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Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition

Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition [Kindle Edition]

John G. Neihardt , Vine Deloria , Philip J. Deloria
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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"If any great religious classic has emerged in [the twentieth] century or on this continent, it must certainly be judged in the company of "Black Elk Speaks"."--from Vine Deloria Jr.'s foreword--Vine Deloria Jr. (10/25/2013)

Product Description

Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elk’s searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.


Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and asked Neihardt to share his story with the world. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind.


This complete edition features a new introduction by historian Philip J. Deloria and annotations of Black Elk’s story by renowned Lakota scholar Raymond J. DeMallie. Three essays by John G. Neihardt provide background on this landmark work along with pieces by Vine Deloria Jr., Raymond J. DeMallie, Alexis Petri, and Lori Utecht. Maps, original illustrations by Standing Bear, and a set of appendixes rounds out the edition.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book 13 April 2014
By pete
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose this as I was looking to study Native American rituals and spirituality and I wasn't disappointed. There are not many books on this subject and it gave me a clearer insight into one man's journey into spiritual leadership, it was just what I was looking for :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPEAKING FOR BLACK ELK 3 Mar 2008
By James A. Cooke - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I read "Black Elk Speaks" by Nebraska Poet Laureate John Neihardt way back in the 1970s; I taught it and assigned it to my students and, sometimes, over the years -- I've quoted and misquoted from this classic. At last, I've heard Black Elk! It is a revelation.

In my declining years, I discover that I hear better than I read. Books that I hear -- Live in my memory; words I read, for the most part, remain on the page. When I put down a book I'm reading -- I'm done with it for the moment. When I stop listening - the audio book stays in my head and I look forward to hearing more.

Scott Peterson reads Black Elk Speaks and I cannot imagine a better reader. Hearing him makes perfect sense
since it is a story that was told by the old Sioux Chief in 1931 near the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Mr. Peterson, a Cayuga, of the Iroquois Six Nations of upstate New York has an interesting voice and his reading reveals the structure of Neihardt's work. I had forgotten or never noticed that there are speakers in addition to Black Elk. We hear from other Chiefs, Standing Bear and Fire Thunder who were part of Black Elk's life and memories; they confirm and supplement the old man's recall. Black Elk was at Custer's defeat in 1876 - the Battle of Little Big Horn. He calls it, "The Rubbing Out of Long Hair." We might call it our nation's last great victory. Later, Black Elk signs on with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and performs before Queen Victoria in England. Black Elk was a shaman, a medicine man and healer.

Hearing Black Elk's story impressed the tragic but also illuminated comical episodes that had escaped me. Of course political correctors will rush to inform that we only hear what dead white man Neihardt thinks we should hear. Yes, that's true; the story is filtered through the time in which it was set down, nonetheless: Neihardt's respect for his subject shines through and, it is worth remembering that Black Elk chose Neihardt after refusing to speak to others.

As a young boy, Black Elk received visions and he couldn't understand them. However, people come to see that there was something special about this boy; in time he understands that he has been given a powerful vision with which to save his Nation. Today, we search for purpose or mission in life. Black Elk was given one and, it would seem, went to his grave feeling he had failed. Through the voice of Scott Peterson, Black Elk's words and vision live. There is a bonus that comes with this recording. When I picked up my tattered copy of Black Elk to check some detail: There was Peterson's voice in my head! How did that happen?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 12 Jan 2014
By Timothy E. Kennelly - Published on
"Black Elk Speaks" is one of the best book ever written on the history of the people in America.
This is a moving and thoroughly compelling work which provides a first-hand account of the life and culture of the Sioux Indian nation and their relations with the United States Government. There is a great deal in this work: visions, battles, scalpings, loss, and defeat. It is a great read and certainly worthy of the epithet Classic.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Elk Speaks to Me 18 Dec 2013
By DeniseZephier - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read this book many times. His vision speaks to me.
I bought the additional copies to share with others.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ 19 Oct 2013
By Ms. Charlene C. Cruze - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A must read for anyone interested in developing their Spirituality or have chosen to follow a spiritual path. Black Elk was truly a man of wisdom and his writing are ageless.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just A Book 14 April 2014
By Keith - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Black Elk Speaks is to me what the Bible is to Christians, the Quran to Muslims. And for anyone who wants to Understand, this is a must have!
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