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Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Siouxby John Neihardt
Synopses & Reviews
Black Elk Speaks is widely hailed as a religious classic, one of the best spiritual books of the modern era and the bestselling book of all time about an American Indian. This inspirational and unfailingly powerful story reveals the life and visions of the Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and the tragic history of his Sioux people during the epic closing decades of the Old West. In 1930, the aging Black Elk met a kindred spirit, the famed poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Lakota elder chose Neihardt to share his visions and life with the world. Neihardt understood and today Black Elk is known to all. Black Elk's remarkable great vision came to him during a time of decimation and loss, when outsiders were stealing the Lakotas' land, slaughtering buffalo, and threatening their age-old way of life. As Black Elk remembers all too well, the Lakotas, led by such legendary men as Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, fought unceasingly for their freedom, winning a world-renowned victory at the Little Bighorn and suffering unspeakable losses at Wounded Knee. Black Elk Speaks, however, is more than the epic history of a valiant Native nation. It is beloved as a spiritual classic because of John Neihardt's sensitivity to Black Elk's resounding vision of the wholeness of earth, her creatures, and all of humanity. Black Elk Speaks is a once-in-a-lifetime read: the moving story of a young Lakota boy before the reservation years, the unforgettable history of an American Indian nation; and an enduring spiritual message for us all. The premier edition features the first-ever annotated edition of Black Elk's story, done byrenowned Lakota scholar Raymond Demallie, the original Standing Bear illustrations and new commentary on them, new maps of the world of Black Elk Speaks, and a revised index.
This inspirational and unfailingly powerful story reveals the life and visions of the Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk and the tragic history of his Sioux people. This premier edition features the first-ever annotated edition of Black Elk's story as well as new commentary, maps, and a revised index.
Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863and#8211;1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elkand#8217;s searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.
Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and asked Neihardt to share his story with the world. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elkand#8217;s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind.
This complete edition features a new introduction byand#160;historian Philip J. Deloria and annotations of Black Elkand#8217;s story by renowned Lakota scholar Raymond J. DeMallie. Three essays by John G. Neihardt provide background on this landmark work along with pieces by Vine Deloria Jr., Raymond J. DeMallie, Alexis Petri, and Lori Utecht. Maps, original illustrations by Standing Bear, and a set of appendixes rounds out the edition.
About the Author
John G. Neihardt (1881and#8211;1973) is the author of several classics, including A Cycle of the West and Eagle Voice Remembers, both available in Bison Books editions. He was named Nebraskaand#8217;s first poet laureate and foremost poet of the nation by the National Poetry Center in 1936.
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