Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

by Dee Brown
audiobook: 14.3 hours
narrated by Grover Gardner


*** About the Book ***

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Arena Books)First published in1972, this book provides an extraordinary look at the collapse of the Indian Nations of the American West due to the encroachment of white settlers.  Separate chapters are dedicated to each Indian tribe and the particulars of its downfall.  Each chapter begins with a timeline that lists the major events going on around the world and in the United States.  This is followed by direct quotes from Indians regarding their experiences.  The rest of the chapter then details the events that led to either the extinction of the tribe or its forced move onto a reservation.


*** Why I Read It ***

A while back I watched the movie Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and became interested in the Native American writer Charles Eastman.  After listening to some of his histories I wanted to learn more so I sought out this book, knowing that it had received high praise from a blogger I trust.


*** My Thoughts ***

This book is a must read for absolutely everyone. It should be part of the public school curriculum throughout the United States.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

If you think you know anything about the history of the American West, you probably only know a fraction of what you think you know.  I always thought that my education was pretty balanced, or at least that I'd educated myself in areas that were lacking, but I can't believe how much of the "doctrine" I learned in elementary school continues to affect my thinking without me being conscious of it.  This book truly opened my eyes to the realities of American history, to things that I really thought I already knew but apparently did not.

I fully intend to listen to this book again.  And maybe even again after that.  I also intend to get a copy of the illustrated edition and to share it with Kiddo when he's a little bit older.  It is one of the best, most educational, books I've ever read/listened to.



*** Your Thoughts ***

It was Alyce's review (from At Home With Books) that made me put this book on my TBR list last year; I encourage you to check out her review as she says exactly what I am trying to say only better, AND she uses lots of pictures from the illustrated edition.

Have any of the rest of you read this book?  If you've reviewed it please leave a link in the comments.  For those who haven't read it, have I convinced you to pick it up? I hope so, because this is truly a phenomenal book.

12 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I was in junior high when this book came out and remember how popular it was back then. Great review.

Cyndel said...

I felt the same way when I read Lies My Teacher Told Me. It's amazing the things I wasn't taught in school. I'll definitly be looking for this book.

Have you visited the American Indian Museum in DC? I've been to the mall several times, but I didn't make it to this museum until just a few weeks ago. It was a GREAT museum. Actually, it might be my favorite. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out.

softdrink said...

Dude! I just bought this book last weekend. I kid you not...and here I thought it was going to be a totally obscure book.

Alyce said...

I'm so glad that you liked it! It was one of those books that took me a long time to get through (partly because the subject matter made me sad), but it was worth all of the effort. Thanks for the mention!

I passed my copy on to my dad and he thought it was fantastic too. He has had an interest in the old west and photos of Native Americans for a long time, so this was the perfect book for him. A few weeks ago we watched John Wayne's "The Searchers" together, and both commented on how the book helped us see things in a new light.

Kayris said...

Here via Charm City Moms.

Great blog you've got here! I'm also a Baltimore Mom and big reader, always looking for new stuff to read.

Also wanted to say that I read a little about your son and thought the hockey article was *lovely.* I was quite frankly APPALLED by the comments left towards you at the Charm City Moms blog today.

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion - I hope that more people read it - it is truly enlightening.

Cyndel - No, I haven't been there! How could I have missed it?! Must remedy that asap.

softdrink - OOH I can't wait to see what you think of it!

Alyce - Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I don't think I'll ever again watch a "cowboys and indians" movie without thinking of this book.

Kayris - Welcome and thanks for dropping by - I'm always happy to connect with local bloggers! Thanks for your kind words as well. I tried my best to be polite in my replies on the Charm City Moms post today - hopefully I was successful. :)

Dave said...

I was looking at this book when I was in Wyoming last month -- and wondering why I had never read it. With your recommendation, I will finally read it.

Heather J. said...

Dave - I'm so glad - you will DEFINITELY enjoy this one. Though I don't know that "enjoy" is the correct word ...

Aarti said...

I'm so glad to see this review! Vasilly and I have plans to read this one together at some point. Not sure when that will be, but hopefully sooner rather than later! It's at least on my shelf- that's the first step!

Heather J. said...

Aarti - This will be an EXCELLENT book to discuss - I wish I'd read it with someone myself.

martine said...

How wonderful to see this book come up, I read it about 20+ years ago, and was very moved by it. It really gives you a view of a whole different way of life and how it was destroyed. You are right, it should be required reading ... or rather at least be there under people's noses so they can think about it. I don't think such books are about making anyone feel guilty or responsible for what happened but about knowledge and understanding.
thanks for sharing
martine

Heather J. said...

martine - I couldn't agree more - it's about understanding what REALLY happened so things like this cannot happen again.

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