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4.8 out of 5 stars
Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 1999
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 1999
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
on 28 November 1998
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
on 11 November 1998
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
on 29 January 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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on 13 March 1999
Russel Means has writen a powerful and provoking book about his life and the current plight of a people (Native American Indians and other indigenous peoples) that need thier indentiy preserved for thier own sake as much as for ours. He showed me that to lose thier song of life with all it's celebrations, joys, hardships and pain will damage the diversity of all people in our world. I hope many more people will buy and read this book and then pass it on to someone else so they may do the same. After reading his book I feel that I have meet him and have seen into his heart. I feel that it is true and good and what he wants for his people and for all people is for them to be free. Thanks Russel for your story and sharing your spirit that goes with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2013
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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on 5 May 1999
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 clear justification. He tells of his amazing commitmant to the Lakota and all Indians, and his personal quest for spirituality and respect. An absouloutly amazing book that should be required reading for any student being fed lies about white history.
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on 27 April 2012
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. . i have always admired his actions and it is finally great to get the russell's account rather than other people's with other agendas. Mitakeya oyason , may your life be blessed, russell. a must buy.
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