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Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions (Enriched Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Rober Brunett author of The Tortured Americans A masterpiece.

Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., author of Indian Heritage of America A wonderful book...destined to become a classic.

Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., author of Indian Heritage of America Lame Deer is a magnificent American....He has demolished so much misinformation and so many stereotypes about Indians and their values and ways of life that we should be ashamed of how little we have actually known of all that he has to tell us. As an individual and as a representative of his people, he is someone whom all readers should get to know -- not just those who are interested in Indians, but every American. The book is destined to become a classic. It will be read, and reread, and quoted from through the years. Personally, I am enormously enriched by it.
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Product Details

  • Series: Enriched Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Enriched Classic edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671888021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671888022
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I once lived on the Yakima Reservation for a couple weeks, back in 1964. This constituted my entire experience with Native Americans until thirty years later I met a few Navajo and Pueblo people on a trip to the Southwest. So even though I worked as an anthropologist for many years, I had absolutely zip to do with Native Americans. I was aware that there is a huge amount of junk written and shown in movies about them; that they have been either lionized or demonized out of all proportion in America and in the world beyond. I always felt that "ethnic cleansing" was not invented in the Balkans. Only when such writers as Silko, Momaday, Alexie, and Erdrich emerged did I discover the other world of the Indian people, only the film "Smoke Signals" rang true to me. So, I wasn't sure, when I picked up LAME DEER: SEEKER OF VISIONS, co-authored by John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes, whether I was getting some kind of phony, "awesome-dude !" worshipful portrait of a Lakota "medicine man" or not.
Not to keep you waiting any longer---this is a wonderful book on several levels. First, it contains the life story of Lame Deer, a Lakota man born in South Dakota in 1903 at the absolute nadir of Lakota history. It tells how he grew up, surviving relentless hostility by local whites, went through many ways of life, had numerous escapades, and finally turned towards the traditional wisdom of his people, becoming a wise elder, knowledgeable in many aspects of life. He has that wry Indian humor, so different a personality to what was always presented by Hollywood. Nobody can read this book and not be impressed by this man.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
People here are prasing this book for the insight it gives into the lives of Native Americans. Not that this book isn't important for its take on Amerindian culture: to say that John Lame Deer doesn't have a grasp on what is important to himself and his people would be improper and negligent.
People are missing two of the things that make this book so powerful: its humor and its take on the white world that exists outside of the reservation. Erdoes commentaries on his Indian visitors, Lame Deer's comments on EVERYTHING, and the voice and process of this book are FUNNY. This book is well-constructed and fun to read. On to the second point: Lame Deer is fairly sucessful in making Europeans often look like clowns-- stripping their culture and sophistication, making them more human....
This book should have a much wider audience than it has ever had (and that is actually fairly substantial, strangely enough....) Not that this is a book that could change a person's life: it could at least give direction to the perplexed. I highly recommend this book....
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had the great pleasure of meeting Lame Deer in the mid 1970's, when he came and spoke with a college class I was attending. Well, perhaps "spoke" is not the right word. Looking back from some 30 years later, I cannot say whether the presence he had was completely authentic, completely manufactured, or some combination of the two. But a very definite presence is most certainly what he had. He communicated as much through gesture, posture and his gaze as he did with his words.

And when I say he spoke "with" the class, that is exactly what I mean. Far more than most of the guest "lecturers" I have seen over the years, Lame Deer clearly attended to each question he was asked, as if it was the most important thing in his world for that moment.

I have not read the book in many years (it was lost in a move shortly after that visit) but I remember that it did an excellent job of taking me out of my customary perspective while allowing me to feel GOOD about it rather than threatened or "put down."
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Verified Purchase
I originally read this book back in the 70's and purchased it for my goddaughter to read. As a refresher, I went through it again before sending it on to her. Lame Deer's sense of humor alone makes the book well worth reading. His insight to things is wonderful and his explanation of what he believes as a Medicine Man is fascinating. What really struck me, after studying Greek Mythology and going through the Illiad and the Odyssey is how man has distanced himself from nature as a result of monotheism versus polytheism. In the latter there was a god for everything, which caused the believers to have respect for the things that those gods represented. If nothing else, it taught, as Lame Deer explains, that man is not separate from, but an integral part of nature, yet we have come to lose our respect for it. We treat it as though it is our servant and that the relationship is no longer one, but now quite separated. The sense of interdependence has waned considerably. The book is an easy read as far as time spent reading it. It is the thinking and reflecting you will be doing afterward that will be your reward for having read it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
You will find yourself laughing out loud at the antics in this book numerous times. I almost fell out of my chair when the book detailed Lame Deer's crime spree of moonshine whiskey and stolen cars. ;-) This one story alone os worth twice the price of the book!
There is much wisdom in this book; but the ceremonies in this book are not entirely accurate.
Many American Indian Nations witheld accurate information, but now more and more of them are coming forward and releasing accurate information. Even some of the Hopi Elders came forward about two years ago and released some of their sacred prophecies. I hope it is not too late.
I am deeply disturbed by the Kettle dance, but I am not of that culture, and have no right to judge it.
I would like to give this book five stars but I can't because some of the ceremonies are wrong.
I say the ceremonies are wrong because I have read ceremonies in many other books, and I have several full blooded American Indian friends, and they confirmed what I read in these other sources.
I recommend these books regarding American Indian Spirituality in the order listed.
"The Sacred Pipe" Joseph Epes Brown
"Native Wisdom" Ed McGaa
"Mother Earth Spirituality" Ed McGaa
"Foolscrow: Wisdom And Power" Thomas E. Mails
"Black Elk: The Sacred ways of the Lakota" Wallace Black Elk & William S. Lyons.
I recommend "The Sacred Pipe" highest because Mr. Brown actualy lived with the famous holyman Nick Black Elk for a few months while gathering information for this book.
Then; there are some books written by Indians that are full of new age pap because it sells.
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