From Publishers Weekly
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“The painful, moving, inspiring, and important story of Chief Standing Bear has found a worthy chronicler in Joe Starita. This excellent book is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the West, or of America.”--Ian Frazier, author of On the Rez and Great Plains
“’I Am A Man,’ Joe Starita's account of Ponca Chief Standing Bear's search for justice, is a compelling story that needed to be told, and one that all Americans should read. Standing Bear's perseverance resulted in a legal shift in white America that was a far-reaching benefit for all native peoples, and Joe Starita has told the story with sensitivity and rare insight.”-- Joseph M. Marshall III, author of The Journey of Crazy Horse, The Lakota Way, and The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn
“What makes a man a citizen of the country in which he was born? Joe Starita vividly tells the little known story of Standing Bear, whose 1879 case in Federal Court was to the status of American Indians what the Dred Scott case was to African Americans. In Starita’s book, the story of a great man from a very small tribe becomes a microcosm for the complex nineteenth century struggle that both the American Indians and the Federal government faced in trying to define the status of native people under the law. He paints an important and compelling picture of the plight of the Ponca, a tribe impaled by misguided paternalism, while hopelessly ensnarled in the bureaucratic red tape of an indecisive and out-of-touch government. It is a story that needs to be told and a book that needs to be read by anyone trying to understand the complex story of America’s relationship with its native people.”--- Bill Yenne, author of Sitting Bull and Indian Wars
"Starita paints a powerful picture of Standing Bear, the Ponca chief who, by wanting only to bury his son’s bones in the lands of his ancestors, set in motion a series of events that resulted in all Native American peoples being given the full rights of American citizenship. It is a portrait of a man, a portrait of a time, and an evenhanded discussion of the complex legal and moral issues that lay beneath the struggle of our nation’s first inhabitants to find justice in the land of their birth."--Kent Nerburn, author of Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce and Neither Wolf nor Dog