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Cheyenne Autumn

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In the autumn of 1878 a band of Cheyenne Indians set out from Indian Territory, where they had been sent by the U.S. government, to return to their homeland in the Yellowstone country. This saga of their heart-breaking fifteen-hundred-mile flight is by the author of Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas and Old Jules, also available as Bison Books.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Bison Books (first published 1953)
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Robert Vander
I found this to be a powerful book. I noticed a fair amount of criticism concerning readability. Her prose spoke to me. The book requires some effort. The litany of atrocities never lets up. Hope runs threadbare.

The Cheyenne are soft spoken people according to this account. The way these people responded to their diaspora and eventual forced starvation speaks well enough of their character. The emergence of Little Finger Nail a young warrior and the shattering of Black Coyote's spirit and mind
...more
Matthew
I loved this book. It was like reading a gentle stream. Mari Sandoz as expected shows the great humility and perseverance of the Cheyenne. The most pleasant surprise of this book was how Mari wrote it. In the beginning she explains that she is going to the best of her ability express the beauty of some Cheyenne words and phrases that she states really have no place in the English language. I believe she references to a Cheyenne word for how a breeze feels upon the face. And to her credit she pul ...more
Peter Blodgett
In chronicling the 1878 flight of the Northern Cheyenne from their overcrowded and disease-ridden reservation in modern-day Oklahoma, accomplished Nebraska author Mari Sandoz (1896-1966) presents a thoroughly harrowing and ultimate tragic account of one horrific episode in the centuries-long conflict between North America's indigenous peoples and the waves of Euro-American settlers who flooded the continent. Cast (as Sandoz tells the reader) in "the rhythym, the idiom, and the figures of Cheyenn ...more
Ryan
290

I read this book as a history and it was a hard book for me to read. If I read it as a fictional story I probably wouldn't have finished it. The style of the writing made me read the same words 2 and sometimes 3 times to understand what was being said. But I was interested in the story and wanted to finish.

I think the treatment of the native americans was horrific. The all out genocide against them shameful. If this book was intended for me to understand the injustices that happened against
...more
Doug
I was raised in Montana, not far from the Custer Battlefield, and have always had a real interest in the history of the American west. Having said that, I am trying to figure out why it took be so many years to read Mari Sandoz. This is a real loss since I have discovered that many of her books are becoming very difficult to find. Cheyenne Autumn is the story of an epic journey by 270 Northern Cheyenne from their imprisonment in the Indian Territories of Oklahoma to the Yellowstone River in Mont ...more
Malcolm David Logan
Jan 05, 2008 Malcolm David Logan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of Native-American History
There's only one thing more frustrating than reading a book by a terrific author who has nothing worthwhile to say (see Richard Ford) and that's reading a book with really terrific subject matter by an author who can't write worth a lick.
Here's a taste:

"They said their troop escort was of Custer's Seventh Cavalry, some who crossed the river with Reno and attacked Sitting Bull's Hunkapapa circle and lost five of their company there. 'Ahh' Old Bear, who saw the fighting, exclaimed in concern. The
...more
Mark
Cheyenne Autumn, by Mari Sandoz, 1953. This is a brilliant, painstaking, moving book. A history as the Greeks understood history, I think – literature that brings us an understanding of our past, and our current lives. By the end, the story of the Cheyenne people’s long trek north amidst the corruption and violence of the American West in 1878-79, had become a universal story. How does a people survive when the old ways are gone and the new ways full of lies, depravity, and seduction? This is th ...more
Mike
Powerful and tragic, this is an deeply moving book. The history and the writing deserved more time than I gave it (the book is overdue and has a pending request, so I read it in a couple of days). I highly recommend it.
Laura
Mari Sandoz has a unique way of providing the reader with a factual account by keeping the dialogue and language based on her interviews with Native Cheyenne.
This was a very moving account of the atrocities that occured during the period post Battle of the Little Big Horn.
I had the privilege of visiting the current Northen Cheyenne Reservation in April 2009, and paid respects at the gravesites of Chief Dull Knife and Chief Little Wolf.
So to read the book and then go to their home was very emotio
...more
Corbin
beautifull story, but having it written in this Native American prose was a good thing gone wrong. It took me forever to read, I didn't understand some of the pages until I read them three times. Not to mention the number of grammatical errors I found. I love this story, but this book didn't do it justice.
Catherine Richmond
When I read about the Holocaust, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and the genocide in Rwanda and Sudan, I have to remember it happened here, too. In September of 1878, the Cheyennes left Indian Territory for their home country up north. The US government had told them if they didn't like Indian Territory, they could leave. So they did. What the government didn't say was they would send the army after them, to kill them. Those captured were imprisoned in Fort Robinson without food or water. So muc ...more
James Loftus
Mari Sandoz is a truly great story teller. She knows these plain she speaks of, and these Cheyenne. I think she is quite biased, very pro cheyenne, in her telling but it is nonetheless supberb. A tale of great courage and tragedy where one world collapses, under the extreme pressure of western industrialism, and expansionism. The poetic courage of the cheyenne and their trip home is an wonderful epic told with great insight. Their voices live on in her words. their courage lives on in her book.
Deena
Although Sandoz's methodology is less-than-perfect, this is a beautifully written, moving account of the daring attempt of many Cheyenne to return to their homeland from Indian Territory. Well worth reading.

The movie of the same title is a revolting bastardization of this book, and so upset Sandoz that she never allowed another of her books to be made in to a movie.
Sally Mckelvey shultz
The writing was difficult to get through, but the story made it worth the read. It is very sad, and hard to imagine, the horrific treatment of these people. I wish I had read this before visiting the Badlands, the Black Hills, the Snake River, and Yellowstone. The history, added to the natural beaty, makes it an even more fascinating place.
Allan
Sandoz' use of a narrative voice reflecting the Cheyenne perspective takes some getting used to (a sort of "Cheyenne-ese" you might say, ha!), but this true American tragedy is utterly compelling, if terribly sad.

Tara Hall
Not a bad story, and well written, but very depressing, detailing a trek of Cheyenne trying to get back to their old lands after being forced to a reservation. I would not recommend it.
Mary
This is not a feel good book, but very sad. I really felt awful after reading this story of unbelievable forced hardship.
Mairead
Good novel and perspective as a native american.
Rebecca
Aug 23, 2014 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all history buffs
very good history of the cheyenne's
Richard
Hasn't really grabbed me yet
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Jan 06, 2009 Emily is currently reading it
Write my paper.
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