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Sitting Bull Paperback – March 19, 2009
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Amazon Significant Seven, April 2008: As a celebrated warrior, shaman, and leader of the Lakota tribe, Sitting Bull was both a fascinating and frightening icon to the expanding United States, a 19th-century cross-cultural superstar who was at once a friend to Buffalo Bill and the emblem of Native American resistance in the face of the westward settlement. In Sitting Bull, Bill Yenne has produced a fascinating and exhaustively researched biography, drawing from contemporary sources as well as the iconic leader's own "Hieroglyphic Autobiography" (a series of pictographs depicting pivotal events in his life) to create an informal and relaxed account that still packs an amazing amount of detail. Recounting the exploits of the budding warrior known as Jumping Badger, his misunderstood role in the Battle of Little Big Horn, and his death on the eve of the massacre at Wounded Knee, Sitting Bull cuts through legend to place the Lakota leader square into his own cultural context, spurning the usual wasichu filters or biases. --Jon Foro --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this stirring biography, Yenne, author of numerous books on the history of the American West (Indian Wars, On the Trail of Lewis and Clark, etc.), captures the extraordinary life of Plains Indian leader Sitting Bull while providing new insight into the nomadic culture of the Lakota. Born in 1831, Sitting Bull witnessed the downfall of his people's way of life nearly from start to finish-despite some clashes, "the Lakota supremacy on the northern Plains remained essentially unchallenged" until the 1850s. Yenne describes how hostilities increased after the 1849 California gold rush, and were exacerbated by the opening of the railroad; conflicts and broken treaties would harden many Lakota against the colonists, including Sitting Bull. A high point is Yenne's account of how celebrity journalism created the myth of Custer's Last Stand, casting the general as hero and Sitting Bull as the villain, and how the US cavalry's defeat was used to justify forcing Indians off their land and onto reservations. The last half of the book describes Sitting Bull's unsuccessful attempts to defend the Lakota's land and culture through negotiation and peaceful resistance, alongside a dismal record of government betrayal and neglect. In this remarkable, tragic portrait, Sitting Bull emerges as a thoughtful, passionate and very human figure. 60 illustrations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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