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Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux [Special Edition] [Paperback]

John G. Neihardt , Black Elk
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2000
Named one of the ten best spiritual books of the twentieth century by Philip Zaleski of HarperSanFrancisco, "Black Elk Speaks" is the acclaimed story of Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous, twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk grew up in a time when white settlers were invading the Lakotas' homeland, decimating buffalo herds and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas' way of life. Black Elk and other Lakotas fought back, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee. Beautifully told through the celebrated poet and writer John G. Neihardt, "Black Elk Speaks" offers much more than a life story. Black Elk's profound and arresting religious visions of the unity of humanity and the world around him have transformed his account into a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as a collaborative autobiography, a history of a Native American nation, or an enduring spiritual testament for all humankind, "Black Elk Speaks" is unforgettable. This special edition features all three prefaces to "Black Elk Speaks" that John G. Neihardt wrote at different points in his life, a map of Black Elk's world, a reset text, a listing of Lakota words newly translated and reproduced using the latest orthographic standards, and color paintings by Lakota artist Standing Bear that have not been widely available for decades.

Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (1 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803261705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803261709
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 965,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spritiual and factual history 12 Aug 2001
On buying this book, I was surprised that it had put in a catergory of 'Philosophy', as I imagined it to be simply an Indian history of the Sioux wars of Black Elks lifetime. However this book proves to be more than a history, it offers a look into the mind and beliefs of the Indian and his sorrow with the loss of his native life. One must read this book with a very open mind as, at first, it will seem far fetched etc. though the one gets into the book the more they would read into Black Elks words.
This book on a historical note is very good for a student of American West history, if paired with a modern book about the conflicts of which Black Elk speaks as one can really explore the attitudes of the Indians and Whites in an interesting detail.
I have always trusted the books I buy from the Nebraska Press and this one has not let me down.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this book 4 Nov 2003
My gut feeling is that at the height of our folly we have been killing the goose that lays the golden egg - in this case killing off those with the vision and wisdom to get us out of our present predicament. Solomon, when given the opportunity to choose anything he wanted, asked for wisdom - wisdom alone. But with that gift he became the wealthiest man of his era and everything else was given to him. We also lack vision and Proverbs tells us that a nation without vision shall perish. Today our shortcoming is that we lack vision and wisdom and what is more we are so ignorant that we don't even suspect that we lack vision and wisdom. And in that ignorance and the greed, arrogance and contempt that it generates we have almost destroyed the last remaining semblance of a people who had the vision and wisdom that the wise would have traveled the earth to receive. Fortunately, we have this book and through these most wonderful writings the wise of today can tap into that vision and wisdom.
Humans have two natures - the materialistic and the spiritual. In the west today our materialistic side has grown big and bloated while our spiritual side has shrunk to an almost imperceptible size through non-use. Black Elk was a person where the materialistic and the spiritual were in balance. We, too, can regain that balance if we are willing to listen to Black Elk. As the back cover tells us this book was named one of the ten best spiritual books of the 20th century, I am not alone in thinking that this is a good book to read, study, absorb and implement - but only if we are wise enough to understand that, of course.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book for everyone 7 Sep 2002
What a great man black elk was and still is through this book,
john has done a great job writing this account of a great nation
of people that if we followed today the world would be a better place,it is a beautiful book i loved every part of it.
not for "wasachus".or maybe so?
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 9 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good. In fact excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleased 9 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Black Elk speaks arrived in double quick time, in great condition and is a great read for anyone interested in seeking an alternative to western ideology and religious theory. It is, in the opinion of a white man still a great read for Native American youth who want to make a difference without being completely dominated by The White House and any political dogma..
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book. 5 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a must read for everyone.

very eye opening book, great to hear from the words of a Native American for a change.
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