Reviews for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee : An Indian History of the American West


Booklist Reviews 2009 November #2
It is a hard fact that history creates winners and losers. Brown's landmark work, first published in 1970, movingly illustrated that truism as he narrates the destruction of the cultures of various Native American groups in the trans-Mississippi west between 1860-90. Brown, who was a librarian at the University of Illinois for decades, was determined to balance the books by writing an account of the winning of the West from a Native American perspective. This latest edition, embellished by more than 300 illustrations and several interesting essays, has both the weaknesses and strengths of the original work. Critics, with some justification, have noted Brown's glossing over the unsavory aspects of some Native American groups, including their idealization of warfare. In his efforts to portray Native Americans as victims, his constant emphasis on American rapaciousness and duplicity is over the top. Still, Brown's essential message retains its power and conveys eloquently the tragedy of a people displaced and humiliated by the advance of an expanding aggressive civilization that they could neither cope with nor comprehend. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Brown's 1970 classic captures the Native American experience during the latter half of the 19th century. He describes how the U.S. government systematically eradicated Native groups to seize their homelands for distribution to white settlers. The escalating barbarity of the warfare culminated in the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, SD, one of the worst atrocities ever committed by the U.S. military. Brown's monograph, alongside works such as Vine Deloria Jr.'s Custer Died for Your Sins, ushered in an era in Native American studies where the perspectives of Native peoples were brought to the fore. The original text is supplemented with full-color maps, illustrations, and photographs. Interspersed throughout are excerpts from the writings of Alvin M. Josephy Jr. and Russell Means that bring Brown's work into the present day. Verdict This new edition is highly recommended for all readers interested in U.S. history.-John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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