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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  43,285 Ratings  ·  2,259 Reviews
Now a special 30th-anniversary edition in both hardcover and paperback, the classic bestselling history The New York Times called "Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking...Impossible to put down"

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteen
Paperback, Thirtieth Anniversary Edition, 509 pages
Published January 23rd 2001 by Henry Holt and Company, LLC (first published 1970)
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Tarah Hi- 2 years late, but I had the same question (so maybe you'll get the update that I've responded). I had serious problems placing events (being both…moreHi- 2 years late, but I had the same question (so maybe you'll get the update that I've responded). I had serious problems placing events (being both generally bad at geography and at remembering things). So I went through and MADE annotations to maps wherever I could. I've shared it on a Google Doc. If folks find any others, please let me know!
Augusto Delgado Will try again. It was too tragic for me the first time, after a couple of chapters had to put it down heartbroken in pain and angered. Anyone feel…moreWill try again. It was too tragic for me the first time, after a couple of chapters had to put it down heartbroken in pain and angered. Anyone feel the same?(less)

Community Reviews

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Apr 18, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history, 2012
Fair warning, there may be some political views in this review which should not be surprising being that this book is the history of a government slaughtering a native people because they were simply in the way.

This book is a comprehensive history of the Native American from the moment when the white man showed up on this continent. It kind of goes a little like this.

White guys: “Hey y’all. Love the feathers! Wow its cold and we’re hungry; you wouldn’t be so kind as to help us out.”

Native Americ
Jun 29, 2007 Arukiyomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The "land of the free" is no longer "the home of the brave.""

It took me a long while to read this.

It wasn't that it was a boring read. far from it. But it was a disturbing read, and the fact that each chapter follows virtually the same pattern made it that much harder to read. You knew from the start how each chapter would end, though you desperately hoped it wouldn't.

Dee Brown's book should be required reading for every US citizen and on the book list for anyone considering US citizenship. It
Jan 16, 2008 Morgan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone. Especially Americans.
I am FINALLY done with this book. It took me forever to read, largely due to the fact that it is absolutely heartbreaking. Most days I couldn't take reading it for more than 15 minutes.

That said, I believe it is one of the most important books I have read in my life. I find it absolutely unbelievable that I grew in Wyoming of all places, where many parts of "Bury My Heart" take place. I was surrounded by Native American culture, I learned about them in school, we took field trips to see places
Nov 18, 2010 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, race
This was a remarkably depressing book. It is the sort of book that shows over and over again that there was literally nothing the Native Americans could have done to protect themselves from the all consuming and endlessly veracious greed of the European settlers. Just about every ‘tactic’ imaginable was used by the Native Americans – from treaties to war to abject capitulation – and nothing made any difference. The final result was always the same.

This is a tale of genocide. It is a tale in whic
Sep 11, 2009 Gaijinmama rated it it was amazing
This book is devastating, relentless, and depressing. It should be required reading for all U.S. citizens. High school history classes really should teach kids just exactly how our country expanded west. As an American of European descent, I am thoroughly disgusted. Invasion and destroying other people's cultures is bad enough, but we did even worse than take the Indians' land and systematically destroy so many of their cultures. Read on.
And yes, it is"cultures", plural. Most white people never
B the BookAddict

I first read this at Uni a long time ago; a factual and disturbing book, it pierced my conscience. I decided to read it again to see if my reaction to it had changed over the years. This book broke my heart back then and it has just broken my heart again. There were many times when I just put it aside and cried. The awfulness is that this is a true account of the methodical annihilation of the American Indian. Throw away your ideas gleaned from 'cowboys and indian' movies. This is an account of
Sep 19, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing

Usually you can take with a pinch of salt what’s quoted on the back cover of books but in this case when the New York Times says “Impossible to put down” they hit the nail on the head. Quite simply a masterpiece of conscientious research and organisational artistry. Dee Brown provides an immensely sympathetic account of the plight of many Indian tribes as the wheels of progress arrived to wipe out their lifestyle, if not their culture. You could say Brown is too sympathetic but then for a people
Dec 31, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
Written in the 1970s, Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee remains a popular, relevant history of the Plains Indians. This is saying a lot. Aside from vague knowledge of Custer, and perhaps a viewing or two of Dances With Wolves, I'd venture that most Americans don't know or care much about this story. That makes sense, since it's never fun to think about the genocide committed by your ancestors.

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is styled as an Indian history of the American west. It's told fr
Apr 19, 2008 booklady rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in learning the truth about our native heritage
Recommended to booklady by: a National Park Ranger
I got this book on our first trip around what I call the 'Great Sioux West'. When my dh retired from the AF we took a version of the trip I always dreamed of taking to see a good portion of our American West. We drove through parts of KS, NE, WY, MT, UT, and then back home. We visited mostly historic forts and National Parks. We stopped at endless historical markers and for countless deer, bison, and other wildlife. And all the while I read this incredible book. Although it covers Native America ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: history-us
NOTE: I in no way mean to denigrate the opinions and/or feelings of people who gave this book 4 or 5 stars. I make no assumptions as to why people have given this book such a high rating, though I do suggest one possibility could be to acknowledge the book's undeniable importance in presenting the Native American side of the story against the then-prevailing "victor's narrative."

I only read the two chapters concerning the fate of the Apache in general, and Cochise and Geronimo in particular, as
Feb 25, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it
An important book, but depressing... and hard to read for that reason. A sad summary of the injustices done to the original occupants of this country. Unfortunately, they were a perceived barrier in the mad land grab that took place in the mid to late 1800s.

It's hard to comprehend the degree of evil done to them. So just imagine...


- One day, you're sitting around, watching Oprah or whatever. Suddenly, there's a knock on your door. You answer and there are a bunch of guys holdin
Feb 14, 2017 Amanda NEVER MANDY rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I will keep it simple since I can’t seem to come up with anything to say, or more accurately, find the right word combo to say it with.

This book incites a powerhouse of emotions: anger, remorse, loss, outrage, sadness, disgust…

Notice how I left off the and? That’s because there are so many more words you can add to that list, which is why I have struggled with how to say what needs said. I had to put this book down so many times to allow my mind time to process the horror I felt after reading ea
Wayne Barrett

This is a tough one to review. Not because it isn't a good book, the writing and the details in the historical events provided is exceptional. It's tough because I believe I am just emotionally exhausted by the amount of similar stories I have digested in the last year. Late last year I read "Blood and Thunder", early this year I finished "Trail of Tears", and at this time, even though it is fiction (it is historical fiction) I am re-reading "Blood Meridian". It is so much information that I rea
Dec 05, 2012 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook was available at Downpour for only USD5.95. Excellent narration by Grover Gardner.

DEVASTATING. Very difficult reading. Dense. I am very glad it was written and that I have read it. The language used is perfect. I don't know how to properly convey to what extent this book upset me. Everyone should read it. Maybe you think you know what has happened to Native Americans, but you do not know the half of it. In 30 years, 1860-1890, the people were destroyed, and along with them fauna, flora
Ahmad Sharabiani
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, Dee Alexander Brown
عنوان: فاجعه سرخپوستان امریکا (دلم را به خاک بسپار)؛ نویسنده: دی براون؛ مترجم: محمد قاضی؛ مشخصلت نشر: تهران، انتشارات خوارزمی، 1351، در 590 ص، مصور و عکس، کتابنامه به صورت زیرنویس، عنوان دیگر: دلم را در واندفی به خاک بسپار؛ موضوع: جنگ با سرخپوستان امریکای شمالی
رمان همان خشونت وحشتی را باز مینمایاند که بر دل تمدن ما نقش بسته است. وحشتی که تمدن مدرن همه ی تلاشش را کرده و میکند تا انسانها آنرا به فراموشی بسپار
May 24, 2007 Erin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This is such a fabulous book. I think it should be required reading for high schoolers... NEVER are Native Americans presented in history classes in their own (highly articulate!) words. This book made me cry while reading it in the subway, and I was depressed for a good time after finishing. I'm excited for the upcoming HBO series even though I don't have HBO... maybe I can invest in it just for the week the feature is on? Read this book. I wish I could give it more than five stars!
Jul 24, 2012 Lela rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! Hard to read in many places. My blond, blue-eyed husband let out a "whoo hoo," though, when Little Big Horn ended! In full disclosure, I am more than 1/16 Native American.
Ali Frz
Feb 17, 2016 Ali Frz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ناتمام
کتاب زیبایی بود
واقعه ای که در ووندد نی اتفاق افتاده، بلا تشبیه، نوعی «کربلای سرخپوستی» محسوب میشه
تا وسطاش خوندم ولی یادم نیست چرا نیمه تمام ماند
Unlike Fox News, this book doesn't claim to be "Fair and Balanced", though it still manages to come closer to that mark than Fox does. This isn't a book intended to be fair or show the big picture of the American political climate or whatever, this is a book intended to give voices to those who were victimized and murdered, over and over and over again.

As I listened to this book, I kept thinking back to that old adage that history is written by the victors. And it's true. Look at all the old We
dead letter office
Apr 17, 2008 dead letter office rated it it was amazing
there's so much history, and so many names and dates and places, that i feel like i don't remember much in detail (i have no mind for that stuff), but the underlying story is the same in every case. misunderstanding and betrayal and chauvanism and savagery and death. over and over these indian civilizations were reduced to small bands of young men, forced into the hills and fighting hopeless guerrilla wars against the american army after all the others had been killed or pushed onto reservations ...more
Esmerelda Weatherwax
Jul 10, 2017 Esmerelda Weatherwax rated it really liked it
This is one of the more famous novels which recounts the tales of the Native Americans suffering through the loss of their homes, lives, and cultures. This book took me a long time to get through, and not because it was a bad book, or boring, but because it was so difficult to read through.

I was adopted off of a reservation out in Iowa because my mother and her family were so destitute they couldn't afford to take on a child, many Natives living in modern times are living in squalor, with alcoh
Sean Wilson
Nov 14, 2013 Sean Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, non-fiction
"Look at me. I was raised on this land where the sun rises- now I come from where the sun sets. Whose voice was first sounded on this land? The voice of the red people who had but bows and arrows." Red Cloud

"Every American should read this." Being from Scotland, I can't really say much else apart from the fact that it is very true: Every American should read this. Just like every Russian should read The Gulag Archipelago. These kind of books are important because it gives us a further understand
Sep 17, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology
Like many other reviewers I had a difficult time reading the book because, if you are capable of having empathy for native amercians, it causes one to re-think what you thought you've always known about American history and the values of our Christian European ancestors.

If you aren't capable of empathy, don't waste your time. You are right, you know you are right, and in your mind "the only good indian is a dead indian". But if you can consider the Chinese, for example, landing on American shore
Aug 01, 2007 Adrian rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: e v e r y o n e
this is a tough one to read at times.
however, if you're an American you have
a responsibility to read it. it is a harsh
history lesson and i was in tears at the end
of the first page.

dont think any other book has made me curse
out loud like this one has.

i dare you to read it. i dare you NOT to be moved.
Eileen Dougherty
Feb 10, 2008 Eileen Dougherty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-politik
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 07, 2007 Amy rated it it was ok
This book is very educational and eye-opening, but it's dang hard to get through. The writing is rather dry, but with a subject such as this, of course it's going to be a heavy read. It's one of those books that everyone should read so they know what really happened, but it's not the easiest to get through. I would never have finished if it hadn't been a book discussion pick.
Aug 28, 2007 Runningfox rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Absolutely Yes
This is one of my all time favorite books and I have read it many times..It made a difference in my life..
Oct 16, 2007 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every American-every European!
I've owned a hard cover copy of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee since 1971. I started to read it but couldn't concentrate because I started college, had other required reading, and life went on in other directions.

By good fortune, last September, a friend and I drove out west -- around the southern tip of Lake Michigan, northwest on 94, across Illinois, up to route 90 in southern Wisconsin (the Wisconsin Dells were awesome) -- straight along the southern boundary of Minnesota into South Dakota whe
Jan 09, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
Apparantly "all men are created equal" left out the bit in brackets that said (unless you are a member of an Indian tribe). A detailed ride across the West using archive material that tells a very different story of how the West was won than any cowboy film does. The rapid spread west of an ever increasing white population hungry for land to build a home, allied to a sense that Indian tribes were inferior and savage, saw the erosion of hunting lands and the desecration of the great buffalo herds ...more
Larry Bassett
Sep 28, 2016 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This book is so well documented by footnotes and pages and pages of a bibliography. It seems like a great place to start to learn about the history of the Native American. When you read about the Supreme Court decision in the late 19th century that called them aliens in the US it had to be just another kick at a person who is down. But this book shows clearly how they had hardly been anything but down since the invasion of the white man.

This book is so repetitious. The white man promises. The In
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Dorris Alexander “Dee” Brown (1908–2002) was a celebrated author of both fiction and nonfiction, whose classic study Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is widely credited with exposing the systematic destruction of American Indian tribes to a world audience. Brown was born in Louisiana and grew up in Arkansas. He worked as a reporter and a printer before enrolling at Arkansas State Teachers College, wh ...more
More about Dee Brown...

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“Nothing lives long
Only the earth and mountains”
“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” 50 likes
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