Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: an Indian History of the American West. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970.

Trail of Tears. Manifest Destiny. Phrases and words we have heard before, definitely learned about in high school but, I’m guessing, the origins of which we haven’t given much thought. Bury My Heart at Wounded  Knee has a subtitle of “an Indian History of the American West”  and what a sad history it is! Before each chapter in the book is a snapshot of what shape the country was in that historical moment. A great deal was going on as it was during the American western expansion and the discovery of gold, starting in 1860 when the Navaho leader, Manuelito, was beaten down until surrendering to the white man. It’s a shameful book to read. So many broken promises. So many different times a white man approached a tribal leader with negotiations and treaties that only ended in bald faced lies. This was a difficult book for me to read.

Reason read: May is History Month and boy, is this some ugly history!

Author fact: Dee Brown’s real name is Dorris Alexander Brown and he died in 2002.

Book trivia: The portraits of each tribal chief is pretty amazing. Many thanks to the Smithsonian for the courtesy of reproduction. Tosawi or Silver Knife of the Comanches is my favorite.

BookLust Trivia: from Book Lust in the chapter called “American History: Nonfiction” (p 21).

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