Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

By Dee Brown,

Book cover of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

Book description

The American West, 1860-1890: years of broken promises, disillusionment, war and massacre.

Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos and ending with the massacre of Sioux at Wounded Knee, this extraordinary book tells how the American Indians lost their land, lives and liberty to white settlers pushing westward. Woven…


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Why read it?

4 authors picked Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is a broad, well-researched tale of the indigenous people of the American West, chronicling the destruction of their way of life and their relocation to reservations amid the gradual encroachment of western civilization across the continental United States in the 19th Century. Describing the tribes and their leaders, Dee Brown captures the hardships and persecution of Native Americans, evoking an appreciation for their legacy and compassion for their plight. This book ignited my passion for painting the visual diversity and unique differences of various native nations.

From Greg's list on Native American history.

Although it’s non-fiction, if you want to get a sense of what the Native American population endured during the settlement of the Old West, this is the book to read. Heartbreaking, yes, but this shameful era in America’s history deserves to be told. Brown does so with finesse, focusing on specific tribes including the Navajo Nation, the Sioux, the Utes, the Apache, and the Kiowas, among others. Definitely a must-read if you’re interested in the history of the Old West.

I hate to recommend Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown because it is an excruciating look back at the atrocities inflicted by my people upon the original Natives of North America. Unfortunately, not reading about those horrific acts does not erase them from the historical record, which is why this book should be mandatory reading for every single American. The endless litany of murder and treachery recounted in this book spans nearly 500 years, and, yet, the average American knows almost nothing about the tragic events that made our lives possible. America stands for freedom, right? Dee…

From K.B.'s list on the destruction of North America.

There is no way to understand the impact of the western migration before the Civil War without considering it from the receiving end — from the perspective, that is, of the Native Americans whose lives and traditions were upended in a matter of years by white trespassers. When it was published in 1970, Brown’s book was a needed corrective to Hollywood depictions of cowboys (good) and Indians (bad).  In retrospect, Brown’s reversal of the old equation may have oversimplified matters a little (Peter Cozzens' The Earth is Weeping is more balanced in this regard). But Bury My Heart remains a…

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