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The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
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The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,380 Ratings  ·  356 Reviews

An astonishing untold story of the American West

The great Sioux warrior-statesman Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loya
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published November 1st 2013)
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Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
When you read about the history of U.S.-Indian relations, you quickly learn that the only coherent thread of an otherwise incoherent, schizophrenic policy, was this: divide and conquer. The U.S. Government treated with the tribes seemingly at random. Some Indians were slaughtered. Some were moved and removed. Others were rewarded. Sometimes governmental policy was benignly misguided (see Grant, Ulysses); at other times it was premeditatedly cruel (see Jackson, Andrew). Seldom did it make any sen ...more
Paul Pessolano
Oct 30, 2013 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
“The Heart of Everything That Is” by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, published by Simon & Schuster.

Category – American History Publication Date – November 05, 2013

I can remember the name Red Cloud from my college history books, and if I am not mistaken he received a total of 3 or 4 paragraphs, if that. The reason he has not received the notoriety that he deserves was that he was an American Indian and that he defeated the United States Government. In fact, he is the only American Indian to defeat
Michelle Hopkins
You will not "like" this story; you should not. That is not a reflection on the innumerable talents of the authors. This is the story of an American Tragedy, not something to "like" really. Although it depicts savage violent acts of the Indians, the ultimate savagery is inflicted on them in the ill-informed and vengeful efforts to exterminate their people. For that, you should feel everything from sadness and despair to rage and loss. Before I proceed with my review, I add by way of clarificatio ...more
Nancy Kennedy
Sep 23, 2013 Nancy Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book about the life of Sioux warrior Red Cloud, the scenes of bloodshed, gore and atrocities are endless. But the most arresting visual I took away from it is a final scene reported in the book's endnotes. It's an "I'm Not Rappaport" kind of scene in which the vanquished Red Cloud, living out his last years on a reservation, is recounting his life to an old friend in a series of interviews. The conversations are turned into a manuscript that is then lost for a hundred years.

Authors Bob D
Mar 10, 2014 John rated it liked it
I have to admit that I am conflicted about this book. I bought it, interested in the subject already, and having read several other works about the Sioux people, in addition to the obligatory Sitting Bull/Crazy Horse/Custer library, I was hoping this was indeed "The Untold Story of Red Cloud" as advertised. And right off the bat, I was caught up in the quality of the prose.

Slowly the questions and difficulties emerged; the sourcing is imprecise, the system of "trailing phrases" notation and cita
P.e. lolo
Oct 05, 2013 P.e. lolo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Let me say this was a great book. The untold story of Red Cloud is truly a history lesson on the old west but also on guerrilla warfare. But the story begins with Red Cloud as a young boy who's father dies by drinking to death. Not honorable in the Tribe. But a leader takes him in and helps him in the young warrior ways. What is seen is a keen skill in hunting and tracking. He is able to bring in large amounts and he takes care of the older ones in Tribe and sick ones. By this time he is allowed ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Kavita rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The white man made me a lot of promises, and they only kept one. They promised to take my land, and they took it.

I am shocked with myself that so far I had dismissed the American West history as 'boring'. My strong impression of guns, wars, violence, squalor, scarcity, thievery and general nastiness no doubt comes from the legend of the West, rather than any real knowledge. While much of this is also true, somehow I had missed the point that these were real people living with real problems, and
Mar 05, 2014 Bonnie_blu rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
I have read a great deal of American Indian history and was looking forward to this book. However, this work is a waste of time for anyone interested in an accurate investigation into the history of European whites and Native Americans.

Some of my issues with the book are:
1. This is not an "untold" story since Red Cloud has been the subject of many works.
2. There are many factual errors regarding the Plains Indians, e.g., the Lakota are a matriarchal society not patriarchal as stated in the book,
Nov 30, 2013 David rated it liked it
Evidently well researched, probably the best book treating the Red Cloud part of the Indian Wars of the 1860a. As a biography it has pace and activity. However a biography of a tribal leader of historic importance, of battles against ruthless white domination, it must provide the subject's side of the story. The authors do well on the story, but fail on letting this Indian Chief Red Cloud tell his side of the story.
"It is said that years later as an old man [of age 72], Red Cloud recounted his
Andy Shuping
Jul 19, 2013 Andy Shuping rated it really liked it
ARC provided by NetGalley

Sitting Bully, Crazy Horse, Geronimo...their stories have all been told. But Red Cloud, the most powerful Indian commander of the Oglala Sioux, has been lost to the times of history. Until now. In this well researched and well written book, Bob Drury and Tom Calvin have lifted the veils of time to bring Red Cloud's story to light.

So often when we read the history textbooks or hear about the history of the west, we're told how savage the Indians were. But as you dig deepe
Rex Fuller
Jun 10, 2015 Rex Fuller rated it it was amazing
The title derives from what the Lakota called the Black Hills, “Paha Sapa,” the heart of everything that is. One vignette in this book virtually encapsulates the entire history of the relationship between Americans and native peoples. On one of his many trips to Washington attempting to keep the Americans out of Lakota territory, Red Cloud told an Army officer the Black Hills were where his ancestors came from. The officer responded that was simply a myth: the Lakota had only been there at most ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Rain rated it did not like it
The Sioux are written in full color horror here. Fierce and vicious, they are described as raping, slowly torturing, killing, dismembering (various body parts) of their rivals the Pawnee and Crow. Stealing children and bashing their little heads against rocks to save on using an arrow. The excessive amounts of brutality against other tribes was horrible to read. I can appreciate Red Cloud for his mind, and the way he was able to understand and use military tactical plans against the US Governmen ...more
David Eppenstein
I recently finished reading a very good biography of Cochise and his Apache tribe and that inspired me to pick up this book. This is a very good biography about an Indian chief that apparently accomplished more than any of the chiefs the American public is familiar with and that is a shame. Our 19th century Indian history is an area that I admit not being terribly knowledgable about but this book and the recently read Cochise biography have helped cure that somewhat. Unfortunately after reading ...more
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
Aug 11, 2013 Jean-Paul Adriaansen rated it it was amazing
This is not only the story of Red Cloud, the only Native American Sioux leader who could beat the American Army, but also a story of a clash of cultures, completely alien to each other.
Just at the time when the USA is recovering from the Civil War, and the reorganized Army is weaker than ever, a big move westward starts. Under the banner of "Manifest Destiny" (a nice euphemism for stealing lands through unbridled greed and unspeakable arrogance), gold diggers, farmers, ranchers, and all kinds of
Most of the research for this book is taken from an as-told-to autobiography of Red Cloud which was lost for 100 years. Along with material from other diaries and letters, the story describes the people and events leading up to the Fetterman Massacre. Described in especially gruesome detail, it was the only time that a coalition of Native American warriors, led by Red Cloud, defeated the U.S. Army.

This is a page turner because even though you know the eventual outcome, you are not certain exactl
Nov 28, 2013 El rated it really liked it
This review is of a book won from Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program.

Most numerous and most confident of their ability to defend their territory were the Oglala Tetons. At the beginning of the white man's Civil War, their outstanding leader was Red Cloud, thirty-eight years old, a shrewd warrior chief.
(page 10, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)

We know the names Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Black Elk, Crazy Horse. Red Cloud is a name not as commonly known or r
Carol Storm
Mar 13, 2015 Carol Storm rated it really liked it
Wonderful history of the Old West, and the Indian Wars in the Dakota territories. The great Sioux Chief Red Cloud is the nominal hero of the story, but the authors really do a much better job describing the mixed bag of professional officers, mountain men, traders, trappers, and even plucky Army wives who upheld the banners of advancing civilization. A great book, but Red Cloud himself remains a somewhat shadowy figure.
Mar 24, 2015 Sweetwilliam rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book but I was a little bothered by the tone of the authors. At times, Bob Drury and Ron Clavin seem to be less than objective. In fact, they seemed to have a bias in favor of the Sioux. Throughout the book there are several examples of this. For example, they are skeptical of US Army reports but accept verbal histories from relatives of Crazy Horse, passed down around the campfire for generations as fact. In regard to the author’s account of Crazy Horse mooning Fetterman in a last ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Growing up in Bozeman, Montana, we heard quite a lot in grade school about the adventures of John Bozeman, the dangerous Bozeman Trail shortcut to the gold mines further west from town, and Nelson Story. I've read Dorothy Johnson's history of the Trail and several articles, so I've been familiar with Red Cloud's genius as a guerrila fighter who defeated the United States and closed the Bozeman Trail. This book gives a much broader picture of the conditions and history leading up to those violent ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
At the close of this book, the authors relate an anecdote regarding a Chinese General commenting casually on the fact that the United States had fought the longest war in history. Whilst not generally considered as such, reading this book it is hard to see America's conduct towards the Native Americans as anything but a war - for land and resources on the one side and for survival on the other.

Red Cloud, the subject of this book, bears the distinction of being the only victorious 'general' of th
Jan 27, 2016 Cassandra rated it did not like it
First did-not-finish of the year. This book is an absolute mess. First of all, this book has a definite racist bent, all while trying to seem unbiased. The beginning of the book starts with the former Union army and their opinions of the Sioux in particular and American Indians in general, not with Red Cloud. In fact, at a quarter of the way through the book, the book is still not about Red Cloud. The authors even wrote that (even) compared to other American Indian tribes, the Sioux were subhuma ...more
Will Eifert
Jul 17, 2015 Will Eifert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has that most obnoxious internal alarm alerting them when they might be hearing a story that isn't entirely true. Mine was clanging away while reading "The Heart of Everything that is."

While this book has been described as meticulously researched, the lack of any direction specific directions towards the sources of these stories of Red Cloud makes it very difficult to believe that events of his life so vividly described in detail, are entirely accurate. In a time characterized by wild a
Jun 15, 2015 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was somewhat troubled by a few of the authors' characterizations prior to page 94, but was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Then I read this sentence: "Red Cloud possessed forethought unusual in an Indian, and the possibility must have crossed his mind that one day he might have to look down the barrels of those guns."

After reading that sentence I cannot in good conscience continue reading this book. Usually when I cannot finish a book I don't leave a review unless there is an e
Bill Collins
Dec 10, 2014 Bill Collins rated it it was ok
It was a great story, just very badly told. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that both authors of this book had both written over 8 books each and published by Simon & Schuster!

Reading this book was like pulling teeth! But I wanted to know the story that the book told, so I s-l-o-w-l-y sloshed through it, as it read at a snails-pace, because of the extremely bad editing. There must have been 500 commas that should have been used, but weren't. Every time I found on
Jan 17, 2014 Roger rated it did not like it
I happened to visit the National Archives in Washington DC on the same day that I purchased this book and there on the wall I found the same picture of Red Cloud (that adorned the cover of this book). What I thought was a book about an obscure Native American was looking at me bigger than life. What I found at the National Archives was a complete display on Red Cloud and the Lakota Wars. What I learned in 20 minutes reading copies of primary source documents provided me far more understanding of ...more
Bob Schnell
Sep 10, 2013 Bob Schnell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013, history
Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull may be more famous, but Red Cloud was the real mastermind behind many Plains Indians' successful military campaigns against white expansion in that region. This book, largely based on Red Cloud's recently re-discovered autobiography, tells the mostly forgotten tale of the times when the disparate tribes of the northern plains came together to combat a common enemy, the United States. It is a fascinating story and certain to make many readers re-think their more roman ...more
Rachel Jackson
Jan 05, 2016 Rachel Jackson rated it did not like it
The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend is perhaps the worst book I have ever read. I don't say that lightly: I've read a lot of books, and this one really earns those honors of being perhaps the most horrible book I have ever had the misfortune to set eyes on. It's a shame, because the subject is so rich and so interesting, and yet the authors completely fail to do it justice; instead, they only preserve the harmful narrative of cowboys versus Indians ...more
Aidan Fortner
Aug 25, 2015 Aidan Fortner rated it it was amazing
Two of my all-time favorite books, regardless of subject, are The American West by Dee Brown and Blood & Thunder by Hampton Sides. They are, in my opinion, not only excellent reads for the casual history buff but perhaps the best two general histories of How the West Was. Now that I've devoured The Heart of Everything That Is by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, I'm reassessing the stature of the two aforementioned titles--there may be a new king on my bookshelf.

Far more eloquent reviewers than I h
Bob Walenski
Aug 06, 2016 Bob Walenski rated it it was amazing
I was so looking forward to reading this story about Red Cloud. I wasn't disappointed.
This story is every bit as detailed and well documented as Nathanial Philbrick's masterpiece "The Last Stand" , which historically is almost a conclusion to the Red Cloud story.
I love books that tell the truth about what happened to the Indians and their culture, without romanticizing the Native Americans or making excuses for the duplicitous White US Government and Army that systematically robbed them of thei
Feb 21, 2016 Rick rated it it was ok
“The Heart of Everything That Is” by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin was received in a Goodreads Giveaway program…and if this is your first book on the Indian Wars that occurred before and after the Civil War you will enjoy it, but for me it just didn’t live up to its title. The subtitle of the book promises to reveal the “Untold Story of Red Cloud…” and here is where it didn’t produce.

My biggest problem is that it really isn’t a story of Red Cloud. Oh sure, he is mentioned a number of times in the na
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“as Sitting Bull was to lament years later, “A cold wind blew across the prairie when the last buffalo fell. A death wind for my people.” 3 likes
“They ranged from naive to obtuse to hateful, with personalities unencumbered with charisma and minds unclouded by thought.” 3 likes
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