- Series: Plains Histories
- Hardcover: 378 pages
- Publisher: Texas Tech University Press; 1 edition (August 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0896726347
- ISBN-13: 978-0896726345
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder: And Other True Stories from the Nebraska–Pine Ridge Border Towns (Plains Histories) 1st Edition
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"The book is a model of how local and regional history can and should be written."
--W. David Baird, Journal of American History
"In terms of artistry, [the book] is a grand sweep of history told in the best tradition of literary journalism. Border town inhabitants come to life and past and present merge seamlessly."
--Carol Berry, Indian Country Today
"Stew Magnuson expertly weaves together threads of sound historical research with social mythology and contemporary politics to produce an intriguing historical overview..." --Roger Davis, Nebraska History
"From readers looking for an informative read that flows like a well-written novel to researchers seeking information, this text is a valuable source."
--Jeanette Palmer, Studies in American Indian Literature
"Stew Magnuson provides a riveting and intricately textured retelling of a dreadful murder and its long history." --Daniel M. Cobb, The Western Historical Quarterly
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Sometimes books that are based on extraordinary research throw too much detail at you. This one puts that detail in service of several closely related storylines, spanning two centuries and more. Characters are memorable, scenes are vivid, motivations are complex and realistic.
These are stories of the developing relationship between native Americans and whites, in and around what are now the town of Whiteclay and the Pine Ridge reservation. It's a complicated relationship, and Magnuson brings a satisfying measure of understanding without simplifying it. Recent events and those in the distant past are treated with equal weight as the author brings us back and forth in time.
It's a tribute to the role of history in creating the present, and a convincing answer to those who would propose a fresh start, without reference to the weight of that history. It's something that could be said about any uneasy relationship between peoples--the whole cloth of history is made of many threads, old and new.
These threads are woven together in a way that makes you feel you're in the presence of the people portrayed. You'll feel you've come to know them, as Magnuson clearly did. There are lapses in the momentum, but they are few and easily bridged. Strongly recommended.
As someone who has lived on and around reservations for almost 30 years, I felt Magnuson did a very accurate job of portraying the inherent conflicts and attitudes that simmer below the surface in the border towns.
In his acknowledgements, the author said he wanted not to write an NY Times bestseller, but a book that people on both sides of the border would read. I hope they do.