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

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,518 ratings  ·  266 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 State
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 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
Paul Pessolano
“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
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
Nancy Kennedy
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
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
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
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
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
Andy Shuping
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
Rex Fuller
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
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
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
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
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 r
Carol Storm
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
Bob Schnell
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
Red Cloud was an Ogalala Lakota chief who united and led the Lakota, Northern Arapaho and the Northern Cheyenne in a War against the US Calvary in the 1860s. Red Cloud attacked the garrisons at Fort Phil Kearny, Fort Laramie and Fort C.F. Smith. Until the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, Red Cloud’s victory was the most significant defeat of US forces by the Indians. It is interesting to me that Red Cloud was not known to me, despite the fact that Red Cloud’s fight to defend the Powder Riv ...more
How to rate this book? Well one has to keep in mind that from the authors themselves they only sought to tell a good yarn. Which gives the impression that not only are they skimpy on notes, they admitted that would take up a lot of room on the bottom of pages, but that it's basis is a good story not exactly imbibed with accuracy. Unfortunately from sources cited the documents written at the time are one sided and not going to be far from bias. Therein you have a big problem. At some point the au ...more
JP Mac
Lakota Chief Red Cloud was the only Indian to push back the westward march of the United States. His ability to forge individualistic warriors from competing tribes into a coherent force is a tribute to his leadership. During the period 1866 to 1868, Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho simultaneously stuck multiple targets ranging from forts to wagon trains.

Among Red Cloud’s accomplishments was the ambush and massacre of eighty poorly armed and trained U.S. soldiers by two thousand Indians. The repercus
Much more than just a book about Red Cloud. Well written, meticulously detailed, obviously an enormous amount of research was done in order to write this book. The arrogance and entitlement of the "white man" is unbelievable, even all these years later. Growing up in the 50's/60's we often played "Cowboys and Indians," little did we know how degrading that was to the Native Americans whose land we stole. What we were taught in history classes was all one sided. Just a great book, it makes me loo ...more
Michelle Marquis
What a riveting book this was! I grew up in California and the old west is really celebrated out there so I have a soft spot for great western tales. This book is nonfiction but it reads just like a thriller. Finally a book that gives us a different point of view of history. I have a renewed respect for the Sioux and what they had to endure losing their land. But let me just make clear, no one was completely innocent in this book.
Loved it.
Engaging, but very much slanted toward a white historical perspective. The authors stress Red Cloud's managerial prowess as his primary achievement -- he managed to unite several independent tribes in the fight against American expansion into the west -- and his wisdom at fighting white men using white tactics. The unique character of Indian life and the fact that they were fighting for their way of life, their very existence, seems to get lost here. It doesn't help that the authors ratchet up t ...more
Carolyn Elrod
It was interesting to read a history of the conquering of the American west slightly more (and only slightly since so much of what can be known is always from the side of the victor) from the perspective of the native Americans.
One of the final phrases of the book indicates all that is problematic with it: "We are primarily interested in telling a good yarn." (The context is the authors' decision to use cumbersome sourcing formats.)

They did, indeed, tell a good yarn. I enjoyed reading it. They are terrific writers, with surprisingly crafted sentences and a gripping, well-researched narrative. Even as someone who has done some reading on the era, I learned a lot.

But I knew as I read the book at that, as much as the auth
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“They ranged from naive to obtuse to hateful, with personalities unencumbered with charisma and minds unclouded by thought.” 2 likes
“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.” 1 likes
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