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Showing 1-10 of 673 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 954 reviews
on October 21, 2014
Indeed it was heartbreaking; I thought I had been given quite a detailed, liberal, truthful education about the late 1800's in America in a great high school (I was lucky enough to live in a tiny Chicago suburb which got included with several large wealthy towns). I know I got even more detail and some broader facts (WHY were so many millions pouring into North America from Europe just then, putting so much pressure on the federal government, and then on the American Indians?). I even got to know a number of Indians during my first job , right out of Law School, in a small 2- lawyer firm, because my boss was determined not to let any Indian (most of them near our city were Menominiee or Oneida) go without legal representation when charged with a crime, and many of them were "working poor," just a hair over the "poverty line" for Public Defender (state-paid) attorneys. He never charged them anything for his or my work, and if the charge was a felony which occurred on their reservation, it was automatically a federal crime and handled in U.S. District Trial Court. That meant traveling three hour each way to Milwaukee for each court hearing. We talked a lot, about old times, their parents, grandparents, ancestors from before white settlers arrived in Wisconsin - stories were handed down for decades, often with sketches on skins, since the 1600's. This was a real eye-opener to me; I couldn't understand how they could be so polite to us whites. One man who was Tribal Court Judge (for non-felony crimes on the res.) laughed when I said that and said "Honey, we don't have any other choice."

Then, last week, I read "Bury My Heart..." I thought I had read the worst stuff, but I had not; in this beutifully-researched book, I read of the most inexcusable atrocities, read of the repeated land-grabs and treaty-breaking moves whenever gold, silver, water, or simply more land was desired. I knew that horrible things happened because there was no respect for the signed government contracts (treaties) or the general ethics and morals in the treatment of the millions of mostly-peaceable people who whose sole "crime" was to be here in North America first. I never knew, however, how direct the President and many Generals, such as Sheridan and then Sherman (he of the notorious and unnecessary "March to the Sea" near the end of the Civil War), constantly set up roadblocks to decent land even when tribes or sub-groups of tribes were willing to sign treaties and go to a reservation - Sherman often demanded death for chiefs as well as capitulation of all of the people under them. The famous "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" has been attributed to Gen. Sherman, as well. Brown's research brought me more surprises, in that I learned that President Grant was far more reasonable and even sympathetic to the Plains Indians than his generals, and he countermanded many orders resulting in saving the lives of well-loved Chiefs. Grant wisely appreciated that working with the chiefs would save lives, and pain of many kinds. (By the time Grant was Pres., most of the eastern and midwestern tribes had been subdued and driven onto reservations, fled to Canada, or were killed by European diseases or bullets).

The most shocking passages in this book need not be reviewed here; they are many, far more than I had ever imagined. At the slightest provocation, whole villages ( women, children, even unborn babies) were slaughtered while the adult male warriors were ready to do battle at a specific place arranged for, or at least well known by, the American troops, sometimes with paid enemy Indian agents' help. It was common, when the men came back to their village to see the horrors done to their families, for the soldiers to surround them and attack again, either to slaughter once more or take the Indians as prized slave-prisoners. Wounded Knee and Sand Creek, both named for peaceful little streams where Indians liked to set up camp, were two sites of such slaughter, and they are certainly not the only ones where any American Indian would want to bury his or her heart. What a book. Just the photographs are hauntingly beautiful. Every white American should read it. The problem is, the ones who need the education it offers the most would never, ever, read it. Too bad...
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on December 25, 2015
Before Howard Zinn and his "people's history...", Brown composed this masterpiece of truth telling. Far from a vague account of noble savages, this is a telling of what white supremacy and manifest destiny cost the Native tribes here. It is fraught with a cruel, straight forward redundancy about the making of these United States. The West was not won but stolen--with massacres, forced marches, broken treaties, outright lies, unceasing dehumanization, determined injustice, and the deliberate dissolution of many indigenous civilizations. The brokenness of the reservation, generally, and sad plight of many descendants who remain is not at all mysterious.

This book is not a page turner, though it is interesting. Honestly, it's often difficult to read the accounts of treachery upon treachery. Yet, it is as important as anything I've read about the fallout of European colonialism, capitalism before humanity, and the making of this nation. The accounts are straightforward and never maudlin, yet I cannot imagine reading it carefully without sorrow or finishing it without a more thoughtful, critical view of US history. Bitter medicine.
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on December 29, 2013
An excellent, accurate, historical account of how the US government, the US Army and the Indian agents systematically ripped off the Native American tribes, and as if robbing them of their land and culture was not enough, how the Army flat-out murdered whole villages of old men, women and babies (i.e., the massacre of Sand Creek, Nov. 1867, where Col. John Chivington, US Army, raided a villiage of sleeping, unarmed Cheyenne Indians and slaughtered the inhabitants - mostly women and children as they stood under the US Flag and the white flag of surrender; the shameful massacre at Wounded Knee Creek, Dec. 1890), all for the sake of "Manifest Destiny" -- a fancy name to justify the white man's greed and racism. Col. Chivington was put on trial but never prosecuted for his war crimes. No wonder they don't teach this stuff in American schools, if they did it would be called the American Holocaust.
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on February 20, 2017
An utterly devastating read about the many utterly devastated cultures of the Native Americans. So many beautiful and unique cultures were destroyed and far too many people needlessly lost their lives. The genocide of the Native Americans and the despicable treatment they received throughout U.S. history is often swept under the rug and not properly addressed. Dee Brown did our country a favor by shedding some light on these atrocities. The book gives firsthand accounts from the unfortunate Native Americans whom had the misfortune of living through the many battles, massacres, constant deceit, and countless broken treaties. Although this book will break your heart, it is most definitely a must-read.

I'll leave you with one of the many great quotes to be found found within this book.

"I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian... we can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free to travel... free to stop... free to work... free to choose my own teachers... free to follow the religion of my Fathers... free to think and talk and act for myself." - Chief Joseph
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on May 15, 2016
Americans,especially today, are calling for punishment of immigrants most having no idea of the lies, murders and genocide perpetrated by their own ancestors, themselves immigrants, in the forming of this nation. This book should be required reading for ALL white Americans.
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on October 19, 2016
I read the book decades ago, but after having read "Trail of Tears" I wanted to read it again. I feel it to be a historical classic book, as it relates to the consistent mistreatment of the Native American population. I'm very pleased I bought the illustrated edition, as it adds greatly to the overall learning experience and reading enjoyment.
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on November 10, 2015
This book is a classic in history. The author tells the story of the Native American Indians during the time period of the late 1880's. Each chapter gives some highlights of other things that happened during the story of each chapter. Everything is told from the Indian point of view. Many speeches are directly from the Indian quoted. It tells the story of a people that just wanted to be left alone to live on land they had inhabited for generations. It tells the story of a peaceful people who didn't want war but found war pushed on them to survive. Although not all tribes survived. References are given for further study at the end of the book.
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on August 25, 2010
The original is a very well written book, nearly every chapter is a story in itself. Together they give an overview of the partail genocide and internment in concentration camps/reservations of some of the most prominent "Native American" tribes, along with other interesting facts and fantastic photos. My only gripe with this latest edition is that many of the original photos have been deleted, most of them are replaced with alternates of the same subject, but not all. The pics. of Roman Nose and Wovoka are gone replaced only with charcoal drawings. One of my favorites, Big Eagle brandishing his war club is gone, replaced with a photo that does'nt jump of the page the way the original does. This new edit. has a number of essays interspearsed through the chapters, an infomitive preface, many new photos and two maps, all of which are welcome. I was hopeing the maps would be of more assistance, they date from 1852 which is well before the 1860-1890 time-line of the narrative. They leave alot to be desired for answering questions like: Where is the "Smokey Hill"?...refered to with great frequency in the early chapters. If you've not read this book I suggest an earlier edition as it should have a better flow reading it as it was first intended, then since the vast majority of readers will be compelled to reread this classic, buy the expanded version for an even more enjoyable reread. A sample of the interesting facts aforementioned: (July 1860 the repeating rifle invented)...To me this shows that the Union Army finally had the ability to wage war with the confederates, carry on their genocide doctorine of free peoples, while standing ready to defend against a potential foriegn invader like Great Britten. The union could'nt have done all three without repeating rifles, so as soon as they had them they wasted no time forceing their agenda. Consider: What if slaves had been granted freedom while tribal Americans were free? Drums, danceing, tribal religion...these two tribes of man flurishing stood firmly in the way of corporate America and still do, as propaganda wars are as prominent as ever.
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on May 8, 2017
I am reading this book a little at a time as i find myself getting too angry or just sobbing at what the First Peoples suffered at the hand of those who believed themeselves to be superior in an effort to steal their land and resources. The U.S. is awfully quick to condemn genocide in other countries throughout history but have yet to fully acknowledge their own efforts to achieve such, here. As a caucasian American, i am ashamed of our forefathers then and am appalled that our government, to this day, breaks treaties in efforts to sell reservation land and resources to the highest bidder.
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on November 18, 2014
A tough read not because it's not excellent, but because it is painful. The clearest picture it paints is that the most ever enduring and quintessential American values are greed and consumption at the expense of the less powerful. There is much that was true in the late 19th century and in 1970 when Brown wrote this book that still rings true in 2014. We still destroy and exploit people's around the world in a daily basis whether it is at home through predatory lending practices or with our neighbors through antiquated immigration policies or globally as in our actions toward the innocent collateral damage of our mid-east wars. This book makes me proud of the part of my heritage that is Native American, but makes me ashamed of the parts that took active part in the lie of Manifest Destiny. My heart hurts for the injustices meted out by the American government.
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