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The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  630 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Few figures in American history have been so little understood as Sitting Bull. This first authoritative study of any Native American leader considers the legendary warrior in terms of his people's cultural values, exposes many ironies of Indian-white relations, and more. Photos. Maps.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 19th 1994 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1993)
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Lynny
Dec 19, 2011 Lynny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most comprehensive and thoroughly researched book about Sitting Bull out there. If you want to know the real story about this great leader, read this book!
Jim
Oct 25, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insight into the fight of the Sioux, led by Sitting Bull, to keep their culture and lands against the theft by white settlers.

The actions of the U.S. government can be summed up by this quote from the book: "They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land and they took it."

The author describes Sitting Bull as the embodiment of the Hunkpapa tribe of Lakota Sioux: a fierce warrior, wise leader, generous, and a holy man.
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Bill
Jul 14, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love stories of the Indian experience this is excellent. Sad and informative read. I have a hard copy that is destined for a library. Any one want it?
Thomas Isern
Re-reading a classic, impressed once again with the judgment and authority Utley brings to his subject. It is interesting to note how Utley re-threshes the Walter Stanley Camp material at OU and comes to his own conclusions with it. There are usages and sometimes positions expressed in the book that are a bit dated, and in some cases, I simply disagree, on the basis of alternative evidence, with positions taken by Utley, but what a landmark this work is! This is how a white guy should write Indi ...more
Jeff
Feb 22, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best biography of Sitting Bull I have read. Exhaustively researched and well written.
Debbie Crossland
I work for the Fort Buford historical site in ND. I wanted to read more on Sitting Bull. This book tries to portray the indian way of thinking and part of their culture both from the Indian point of view and the whites point of view. What I have learned is a white nation that would lie and steal for greed. As sitting Bull vision revealed. The eagel would rule all. The eagle is on the American dollar. Money rules. And we are a nation that wants and wants and gets.
Samuel Valentino
Sep 18, 2014 Samuel Valentino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
One of the things I liked about this book was the use of primary sources, especially the interviews with people who had actually known Sitting Bull. There were also the army accounts, interviews with Sitting Bull himself, contemporary news accounts, etc., that really made this a valuable resource.

One other thing that I liked, or rather, learned to my dismay, was how bad the Native Americans really had it. All my life I've known that the whites had treated them badly, but it was usually framed in
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Alexander Anderson
Jul 05, 2016 Alexander Anderson rated it really liked it
Fascinating and certainly worth a read by anyone interested in obtaining vital yet unsentimental insight into a formative time in the history of the United States. Will also be helpful to the reader in catching a glimpse of the mechanisms by which conquering cultures often decimate the cultures whom they vanquish.

Utely in this biography manages his topic adroitly. He uses a relatively light touch to treat matters of a large, complex nature with unassuming poignancy and objectivity, while simulta
...more
J.
Oct 15, 2012 J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is comprehensive, well researched, and highly documented. This book is an easy and fun read but took me a long time because I read each reference he cited. As a result I came away feeling that this book is probably one of the best written about Sitting Bull and the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Indians.

If you're interested in the Sioux Tribes I'd say this is one of the books you must read. It is loaded with historical and cultural information that I found highly creditable.

I have work extens
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Todd Myers
Mar 21, 2015 Todd Myers rated it really liked it
Overall good book about the life and times of Sitting Bull. Utley relies on many sources to build the story of Sitting Bull, and puts together a pretty good account of his life in order. Though not all the facts are clear it tells so much about this legendary Native American. It's a bit of a slower read, as there is a lot of information packed in to the book, it shows as a 432 page book, but actually is 314 pages of actual story, the other 118 pages is source information and notes. I'd recommend ...more
James
Sep 05, 2015 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that I received as a junior in HS, The Lance and the Shield has followed me to Kenyon College and then Houston and then Philly and then Houston again, and I finally read it. It was an informative read about Sitting Bull's life, though I did not feel a great sense of insight beyond the historical. The challenges of writing about him must have been immense, and Utley's prose is very capable and captures it as best he can. I'm glad I finally read it.
Sheila
Aug 27, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purchased this excellent book at the Fort Buford historical site book shop. Meticulously researched and footnoted, there is little doubt Utley has a passion for his subject. It is a sad story that fills the reader with regret at what happened to a mighty and proud nation of Sioux, but it made me glad to see the details told with respect and admiration for this man who embodied the free spirit of the Plains Indians.
Katty
The Lance and the Shield is an excellent blend of biography and history. It's comprehensive and well-researched, offering insight into Sitting Bull's life and the culture he fought to keep alive. For anyone interested in key events and people in Native American history, this is a good place to start.
Jason
Aug 13, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
Very interesting character and history - but a bit slow and stale in writing by Utley, had hoped for better.
Judy
May 24, 2009 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very human portrait of Sitting Bull. I have always admired him as a leader and this supports that belief.
Ruth Ellen
Feb 22, 2014 Ruth Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a very interesiting a riveting story of Sitting Bull. It is loaded with information and quotes from his relatives.
Fredrick Danysh
An interesting biography of the Sioux medicine man who engineered Custer's defeat and led his tribe to Canada.
Jenette
Jul 07, 2010 Jenette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed this book from my father who served a mission to the Suiox indian reservations. This is a great read and lets you look into the kindness and wisdom that Sitting Bull had.
John
John rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2012
Tom Watts
Tom Watts rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2013
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2015
Terry
Terry rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2015
John Hartman
John Hartman rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2014
Alison Delancey
Alison Delancey rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2012
Patrick
Patrick rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2011
Melissa
Melissa rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2016
Jeff
Jeff rated it really liked it
Jul 20, 2014
Tracy Sime
Tracy Sime rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2015
Alan
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May 15, 2015
Caryn
Caryn rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2012
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Robert Marshall Utley is an author and historian who has written sixteen books on the history of the American West. He was a former chief historian of the National Park Service. Fellow historians commend Utley as the finest historian of the American frontier in the 19th century.

The Western History Association annually gives out the Robert M. Utley Book Award for the best book published on the mili
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More about Robert M. Utley...

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