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In the Spirit of Crazy Horseby Peter Matthiessen
Synopses & Reviews
Kept off the shelves for eight years by legal battles, this is the comprehensive history of the desperate Indian efforts to maintain their traditions and preserve the sacredness of the earth. Matthiessen reveals the Lakota Indians' long struggle with the U.S. Government, from Red Cloud's War and Little Big Horn to the Indian wars of the 1970s. 3 maps.
Frederick E. Hoxie, one of our most prominent and celebrated academic historians of Native American history, has for years asked his undergraduate students at the beginning of each semester to write down the names of three American Indians. Almost without exception, year after year, the names are Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. The general conclusion is inescapable: Most Americans instinctively view Indians as people of the past who occupy a position outside the central narrative of American history. These three individuals were warriors, men who fought violently against American expansion, lost, and died. Itandrsquo;s taken as given that Native history has no particular relationship to what is conventionally presented as the story of America. Indians had a history too; but theirs was short and sad, and it ended a long time ago.and#160;
In This Indian Country, Hoxie has created a bold and sweeping counter-narrative to our conventional understanding. Native American history, he argues, is also a story of political activism, its victories hard-won in courts and campaigns rather than on the battlefield. For more than two hundred years, Indian activistsandmdash;some famous, many unknown beyond their own communitiesandmdash;have sought to bridge the distance between indigenous cultures and the republican democracy of the United States through legal and political debate. Over time their struggle defined a new language of andldquo;Indian rightsandrdquo; and created a vision of American Indian identity. In the process, they entered a dialogue with other activist movements, from African American civil rights to womenandrsquo;s rights and other progressive organizations.
Hoxie weaves a powerful narrative that connects the individual to the tribe, the tribe to the nation, and the nation to broader historical processes. He asks readers to think deeply about how a country based on the values of liberty and equality managed to adapt to the complex cultural and political demands of people who refused to be overrun or ignored. As we grapple with contemporary challenges to national institutions, from inside and outside our borders, and as we reflect on the array of shifting national and cultural identities across the globe, This Indian Country provides a context and a language for understanding our present dilemmas.
An indescribably touching, extraordinarily intelligent" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) chronicle of a fatal gun-battle between FBI agents and American Indian Movement activists by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise
On a hot June morning in 1975, a desperate shoot-out between FBI agents and Native Americans near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, left an Indian and two federal agents dead. Four members of the American Indian Movement were indicted on murder charges, and one, Leonard Peltier, was convicted and is now serving consecutive life sentences in a federal penitentiary. Behind this violent chain of events lie issues of great complexity and profound historical resonance, brilliantly explicated by Peter Matthiessen in this controversial book. Kept off the shelves for eight years because of one of the most protracted and bitterly fought legal cases in publishing history, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse reveals the Lakota tribes long struggle with the U.S. government, and makes clear why the traditional Indian concept of the earth is so important at a time when increasing populations are destroying the precious resources of our world.
About the Author
Peter Matthiessen was the cofounder of the Paris Review and is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Indian Country, and The Snow Leopard, winner of the National Book Award.
Table of Contents
Please sign here — Eagle Horse — Dakota wind --Pray for the people — Anna Mae — Not for sale --Stolen land — You're a brave one — Song for Leonard Peltier — A crime that isn't mine — Blow Dakota blow --Patriot — Bury my heart — Leonard Peltier in his own words.
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