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

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,435 ratings  ·  581 reviews
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 loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Simon Schuster (first published November 1st 2013)
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Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Back at the rock pile [Captain William Judd] Fetterman was also fast losing soldiers. His skirmish lines had devolved into two loosely concentric rings rapidly collapsing in on themselves – a tightening noose with the captain in its center. Their position at the top of the rise bought them some time, but daring Indians burst through the defenses on horse and on foot, first singly, then by twos and threes, and finally a second storm of arrows preceded a wave of thrusting lances and swinging war ...more
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: usa, history, wild-west
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
Paul Pessolano
Oct 27, 2013 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 the
Nov 17, 2013 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,
Oct 11, 2013 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
Nov 25, 2013 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
Nancy Kennedy
Sep 23, 2013 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
patrick Lorelli
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 15, 2015 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
Oct 12, 2014 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
Dani Shuping
Jul 19, 2013 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
Dec 02, 2013 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
“The Heart of everything that is” is a Sioux expression for their sacred homeland in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I was familiar with all the battles, people and problems presented in the book but this is the first time I have encountered it all in one place. Drury and Clavin chronicled in great detail the shameful treatment of the Indians across the plains and the destruction of their way of life. Red Cloud (1821-1909) chief of the Oglala Sioux presided over a vast swath of the western Unit ...more
Rex Fuller
Jun 02, 2015 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
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
Aug 07, 2013 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
Rachel Jackson
Jan 05, 2016 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
As hard as the Native Americans fought to retain their land against white settlers, their military victories were few and far between. Most of us have at least vaguely heard of Custer's Last Stand, but before that, a battle in Wyoming called Fetterman's Fight led to the deaths of 81 soldiers of the US Army and the (temporary) withdrawal of troops from Indian territory. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's The Heart of Everything That Is takes a deep dive the battle, from its roots in the inter-tribal warf ...more
Nov 10, 2013 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 re
Nov 20, 2013 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
Sally Ann Sims
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Although the writers have skill in description and scene setting, the book was not as the title promised. We were promised the untold story of Red Cloud, but the book was a build up to describing "the massacre" at Fort Phil Kearny. I believe the authors thought they were being balanced in the telling, there was a bias against the Sioux and other tribes in the story arc. The massacre was written too much like a John Ford western, and there was too much focus on details of torture and mutilation a ...more
Carol Storm
Jan 31, 2015 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.
Susan Zacharia
Red Cloud’s War is one that is not widely considered in American History, therefore the story is worth being told and heard. Getting through the text was an arduous task with its somewhat repetitive descriptions. I captured more historical facts from the epilogue than the 350 pages proceeding it. Through it all, however, the authors consistently underscored Red Cloud’s meticulous yet audacious persona, equipping him to unite a fractioned Native American community for a greater cause. The most st ...more
Will Eifert
Jul 15, 2015 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
Nov 18, 2013 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
Nov 29, 2013 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
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I first learned about Red Cloud from reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee many years ago. The story of a coalition of native Americans, fighting primarily with bows, arrows, lances, and clubs, overthrowing and ousting the mighty U.S. army from their home territory and forcing them to capitulate to all of their demands, has intrigued me ever since. I have always wanted to know more about Red Cloud, especially his early days - what life would have been like for him and his people before the massi ...more
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“They ranged from naive to obtuse to hateful, with personalities unencumbered with charisma and minds unclouded by thought.” 5 likes
“raw state militias patrolling the west with seasoned troops better capable of confronting the Indians of the Great Plains. South of the Arkansas, this meant eradicating the Kiowa and the Comanche, who were blocking movement along the Santa Fe Trail into New Mexico. North of the Platte, it meant killing Red Cloud and Sitting Bull. General Ulysses S. Grant, the Army’s commander in chief, had long planned such a moment. The previous November, the day after the Sand Creek massacre, Grant summoned Major General John Pope to his Virginia headquarters to put such plans in motion. Despite his relative youth, the forty-three-year-old Pope was an old-school West Pointer and a topographical engineer-surveyor whose star had risen with several early successes on western fronts in the Civil War. It had dimmed just as rapidly when Lincoln placed him in command of the eastern forces; Pope was thoroughly outfoxed by Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet at the Second Battle of Bull Run. Pope had been effectively exiled to St. Paul, Minnesota, until Grant recalled him to consolidate under one command a confusing array of bureaucratic Army “departments” and “districts” west of St. Louis. Grant named Pope the commanding general of a new Division of the Missouri,” 4 likes
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