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Tell Them We Are Going Home: The Odyssey of the Northern Cheyennes Paperback – November 15, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A splendid book, lucidly written and illustrated, on yet another of the many dark episodes in America's relations with her native peoples."—Kansas History


"Monnett has written the definitive account of this pivotal event in the history of the Northern Cheyennes."—Western Historical Quarterly

About the Author

John H. Monnett teaches Western and Native American history at the Metropolitan State College of Denver and is the author of several books, including Massacre at Cheyenne Hold: Lieutenant Austin Henely and the Sappa Creek Controversy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (November 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806136456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806136455
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,230,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. John Monnett is an award winning author and a professor of history at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has written or contributed to thirteen books and hundreds of articles and book reviews on thie history of the American West. He is recipient of a 2010 Wrangler Award from the National Western Heritage Center. His provocative book, "Where a Hundred Soldiers Were Killed" was runner up for the Colorado Humanities Center for the Book best non-fiction prize for 2009. In addition he has won the Coke award from from Westerners International and given the Fred Rosenstock Lifetime Achievement Award from Denver Westerners. He is a sought after speaker at historical societies and conferences and a member of the Western History Association, Organization of American Historians, and the American History Association.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By LaLoren on November 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
To my knowledge this is the first comprehensive work on the Cheyennes trek north since Mari Sandoz's often controversial "Cheyenne Autumn." In acknowledging this in his introduction, John H. Monnett, in line with some other historians, terms Sandoz's work a novel. While I would characterize her work more as, what is now known as, creative non-fiction, I agree with Monnett when he states that "[s]uch passion often evokes intense dedication to a specific viewpoint at the dismissal of others..." (xvi)
In this book, Monnett has provided a more 'well-rounded" but only slightly less moving depiction of the Cheyennes struggle to return to their homeland. And to his credit, unlike many modern historians, he does not dismiss Sandoz's work out of hand. Indeed, anyone handling this subject would be foolish to overlook her extensive and meticulous research, much of which is based on records and oral histories no longer available. However, also included in his many sources are researchers like George Bird Grinnell (who is famous for his interviews of the Cheyennes and preserving their oral history), and more recent work by John D. McDermott who apparently turned over all of the research he was originally planning to use for a work of his own on the subject. Also, enjoyable for those of us who like following up on sources, Monnett is one of the few who are now beginning to list Internet sites in their bibliographies.
While presenting all facts in a straight forward manor, it would be difficult to call this work even handed. Indeed, I defy anyone to research this subject in depth and not come away with a strong sympathy for the Cheyennes and their cause.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on October 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Tell Them We Are Going Home: The Odyssey of the Northern Cheyennes" is a solid account of the 1878 attempted exodus of about 300 Northern Cheyenne men, women and children from a reservation in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to their traditional homeland in the Northern Plains. The Government ordered the US Army to stop the refugees. Although author John Monnett's sympathies are openly with the Indians, he presents a balanced picture of events, recognizing that the soldiers sent in pursuit were basically men doing their duty to the best of their ability, not stereotypical villains as too often portrayed in popular media in the past few decades. Monnett also does not ignore the killing of civilian ranchers and farmers nor the rape of white women carried out by some of the young Cheyenne warriors during their trek across Kansas. In attempting to understand the motivation behind such acts, Monnett explores the traditional explanation that it was largely revenge for the killing of a group of Southern Cheyennes in the same area a few years before (this view was stressed by Mari Sandoz in her "Cheyenne Autumn" book) and casts considerable doubt on the notion. At times, Monnett veers into academic jargon (we are told that "Little Wolf died in his beloved Tongue River country, albeit reimagined according to the Euro-American vision of geographical borders") and he perhaps tries too hard to give the events great symbolic significance ("The Indians who fell in the terrible pit on Antelope Creek symbolize displaced peoples everywhere whose sense of home and desire for independence transcends the love of life"), but his book nonetheless is a readable, quite detailed narrative which ultimately remains true to the author's intent of being fair to all involved.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pat J. on June 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In a country that holds the notion of freedom in such high regard, it's surprising the story of the Northern Cheyenne's desperate 1500-mile exodus to their homeland has hardly registered on America's popular history radar. The resolve, determination and sheer courage of the Cheyenne people's attempt at freedom and dignity warrant recognition on par with any display of courage exhibited through out human history.
I read this book as a follow up to 'Cheyenne Autumn' by Mari Sandoz. For those unfamiliar with the event, I would recommend reading Sandoz book first to fully appreciate the human drama, then read Monnett's excellent work for the non-fiction angle. Monnett's book is a concise, well written, fact filled account of the journey. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in western history or humanity in general. It's very readable and well researched account.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Price on April 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Monnet's book is fine, as is Stan Hoig's, which is also mentioned below. But it's especially good to see Mari Sandoz treated with respect by the other reviewers. Although not an academic researcher, her work will be read for the next century and beyond for its beauty and honesty. She was among the first to consider Native Americans as fully formed human beings, and she was doing so in the 1930s-1950s; we're all in her debt.
Another fine book on the Cheyenne walk home is Alan Boye's fine memoir, "Holding Stone Hands." Boye walked the length of the Cheyenne trail, or as close to it as anyone could in 1998. He was accompanied much of the way by an alternating group of descendants of the survivors. His book is so good that when he arrives in Fort Robinson, you will be with him when he is greeted by Cheyenne men, women and children who have been waiting for him. Later, you'll go with him to the massacre site where the current owners, local ranchers, leave him to walk alone.
Don't miss "Holding Stone Hands."
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