Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

burymyheartIt’s taken me a while to find the right book on Native Americans.  Having been told that when I was little I’d cry when watching Indians being killed in western movies, sobbing into my dad’s chest.  Mum also tells me I was very happy when I watched Custers Last Stand and danced around screaming with happiness!! 

It seems that I’ve had a life long interest in the subject.

After a visit to the National Museum of Native American Indian in NYC last year, the bookshop provided the best of the best books on the subject.  After hmm-ing and ha-ing over which book to buy, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown was the book I felt would satisfy my interest.  And the one recommended by the shop assistant, who’d read it at school.

It goes without saying that history is written by the winners.  But this book  shares the story of some of the losers. 

This book shows the Native Americans as virtuous, hardworking and trusting.  It’s an emotive, heartbreaking and often brutal account of the late 19th century.  The story of the frontier; the tale of humanity and sadness.

I appreciate that the book isn’t perfect; neither is the red or white man.  But this book does confirm that the Native Americans got a bum deal.  Like every race ‘new’ to the white man, Christianity without a doubt played a part in this genocide of a nation and death of a way of life; as did greed and a general ignorance of the lifestyle the Natives had.  A lifestyle that had worked for generations.

Next time you watch John Wayne pop off a few Sioux’s you might just find yourself cheering for the underdog!

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