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The Life and Death of Crazy Horse Hardcover – April 19, 2004

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The Life and Death of Crazy Horse + Crazy Horse, Third Edition: The Strange Man of the Oglalas, Third Edition + The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This latest biography from a master of the genre draws on first-hand accounts of the life and personality of the great Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, combining them with a succinct but dramatic narration of the bloody conflict that ended only with the forced settlement of the last free Native American nation. Born around 1841 as a member of a freely ranging band, Crazy Horse died in 1877 as a captive of the U.S. Army. Quiet and reserved, "he wore no war paint, took no scalps, and refused to boast about his brave deeds," writes Freedman. But he was a revered leader in battles along the Oregon and Bozeman trails?which culminated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn?as the Indians of the northern Plains fought an ultimately futile war to keep their independence. Illustrations are taken from the ledger book kept by Crazy Horse's cousin Amos Bad Heart Bull (1869-1913), the historian of the Oglala Sioux. Reproduced from black-and-white photographs made before the ledger book was buried with the artist's sister in 1947, in accordance with Sioux custom, the art is not as crisp and sharp as contemporary kids are used to. But along with the personal accounts the pictures effectively evoke life as Crazy Horse would have known it, wooing a young woman in a "courting blanket," raiding a neighboring tribe for horses, or fighting the U.S. cavalry. No dry history this, but a story certain to sweep readers along its tragic path. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up?An account of the Oglala Sioux leader's life, written with the attention to detail of a historian and the language of a storyteller. Freedman paints the famous warrior's story on a broad canvas, describing the forces (desire for farmland, gold, railroads) that brought increasing numbers of white settlers to the Indian lands. The divisions among and within the tribes in the face of the ever-growing problem are explained, as is Crazy Horse's adamant refusal to give in to either the threats or the treaty offers of the U.S. Army and the government. The climactic battle of the Little Big Horn is described and shown to be the last triumph of the Sioux before they were herded onto reservations, and the last great victory of Crazy Horse before he was pushed to surrender and face his own violent death. Judith St. George's Crazy Horse (Putnam's 1994) tells very much the same story but adds more details of Indian tribal life and customs. Freedman's book is richer in historical background. His focus is on the conflict of two cultures, and in that conflict Crazy Horse plays the role of the tragic hero, resisting the inevitable, fighting for his people's freedom even when he knew the cause was lost. An impressive bibliography is appended. Black-and-white reproductions of Indian pictographs from a collection of drawings by a Sioux artist (Crazy Horse's cousin) decorate and lend authenticity to Freedman's story-a story that is readable and balanced, and one that illuminates an important chapter of American history.?Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1100L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; 1st edition (April 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823412199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823412198
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Russell Freedman received the Newbery Medal for LINCOLN: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City and travels widely to research his books.

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book, The Life and Death of Crazy Horse, tells the story of the American West from a Indian's point of view. Crazy Horse and his people, the Sioux Indians, are living peacefully alone in Indian Country (Montana, and Little Big Horn Battlefield). Crazy Horse loves the wilderness he lives in and the horses he lives with. Then the White people come on the Oregon Trail and take the best campsites and game. The U.S. Army keeps pushing the Indians off their own land. This leads to a lot of fighting and Crazy Horse manages to kill many of their soldiers. If you like adventure in the wilderness, you should read this book!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This excelent story about adventure and courage takes place in the great vast american west where Crazy Horse and his tribe The Sioux Indians peacfuly live. But sadly when americans in the eastern citys want to move west the U.S goverment makes the Sioux Indeans move from there western home land. The book shows the great worior Crazy horse was from child hood to adult hood to when he is killed. A must read for history fans.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Crease in the Page on July 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am reading this book aloud to my kids ages 11 and 10. They, and I, are learning so much about the dynamics of how the US took the midwest from Native people. I feel that this book gives a very balanced perspective--the Sioux culture is painted in both bright and dark colors--the good and the bad. The US is not made out to be in the right or wrong--just tells who did what and how it happened. While the reader is not led to believe that the Sioux people were saintly victims, the reader does gain a sympathy for them and a regret that things were not worked out more peacefully.

It is amazing how well the author researched Crazy Horse's own life. How could so much be known about a man who lived over 100 years ago in a culture that didn't keep written record? But maybe that is my cultural perspective--maybe oral stories keep record just as well as written. Whatever the case, the picture of Crazy Horse is incredibly thorough.

My kids are a little bored by all the details of battles and conflicts--there really is alot of text in this book. I have to keep pausing to give a brief recap of what I just read. But we are so much more enlightened about the Sioux, the battles in the midwest, and the sad aspects of our country's history. It helps to view the events through the life of one man, and see how these events affected an individual... the anger he felt at seeing the slaughter of friends, the weirdness of fighting against white men who had been friendly acquaintances just months before, the futile hopelessness of trying to defend his land and way of life.

I don't feel that the pencil drawings add much to the story. There is probably some cultural significance, again, that I'm not appreciating properly, but my kids don't look over my shoulder to see the pictures.
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By Ron Nuce on November 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good account of the life and death of Crazy Horse. A definite good purchase!
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