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Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) Hardcover – November 15, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Bray's book is everything I had hoped for and I am a bit surprised by some of the reviews stating disappointment mostly based on criticisms as to it not being a proper "history." Considering the oral traditions of the North American Indian any history/biography of this type must of necessity be replete in "opinion. " For without that it would be near impossible to move the story along. Mr. Bray has, as has many biographers, used the statements of others as sometimes-primary source material. While some may wish a better foundation, in the case of Crazy Horse (who's middle name must have been "reticence") one must make educated use of what is at hand. I believe the author has done a splendid job in doing just that.
What I found compelling was the deep perusal of the Plains Indians religion, better stated perhaps as their spiritual existence. Everything about the day-to-day activities of Crazy Horse and his people were unified, in some way, to their belief in the world of the spirit. Mr. Bray explores this and brings the difference between Native American and European culture into sharp focus, at least in this one respect. All of us "white eyes" would benefit in attempting to understand more deeply the importance the life of the spirit played and still plays in Indian culture.
In reading "Crazy Horse A Lakota Life" I was transported to the beautiful, never ending prairies of Wyoming and Montana, the fresh clean odor of prairie grass, hearing the burbling streams and the soft nicker of a Sioux warriors pony.
On the Plus Side:
Bray's chapter on Little Big Horn is the best in the book, in that he gives a clear, coherent narrative. And his analysis, in the next chapter, of CH as a military tactician is excellent, in spite of the continuing racial ineptitude of his point of view. Bray reminds me of the avuncular boss who calls his secretary "cutie," blithely oblivious to the insulting nuance of his word choice. This is not "A Lakota Life." Bray's book came from a library, not Wounded Knee. When he talks about the SIoux, he might as well be discussing the Dahomey Empire. Sorry, this was supposed to be the Plus side. The book is exhaustively researched, using every possible source, and in that respect, "indispensible.Read more ›
Another example is in chapter 4. Bray supplies a quote and declares the speaker to be Man Afraid of His Horse. But in the footnote at the end of the book, he states that the quote came from an unidentified speaker, but in his opinion, it was Man Afraid. My opinion is, he should have written the words "perhaps spoken by Man Afraid of His Horse" in the text of the book. As it is, others will now quote Bray and follow his lead, until the speaker becomes Man Afraid in future books, with the "perhaps" being all but forgotten. Maybe I'm too sensitive to this, but it irks me.
Overall, this book is fun to read, but has not, at this point, met my expectations.
I have now finished the first 8 chapters.
At the close of chapter 6 Bray makes it clear he is suffering from hero worship when he writes: The career of the Lakota people's greatest warrior had begun.
Perhaps "one of the greatest" would have been more realistic.
On page 77 he states that the Lakota declared "open war" on the Americans . He goes on to state that it was a "major offensive.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
AN EXCELLENT historical account of the life and times of Crazy Horse. The author has done a huge amount of personal research to put together the details of the life of Crazy... Read morePublished 9 months ago by P. Pollock
The book was in great shape when I received it.Intriguing historical figure can't wait to read the book.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fascinating True Story of a truly brave Man and Race , Highly Recomended
Love Stories about the American Indian People and their History
I have read many books on this man, but this one gives me so much more detail in his life and the time in which he lived. Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by James Goettig
This is a magnificent account, a kind of bible for those interested in Crazy Horse. History is not a precise science and this well-researched volume may have its flaws for those... Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by EnglishProf
This biography of the Lakota leader Crazy Horse certainly deserves a Spur Award for Biography which it received. It is impeccably researched and engagingly written. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by Deborah Lapoint
A fabulous biography of this great warrior. I learned so much that has never been in our history books! Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by Glen W. Bobo
This is one of the most comprehensive, factual, well reserched and documented book on Crazy Horse I have in my collection. I appreciated promptly receiving it and having this book. Read morePublished on October 5, 2012 by Gwen K. Weber