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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  2,861 Ratings  ·  407 Reviews
An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).

Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the g
ebook, 432 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Simon Schuster (first published November 1st 2013)
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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
Dec 22, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be said this is more of an overview of everything that was happening in present day Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota in the 1860s than a biography of Red Cloud. It’s also a less idealised account of the Lakota than how they were presented in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. We get graphic accounts of the tortures they subjected white settlers to and as a result perhaps understand better why they had to be subjugated. The book is fabulously researched, benefiting from numerous journals and ...more
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
Paul Pessolano
Oct 27, 2013 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
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
P.e. lolo
Oct 05, 2013 P.e. lolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 11, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2015 Kavita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, wild-west, usa
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
Nov 17, 2013 Bonnie_blu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 25, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dani Shuping
Jul 19, 2013 Dani Shuping rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 02, 2013 Rain rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rex Fuller
Jun 02, 2015 Rex Fuller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
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 10, 2013 El rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 re
Carol Storm
Jan 31, 2015 Carol Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 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
Nov 18, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 21, 2016 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this well regarded work, yet I came away somewhat disappointed. Mind you, there are chapters that absolutely captivated me, but too often I found myself losing interest as the authors delve into details again and again that seem to slow the story at the cost of thoroughness.
I think I'd rather this been written in the narrative style used so effectively by Shaara in "Killer Angels" and the rest of that trilogy. Of course, that would change this into a different category of n
Rachel Jackson
Jan 05, 2016 Rachel Jackson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Soul Survivor
Jun 02, 2017 Soul Survivor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: highland-library
I like this not only for the biography of the legendary chief Red Cloud , but more for the history lesson on the period (185-1900) . The history was really eye-opening in reminding me how very little I know about our own countrys' development . The things that really stood out were the universal savagery of the many , many tribes , and the types of torture they employed against one another . The U.S. government was duplicitous in all its dealing with the various tribes , and their soldiers sank ...more
“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
Jun 09, 2014 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bill Collins
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
Nov 20, 2013 Roger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2013 Cassandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bob Schnell
Aug 30, 2013 Bob Schnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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