I have treasured much of Joseph Marshall's past writing, and have the deepest respect for him and the Lakota culture. Therefore this review is a little difficult to write as I was somewhat disappointed in this book.
The book has several VERY STRONG components. Specifically Mr. Marshall's sharing of the real and specific experiences of the Native peoples from the ~1890s forward. This is painful reading requiring deep soul searching for EVERY PERSON on how collective greed (be it national, business or individual) destroys. Much of this I never knew ("Indian insane asylums," homesteading/logging/mining scams, terrible condescending treatment and discrimination which continues). The horrible pain inflicted on native children in the schooling/re-education is unforgivable (IMO). Mr. Marshall brings the personal pain and tragedy of these actions to a personal, real level without being exploitive - the people exude GENTLE STRENGTH.
On the other hand, some of the apologetic on Lakota culture not being "inferior" seemed repetitious, too broadly applied, and overdone. It also comes across as defensive & combative in tone. While much of what Mr. Marshall cites is true, I think his characterization that all historians (including modern ones) do not credit survival motivation, values and skills of Lakota warriors (particularly at LBH) is also overbroad. We have only to look at the examples of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to see that full might doesn't mean victory or a righteous cause on the part of the USA.
And a little more on the "repetitious" issue ... the overall structure of the book reads almost like a compilation of different essays rather than a coherent whole --- kind of like a conference proceedings of various individual papers. There are also several places where sections of paragraphs seemed spliced into the text - more than once. Its almost like many sections were written at different times - having similar trains of thought - and were just pasted together. I would fault the editor(s) for this.
One other thing that bothers me somewhat ... the use of "white" as an overbroad adjective describing awful behavior (i.e. "white attitude," "white culture," "to make them white"). Ethnocentricism can run both ways. Aggressive greed, conquest and exploitation are not limited "whites" alone -- though this is 100% the experience of America's native peoples. Chinese, Mongol, Islamic/Arab, Japanese, even the Maya and Iroquois Confederacy all practiced brutal expansionism in their histories. Even may of the plains tribes themselves desired firearms for advantage over their enemies - Marshall himself admits this with respect to the Ojibwa. No one in human kind has a monopoly on evil. Economic systems, governments, values, love of family, and religion are not racial characteristics ... they are the result of complex evolutionary society histories and interactions with other societies.
A good read, but it was weaker in certain areas/subjects than I expected. Please note that none of this changes my admiration of Joseph Marshall ... and his extremely valuable contributions to history and this type of dialogue. He is a master communicator with a treasure to share.