered the time of his life when he was fighting the white man. This book covers his life in good detail from birth to death, and looks at him as a fighter, family man and also a statesman. The author has also done his research well and it shows.

I highly recommend this book not only because of it's very neutral viewpoint but it's readability. Let's face it, it doesn't matter how well researched a book is if it's a slog to get through. I highly recommend it.
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on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Bill Yenne's Sitting Bull is an excellent biography of the man whom most Americans know of, but know little about. Yenne moves through Sitting Bull's life chronologically, starting with his birth and youth, but right from the start the reader realizes how little we know about Sitting Bull. There's much uncertainty about the year of his birth and the events of his life growing up. Thankfully, Yenne explains these gaps in the historical record and fills them as best as he can using a combination of documents written by people who knew Sitting Bull and other expert historians who have figured out what his life was like.

As the book progresses, the reader realizes that much of Sitting Bull's life, even during some of his most famous experiences, is difficult to know with much certainty. The Battle of Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull's escape to Canada, and the circumstances of his death are all somewhat foggy events, but Yenne provides an evenhanded account of what we do know for sure.

Several of the events of Sitting Bull's life are somewhat controversial, and I believe that Yenne, although initially appearing biased against the actions of the US Government, has actually written a very fair account. He makes sure to include examples of the wars and battles fought and initiated by the Sioux against others (especially with their Crow neighbors) and provides a fair explanation of Sitting Bull's involvement (or lack thereof) with the Ghost Dance movement.

The one downside of the book is the final 50 or so pages. After recounting Sitting Bull's death, Yenne goes on to describe what happened to his family and descendants. I found this part very dull and did not find it to be particularly relevant history; of course, I imagine others may disagree with me on this.

Overall the book is highly readable and written in a style easily understood by the average lay-reader. Yenne's account of Sitting Bull's life should keep you entertained and interested.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Purchased this for my husband who is Lakota. It is a lengthy book, but very interesting and well written.
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