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The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,405 ratings  ·  119 reviews
""Those wishing to understand Crazy Horse as the Lakota know him won't find a better account."" -San Francisco Chronicle As the peerless warrior who brought the U.S. Army to its knees at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse remains one of the most perennially fascinating figures of the American West. Now Joseph Marshall-a masterful storyteller, historian, and descenda ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published October 7th 2004)
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Like I said previously, the book suffers greatly from the author’s relentless interjection of his life into that of Crazy Horse's journey.

I also find it interesting that he has exact details of experiences Crazy Horse had when he was alone. It’s hard for me to believe because he paints Crazy Horse to be a man of solitude who did not speak about himself. So, how did some of these elaborate details make it to the surface when the only person that was present would most likely not speak of these d
I grew up in Montana and remember studying some key battles and some key Native American figures, but this was really the inside story it felt like. It was both truly heartbreaking and truly inspiring about how leaders should serve their communities, being first an example above all other things. It has made me want to learn so much more of the Lakota history and of course reminded me how much I want to teach my children about having character.
This book about Crazy Horse is an eye-opening experience because of the perspective of its Lakota author. I listened to it on Audiobook, where it was beautifully read by the author. Living in Nebraska, very close to the region where Crazy Horse lived and led his Lakota people, made the story especially meaningful. Understanding history requires our attention to the narratives of the different groups of people who played a part in that history. Marshall is an excellent voice for the "Lakota narra ...more
Brian Glass
Hau kola! Interesting take on a biography of Crazy Horse. Marshall skillfully avoids the "look-how-many-Lakota-words-I-know" trap of most native writers and gives a not-always-flattering portrayal of the Oglala leader. The tales come alive, and in so much more clarity and strength than any other portrayal of Crazy Horse I've encountered (I'm talking to you, Son of the Morning Star author). Both the author and I are Sicangu, and members of the same tribe, so there's a certain kinship I feel that ...more
Dził Ba Hadadolgháásh
Joseph Marshall creates a personalized story of the life of Crazy Horse by webbing together Lakota traditional stories and knowledge of the man with European settler historical information. He does a good job showing the true side of the story between the confrontation of the settlers and Lakota people, which is mainly the struggle of the Lakota people to keep living their way of life and practice the beliefs and teachings of their ancestors. One thing that stood out for me was the comparison of ...more
Randy Daugherty
Marshall tells the story of Crazy Horse not only from research but from the oral tradtion of his grandfathers and offers an insight into Crazy Horse not only as a leader and warrior but more importantly as a man. A man who though not asking or seeking it assumed the mantle of leader for his people, also explained is the deep feeling Crazy Horse had for his people and their culture and why he was willing to die fighting for it and more importantly why he was willing to take his people to live ... ...more
I've long respected the great Oglala warrior of the Lakota people, Crazy Horse, probably best known for his great victory in the defeat of General Custer at Little Big Horn, but there is so much more about this man to admire, as one learns by reading this sensitive and intelligent biography, written by a Lakota historian who draws upon the oral histories passed down by many of his relatives and revered community elders. As a historian, Marshall employs traditional scholarly research too, but his ...more
The author states that his intention for this book is to portray Crazy Horse as a man rather than a hero or legend. I feel he accomplishes this task. I listened to the author-narrated audio version of this book. He doesn't have the greatest voice for narration, but all the same I enjoyed it because his love for the topic and his people, the Lakotas, shines through outweighing the voice quality issue.

What I Liked:
*Great source for Lakota history from a Lakota viewpoint
*Great source for Lakota tr
Tony Taylor
A very, very interesting book written by a Lakota Indian about Crazy Horse without the Hollywood hype. Recommend it for anyone interested in American history. Crazy Horse was probably one of the greatest leaders of his generation, American Indian or Euro-American. This non-ficton is written using the names of people and places as those used by the Lakota at that time. As an example, the Battle of LIttle Bighorn is referred to as the Greasy Grass Fight of 1876 (Greasy Grass was the Indian name fo ...more
This is the story of Crazy Horse from the Lakota oral histories as told by the author, himself a Lakota that grew up on the reservations, who learned of the histories from his elders. This is the type of history that does not contain some of the fantastic stories of made up fantasy and embellishment that has come out in the past. Such as the battle at Greasy Grass better known as Little Big Horn and the defeat of Custer. Here it is told as a battle that took place over several days and covered s ...more
This book is outstanding! The author, Joseph Marshall III, provided an alternate perspective about the life of the great Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse with which many people are unfamiliar. Although many people are familiar with Crazy Horse's exploits on the battlefield, they may not be aware of his humble character and personality. The author does a sensational job of highlighting these aspects of Crazy Horse, as well as some of the personal challenges and heartaches that this great warrior ...more
Marian Deegan
Last year I read a number of books which told stories from perspectives which were unfamiliar to me. I'd experienced childhood, obviously, but not as the autistic child brought vividly into focus by The Strange Case of the Dog in the Nighttime. I'd attended college and graduate school, but Suskind showed me how university experience was radically different for an inner city African American student. I'd studied the history of World War II from an American perspective, but was brought to a more b ...more
Robert Smith
This is a great biography and history of the Oglala Lakota. It was a great read as it was written in the oral tradition. It gave tremendous insight into the life of Crazy Horse that has been plagued with so much legend and hearsay. It helped to clear up some of the misconceptions and myths surrounding Crazy Horse. It also gave great insight into the life and world of the Lakota.
Katherine Hebert
I mostly just know about the soldiers in the forts and Indians through TV and movies. So reading this provided new insight, new thinking, and a new version of a man who was a leader, sacrificing any personal glory for what was good for his people. Another terrible chapter in American history as. Manifest Destiny clashes with the lives and culture of the people here before.
I think because I was just recently at the Crazy Horse Monument by Rushmore and because I have some really good Lakota friends this book really affected me. It was a beautifully written Lakota perspective, and I feel like I got more insight into the Lakota culture as well as Crazy Horse himself. It's hard to read at times, because you know how it's going to end.
This story is told, with the exception of a few explanatory passages, entirely in the Lakota voice. "Surely, if enough white men are killed, they will go away" is not followed by "but of course, this was not to be the case." Only the first sentence is there. The reader must then insert the second one himself. It makes for a different narrative than, say, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which I also enjoyed. Indeed you will find the same people in both: Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, Sittin ...more
Tim Fountain
An admirable and surprisingly coherent effort to give a full picture via two traditions - academic historical research and the oral tradition passed on within a culture.

It is a moving account that seeks the humanity of a larger than life figure. The discoveries cut through the layers of legend, stereotypes (both positive and negative) and Hollywood interpretations to reveal a man who, at the end of it all, remains heroic, tragic and worthy of legend status.

You will enjoy it if you are interested
Scotty Cameron
This book tells the story of one of the most mythical participants in the battle between the aboriginal peoples of the North American continent and the white people that sought to take their lands.

That said, it is told from the native perspective from an oral tradition indicative to Crazy Horse's own people. The reader will not only gain insights to the culture in which he was raised but insight into the man himself.

This book offers a new perspective about Crazy Horse. It will provide the reade
Fabulous, well-written (with love), heartfelt, inspirational, etc., book.
Loved it. Easy, clean words that one cannot easily put down until, sadly, it's over.
Robert Melnyk
Interesting book on the life and times of Crazy Horse. Well written and very insightful into who Crazy Horse was, and what drove him as an individual and a leader of the Lakota. I also read "Crazy Horse and Custer" by Stephen Ambrose which contained much of the same material. This book showed a slightly different perspective on Crazy Horse, since it was written by a Lakota. The books gives you a good idea of what life was like for Crazy Horse and all the Lakotas living at that time, and trying t ...more
Marshall waves a rich and beautiful tapestry using intense research, especially that of the oral tradition. I kept thinking on the legitimacy of this oral tradition throughout and wondered why this was apparently more effective than it was in written form. The answer, and I think Marshall's book gives us this answer, is that the oral tradition is more effective in allowing this person to remain alive for us.
While it is true we find a great deal about the man, including all that made him a man o
Ms. Library
I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, because its hard to enjoy a book that is so tragic? I mean, you go into this knowing its not going to end well.
But I do think its important, especially because it is in their voice. Too often we write off the Native Americans or write over them, but in this, the author manages to use oral accounts to tell the story of his people from their perspective, which I think is essential, because that perspective is all too often missed (even in books supposedly ABOUT
Roger Burk
This is a recent biography by a member of Crazy Horse's Lakota Sioux tribe. It is the Indian side of the story, told temperately and soberly and mostly credibly, but it's their side. Whites are foolish, treacherous, and murderous. Lakota are moderate, sagacious, and brave, if sometimes foolishly impetuous. CH possesses a humilty and an ambivalence about killing that seem to fit a 21st century American much better than a 19th century Plains Indian warrior. The story includes many personal events ...more
Crazy Horse has always intrigued me. Crazy Horse is a legend, but I wanted to know the man behind the legend. History has written about him, but as we all know, history is written by the victors, and we have to be patient until the real story emerges. This book does just that.

The book brings his life, his times, his inner and outer battles to light. It was written about a Lakota by a Lakota whose research was derived from some of the people who knew him as well as stories coming down to Joseph M
I actually began reading this book (hardcover ed.) in 2006 and got through his childhood. Unfortunately, this was about the time that reading started to get more difficult for me and I never finished it. Recently, I purchased the audiobook edition and was able to finished his story. Anyone whose read "Moonwalking with Einstein" (hint, hint) will know that oral history was about the only means in which you might learn of stories like this one until the invention of the printing press, and even th ...more
This isn't an extensive study of Crazy Horse, and such a thing may not be possible. Rather, it tries to capture the spririt of his role in Lakota history and Lakota identity. Bravery obviously is a top virtue in a society based partly on frequent battles, but the importance of generosity is emphasized as the other most-admired trait - looking after one's broad family and making sure the weak are cared for. I was struck by the range of his people's home: from the Big Horns east, between the Niobr ...more
Milo Miller
Oral History becomes Written History! Joseph M. Marshall III shares the Journey of Crazy Horse in a descriptive, narrative form. Prior to reading this great narrative, I pictured Crazy Horse almost mythical, or at the very least - a legendary warrior that most people would never be able to relate too. However, I was wrong, this book not only gives the "facts" of Crazy Horse's life (birth, childhood, becoming a warrior, battles and his death) but it also paints the picture of a different man - a ...more
Tom Gorski
A biography based on both written and oral history, it comes likely as close as a writer can come to presenting a realistic portrait of Crazy Horse. That it is written by a professional historian who is also Lakota obviously helps a great deal - in particular presenting background and lifestyle. It is uplifting and sad at one and the same time as, once again, the reprehensible treatment of first people by white America is presented. Still, there is also a sense of inevitability in all of this. A ...more
Tom Schulte
written and narrated by a Lakota author, this work is rich in the cultural context of Crazy Horse's visions and the Lakota point of view of American encroachment and key episodes of The Rosebud Battle, The Fetterman Massacre, etc. There is really not much on the Battle of the Little Big Horn . The author paints Crazy Horse as a popular if reluctant leader in an organized resistance overwhelmed by superior numbers and technology and undercut by a lack of effective central planning and coherent po ...more
Toni Lotspeich
Joseph Marshall does an excellent job of providing insight into the life and times of Crazy Horse. Having read several other books written by Historians and Anthropologists I found Marshall's version of events enlightening and intriguing. Marshall uses oral histories, and the ways of the Lakota known to him to paint a picture of what it must have been like living as a Lakota in the 1800's. He does an excellent job of telling us how Crazy Horse would have been raised and the events that would hav ...more
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Interesting story 2 11 Oct 20, 2013 05:53PM  
  • The Killing of Crazy Horse
  • In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
  • The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull
  • Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas
  • Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means
  • A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn - the Last Great Battle of the American West
  • 500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians
  • Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation
  • The Comanche Empire
  • Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World
  • Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions
  • Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy
  • The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story
  • Black Elk: The Sacred Ways of a Lakota
  • Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors
  • The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux
  • Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
  • Native American Testimony: A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present
Joseph M. Marshall III was born and raised on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and holds a PhD from the reservation university, which he helped to establish. The award-winning author of ten books, including Hundred in the Hand, The Lakota Way, and The Journey of Crazy Horse, he has also contributed to various publications and written several screenplays. His first language is Lakota, he handcrafts pr ...more
More about Joseph M. Marshall III...
The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History Walking with Grandfather Hundred in the Hand: A Novel

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“The strength of a tree, the old ones say, comes not from growing thicker in the good years when there is water, but from staying alive in the bad, dry times.” 2 likes
“Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.” 1 likes
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