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Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means [Paperback]

Russell Means
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means + Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (HBO) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 573 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; St Martin's Griffin ed edition (1 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312147619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312147617
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.5 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


The Native American activist recounts his struggle for Indian self-determination, his periods in prison, and his spiritual awakening.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An education, pure and simple 4 May 1999
By A Customer
This is a big, heavy book that carries a message equally substantial. For every textbook about Indians written by anthropologists there should be one that comes straight from Indian Country, written (told) by those whose experiences we do not hear about often enough. Credit goes to Russell Means here for telling a story that rings with authority, grit, and, finally, hope.
Yet it is not only a story: Means's many opinions about aspects of white society--and of his own--had me marking numerous pages for later reference. And his most famous speech, included in the book's appendix, is a razor-sharp indictment of the (European) worldview that has in many ways yet to earn a respectful place in this world. Ultimately this book is about just that: Respect. "Indians are dying of sympathy," Means says. "What we want is RESPECT."
WHERE WHITE MEN FEAR TO TREAD, though long, is never tedious, doesn't tip-toe, and continues to pull the reader along. This is an important book, and I hope its message--rough edges and all--makes an impact.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, riveting, and a learning experience. 2 April 1999
By A Customer
His narrative on his experiences growing up and as an adult are interesting to say the least. Also has a lot of information on his work in AIM and the contributions he tried to make for his people, in freedom of rights and to improve situations in this country for Native Americans. Also some historical information about Wounded Knee, Alcatraz, and more.Your opinion might be different but I enjoyed the book. Don't let the amount of pages deter you. I was engrossed through the whole book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Special Thanks to Russell Means for giving us the true story and a look inside what it means to be an indian,The trials and tribulations of being an indian in the early years,from the stories of his Grandmother to what really went down at Wounded Knee,to having a not so great dad.It really hit home,it was like reading my own life story with someone else playing the part.READ IT!AND UNDERSTAND!POWERFUL,POWERFUL STUFF!Thanks again Russell. John Shadowwolf Gunter (CHOCTAW)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully eye opening 22 Oct 2012
This is the best book i believe i have ever read; I've actually read it twice purely because there is so much information in it that i couldn't take it all in at first.

I personally took a dislike to the man (and believe now he's older he has sold himself out to the people he spent his life fighting against). I don't agree with the way he has done certain things, but I believe in everything he stands for and understand that there were certain things that had to be done to get the point across. At the end of the day he had to do what was right for him and his people at the time. It chronicles life as a native in the 20th century, and how himself, and his people have tried to get back what they are rightly owed, and to gain the respect that they so rightly deserve. How they want to be seen as equals and be allowed to be themselves.

It also chronicles the kind of man that he was; at times not the nicest person, but he is able to own up to his faults and face his own personal demons, which is no mean feat for anyone.

Many people outside the US see the Native people as some kind of magical, spiritual beings (almost deity like); they're not. They are real humans facing uphill struggles and battles that we (unless you are an indigenous person) could never understand. Russell brings those struggles to life in the way he tells his story. Whether you love or loathe him at the end of this book, you can't help but be touched by it in some way.

If you only read one book in your life, make it this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The most powerful book I have ever read. Russell Means has at least 9 lives as he takes us through his own struggle and the struggle of the Lakota and other Nations to be treated like decent American people. The story behind the battle to rid the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the story of Wounded Knee encampment and the American Indian Movement, but most of all the story of a true leader of his people Enough action in here to make at least 10 movies. Go Oliver Stone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great man 29 Jan 2013
A fantastic read about a man who encountered so many hardships in his life and came out the other side stronger. He lived a very colorful life. Gives a detailed look into the life of native Americans Indians, and touches on their history and persecution. A large part of books deals with his battle with government institutions which were very tense and revolutionary. Also watch [...]

A great American
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 16 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An extremely important account of the struggle for justice for the Native American peoples from a very important activist who made a huge contribution.

This book should be part of everyone's history education..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book written with a lot of heart. 23 July 1999
By A Customer
I'm sure Russell wrote this book, looking over his life and times. But there are people out there who knew him as he really was. He left out alot of people who helped him in more ways than one. But he did help the people come out of the woodwork, and to be proud to be Native American, And to stand up for thier rights.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
I bought this book for a friend who is interested in Red Indian culture and she found it very educational.
Published 2 months ago by MR DAVID J HARDING
5.0 out of 5 stars autobiography
This book is a must as it is a very good autobiography of Russell Means,i am pleased to buy it
Published 5 months ago by sgpalmer
5.0 out of 5 stars A book which is essence of real Indian history...
The book, Where White Men fear to Tread, is very informative and exciting...I have strongly recommended anyone to read... Read more
Published 16 months ago by tulay
5.0 out of 5 stars review for book
great book, avid read could not put it down. it is a challenging read throwing away both the romantic brave and the barbaric savage but telling it how it really is , a must read. . Read more
Published 24 months ago by morrigan rheged
2.0 out of 5 stars Are you sure ?
This is an angry book by an angry man. Part racist polemic, part fantasy and part vitriolic attack on his former colleagues and friends in AIM. Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2012 by N. Halpin
5.0 out of 5 stars A From the Heart Book
A compelling and "Truth From The Heart Book". Just about everything you want to know about AIM, Wounded Knee and the man - Russell Means. Read more
Published on 3 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Absouloutly Stunning
Russel Means tells this gripping story honestly and truthfully. Even though at times, his opinions seem a little brash, one only has to read a few sentances more before finding... Read more
Published on 5 May 1999
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