Mikey B.'s Reviews > Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: The Illustrated Edition: An Indian History of the American West

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
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Mar 28, 13

bookshelves: north-american-indian, history, pictures, united-states
Read in September, 2010

A rather relentless exposure of the deliberate slaughter of the American Indians of the American West from 1850 to 1890. It does become depressing as we move from one chapter to the next and one tribe after another is lied to, plundered, forced to re-locate and its’ members killed off through-out all these phases. It is indeed a very sad reflection on America.

In these pages there are very few Americans who made a genuine attempt to deal humanly with the Indian nations. The only thing that can be said is that the European Americans (settlers, miners, industrialists, railroaders and soldiers) saw land and took it. The reservation system was simply land that no Americans wanted and forced the Indians to occupy it at dire cost.

In the long history of modernity coming in contact with tribal peoples, little good ever occurs to the indigenous population. This is certainly borne out in the pages of this book.

What is also interesting is the complete disconnect between Washington government policy and events happening to the Indians out West instigated by the settlers and the army.

It must also be remembered that at this time African Americans were enslaved or had just been released from slavery. They too were a disenfranchised people on the American continent. It is hardly surprising in this context, that Native Americans had much to fear from the movement of European Americans to the West. America was not a society that had a history of dealing benevolently or equitably with non-Europeans.

This new Sterling edition has wonderful photographs and illustrations of a long ago vanished people.
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message 1: by Caroline (new)

Caroline This sounds the all time classic on the plight of American Indians.

How interesting that Washington government policy had little effect out in the West. Presumably transgressions were not punished, or they would not have continued.


Mikey B. I remember when this came out in the early 1970's. It was a bestseller then - which does say something positive for the reading public. Also many parallels were made to the Vietnam war (correctly or not).


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