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The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  408 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The author of The Journey of Crazy Horse presents a legendary battle through the eyes of the Lakota.

The saga of "Custer's Last Stand" has become ingrained in the lore of the American West, and the key players: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and George Armstrong Custer have grown to larger-than-life proportions.

Now, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall presents the revis
...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Penguin Books (first published May 10th 2007)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  408 ratings  ·  63 reviews


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Tim
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t enjoy this as much as the other two books I’ve read by this author. It’s essentially a very detailed account of the battle of the Little Big Horn and then a study from the inside of its consequences on the Lakota people. There’s lots of interest here, not least of all the squalor of life on the reservations. However it can be a little repetitive. The most poignant revelation of this book is how quickly and dramatically the Lakota were compelled to change their lifestyle. The equivalent ...more
Scotty Cameron
I am sad that I am writing this review. I an a fan of Joseph M.Marshall III. I have read a few of his books to great satisfaction. That being said I was set to enjoy this one too. However I did NOT.

The author does a great job recounting the story of The Battle Of The Little Big Horn. He covers this in the first chapter. That is where this book takes a turn for the worse. The subsequent chapters are spent telling the story over and over again.

I am all about affording those cultures that have bee
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Vincent
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marshall's book starts with a simple idea: tell the story of Custer's Last Stand, or the Battle of Little Bighorn, from the standpoint of the Native Americans.
Once he does that, he goes on to explore other pieces of history leading up to the event, and events that followed and had an impact on relations between whites and Indians.
It's really a very interesting (and short) book and I had no problem getting through the whole thing.
I liked reading the Custer battle complete with hand-drawn maps, an
...more
Rena Jane
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Indian viewpoints I have read on the battle of the Little Bighorn. Marshall has visited, listened, researched and understood this piece of history very well.
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
The history of Native American tribes in their encounters with whites is overwhelmingly grim. Only when whites were present in inferior numbers was there anything like peaceful coexistence; the minute white populations increased, the Indians were constantly pressured to move out of traditional lands in order to accommodate white needs. Various tribes resisted, and there were wars between encroaching whites and Indians throughout much of the history of the US, wars that, during the 19th century ...more
Paul Bennett
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, yet sad, Lakota history. Most of you already know the events, Washita River, Wounded Knee, Little Bighorn and the main characters; Custer, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull. But I'm willing to bet that most of what you know was generated by the winners of the war. The spin doctors of the day did a bang up job reporting the "massacre" of Custer and his command and the resulting hue and cry from the public set in motion the events that finally brought to an end the Lakota (and other tribes) ...more
bup
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, history, 2009
OK, listen up. I'm a white American. I know Custer got his ass handed to him at Little Bighorn, and that's a good thing. I know he was morally and strategically wrong. I know in most every dealing with various tribes, including the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Sioux, my ancestors were in the wrong.

I really wanted to like this book.

This book told me that in American schools, kids are only taught one version of Little Bighorn, that Custer and his men were tragic heroes inexplicably defeated by an in
...more
Jan C
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, library, native, 2017
I hate this new system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It adds multiple readings on its own!!!!!!!!!!!

I found this an interesting book.

Too bad this stupid system wiped out my review!!!!!!!!!!!!

I only read this book once but this stupid system is always adding multiple readings. Maybe because I might be using multiple devices???????

Get with the program GR. I can't be the only one having this problem!!!!!!!!

The story of the Battle of the Little Big Horn from the viewpoint of the Lakota. Also, the experienc
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TJ
Aug 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Seems to keep repeating himself. Definitely speaks from the Lakota perspective which is informative.
In the turned polemical. But sn interesting read nonetheless
Joyce Lagow
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-history
The history of Native American tribes in their encounters with whites is overwhelmingly grim. Only when whites were present in inferior numbers was there anything like peaceful coexistence; the minute white populations increased, the Indians were constantly pressured to move out of traditional lands in order to accommodate white needs. Various tribes resisted, and there were “wars” between encroaching whites and Indians throughout much of the history of the US, “wars” that, during the 19th centu ...more
Lance Schroeder
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting narrative of the Sioux history of the Little Bighorn battle, a side of the story many histories don't account for or pay only token respect to.
Christopher Lehmann

My first book from Joseph M. Marshall III - I am about to read his acclaimed bio of Crazy Horse - I was somewhat disappointed in it.

This is not to say it isn't a worthy read. There are many good parts and the beginning, where he recounts the actual battle very simply, is illuminating.

Overall the book wanders (and is even bumpy in places) and I'm not sure who he's written it for. There are times where it seems he's writing it for everyone, times where he seems to be writing it to Euro-Americans -
...more
Tony
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Marshall, Joseph M., III. THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED AT LITTLE BIG HORN: A LAKOTA HISTORY. (2008). ****. Marshall was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, and his firs language is Lakota. He is a respected historian and has written several books, chief among which was “The Journey of Crazy Horse.” In this book, he provides an alternative history to the Battle of the Little Bighorn based on Lakota oral history, passed down from generation to generation. Although the result was the same, Marshall ...more
Jennifer
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I bought this book on vacation in South Dakota and read it all through while I was there. We didn't ever visit the historic battle site like I thought that I would (I was not the planner of the itinerary,) but there was still something to reading this book while in (near) the landscape it was talking about.

This book sometimes felt more like a series of essays, as there were thoughts and stories repeated over in successive chapters, without necessarily feeling like it acknowledge that you'd read
...more
Meg
Oct 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Native American History
For a more thorough discussion of the events that led up to the Battle of Little Big Horn (often referred to as "The Sioux Wars"), there are more in-depth books to choose from, but a linear sequence of events to the Little Big Horn does not seem to be Marshall's goal. Instead, he discusses the effects that day with Custer had--and continues to have--on the Native Americans involved and their descendants. The book can be a little scattered and repetitive in a way that feels unnecessary, but his o ...more
Patty
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd really like to give it a 3 1/2 star rating. I learned so much about the Lakota people, the history from their perspective at what happened at Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee had me hooked, very insightful. The first half of the book was full of the history of their people and what it was like to be Lakota, I enjoyed this part very much and can appreciate the rich culture they had. The second half got a little bogged down with too much stuff like literal translations of white man's words and ...more
Greg
Touching and straightforward history of Lakotas from the Lakota perspective.

Interesting commentaries on leadership:

Lakota leader: "The [leadership] position did not define him, nor did it give him power or authority. It gave him a responsibility to serve the people, not a pathway to glory or status to serve his ego."

Lakotas didn't follow based on authority; they followed leaders they believed in. When they ceased to believe, they stopped following. The leader did not have inherent authority bey
...more
Bruce
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I rate it highly because so few have read or heard the other side of the story. At times the author seems repetitious but the history is from a different angle. Little Bighorn was actually part of a plan to take Lakota (and other Nations) land. While tactically the Lakota won the battle, there was no way they could win the war being waged against them by a US government controlled by 'Christian' capitalists. The latter part of the book touches upon the forced 'civilizing' of the nations conquere ...more
Lee Ann
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after my trip last month to Little Big Horn. It recapped all the major encounters and battles between whites and the Lakota, reinforcing what I had already read, but from the Lakota perspective. It also detailed native culture and everyday life, hunting, war. My knowledge and understanding had already evolved before the trip due to study and reading, so I just find our whole history with the native population to be depressing and another indication that we are not as exceptional as w ...more
Siria
This is a really fascinating book, using the Battle of Little Big Horn—or the Battle of the Greasy Grass, as it is known to the Lakota—as a lens through which to examine the history of the Lakota people in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Marshall is a Sicangu Lakota, and draws on the oral history of his people as his primary source. He doesn't write chronologically but thematically, using events immediately before, during, and after the battle as pivot points around which he can examine ...more
Mark Valentine
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though at times this historical and cultural exploration becomes repetitive, I found it fascinating. I learned about the Lakota style of leadership, about their profound respect for the family unit and its preservation, about their struggles against the onslaught of the westward expansion.

The book's purpose is to provide the perspective of the winners at Little Bighorn and for this, it is successful. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Spotted Tail, Gall, and others, have their opportunity for thei
...more
Melea
Jun 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I had to listen to parts of this twice. It was really interesting. I have new perspectives to think about, and was confirmed in some of my previous beliefs -- like, my white ancestors have been really mean to my Indian ancestors. When will the people in this world ever learn that greed and denigration of others leads to misery and anguish for all.
I also know that listening to a nonfiction historical account is not the way to go for me, I need to hold the book in my hands and READ it to get the
...more
Lee
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Though the Introduction of this book is interesting, where Marshall suggests that stories are the only thing that constitute our existence, the main portion of the book gets lost in a lot of details. Perhaps, this level of detail is necessary to relate the story that Marshall wants to tell, but he does a poor job of guiding the reader.

In the Introduction, Marshall highlighted the importance of storytelling to his people as well as to all of humanity. But, as he started to tell his story, his st
...more
Steve Hicks
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently re-read this book; one I read a long time ago. This is a fascinating glimpse into an historic battle between the Lakota/Cheyenne and the US army at the Battle of the Little Big Horn as told by the Great Grandson of a Lakota Indian that was there.

I really liked all the detail the author shares about the life as a plains Indian and the descriptions of these historic events from the Indian's perspective.

Great Read.
Skuli Saeland
Mjög fræðandi frásögn um samfélag Lakota indjána í N.-Ameríku bæði áður en hvíti maðurinn kom til Ameríku og til dagsins í dag. Stór hluti bókarinnar, sérstaklega fyrri hlutinn fjallar um sigur Lakota ættbálksins á 7. riddaraliðsdeildinni við Little Bighorn eftir að hún réðst á tjaldbúðir indjánanna.
Gallinn við þessa bók er hve einhliða hún er og endurtekur sig að miklu leyti í umfjöllunni um átökin við Little Bighorn.
History Geek
I've read a number of books on "The Indian Wars" and the battle of the Little Big Horn in particular, but I just couldn't get into this book. I appreciate the Native American point of view, and consider it to be more accurate than that of the typical American history, but still I found this book simply didn't offer anything I haven't read before. Not that it's an important book or that it doesn't have an exceptional point of view, just that I couldn't get as excited to read it as others.
Frits Terpstra
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: native-american
This is the most relevant book I've read about the history of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota. Joseph M. Marshall has already shown in previous work that he is a very eloquent writer. To understand the impact of the assimilation policy of the U.S., this book should be added to the standard booklist of every high school student.
SenoraG
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fabulous book. Also very sad. The Story of The Little Big Horn told by the Lakota's. Most of their history is handed down orally so this was a totally differnt look at what happened.

Overall in my opinion what this country did to the Native Americans is horrible and there is no excuse of any kind that would condone it.

Highly Recommended for EVERYONE
F. John
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I experienced a great sadness for the things that were done to the Lakota people. They do have something of which to be proud.

While the US Government ultimately had their way, it was inevitable, they did not prevail without the proverbial black-eye and as time goes by, the Lakota looks better and better and the US Government looks worse and worse.

This work makes me willing to learn more.
Tom Schulte
This book from written the Lakota point of view is a really balanced and sober assessment. After telling this tale, including its fore and aftershocks, the last half is a digressive, fairl incoherent overview of the subtleties of the Lakota language and the recent history of mistreatment and lack of opportunity found by Native Americans
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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
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