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on 22 August 1999
I have read this book and I have cried, Like with Leonard Ihave felt many emotions, I am Indian, yet our people are still treated in this way why?? It is time for The White Government to wake up and see what they are doing to Innocent men like Leonard Peltier. This was one of the best Books I have ever read, It will tear at your heart, it will anger you, and it will depress you. Buy this book, read it, wake up and do something to help. We stand beside you my Brother Leonard!!!! IN THE SPIRT OF CRAZY HORSE!!! and IN THE SPIRT OF LEONARD PELTIER!!!! WE ARE STILL HERE!!!! END
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on 7 June 1999
I began reading this book as someone pretty well informed about the Leonard Peltier case; I knew all the facts and figures, knew of all the lies and injustices perpetrated against this soft-spoken, engaging, and strong-hearted Ojibwa-Sioux...and still my heart broke a little more with each page I read. To read this book is to realize that Leonard Peltier is not a murderer, and his imprisonment does not bring justice for slain FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams. If anything, only more injustice has been done them, because there is no justice in convicting the wrong man. That says only that their "brothers" in the FBI do not care who really killed them, provided someone - someone Indian - pays for it. I knew from before that Leonard was a quietly strong man who cares deeply for his people, but in this powerful memoir he shows also his grace, his eloquence, and his tremendous capacity for forgiveness and hope. Everyone should read this book. In particular, certain higher-ups in the FBI should read this book. They already know that Leonard is not a murderer; to this point, they have not let that bother them. I challenge anyone to read this book and not feel for Leonard Peltier. To Leonard: I am a white woman, and I have never had the pleasure to meet you face to face (yet), but I say to you anyway, Mitakuye Oyasin! I am pulling for you as hard as I can, and I pray you will one day be free.
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on 2 September 1999
This book is more terrifying than any work of fiction, because it's real. The horrific events Mr. Pelteer describes happened practically on our collective doorstep.
The man speaks from experience. His particular way of relating to the events around him is so readily accessible and vital I was finished the book and eagerly searching for more up to date information before I knew it.
If you're at all socially aware, or even consider yourself to be a kind and compassionate person, you owe it to yourself to read this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. I'm buying copies for my relatives for Christmas. It's that good.
Sometimes the most uplifting stories of all are also the saddest.
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on 21 August 1999
When I first read Peter Matthiessen's book "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse", my outrage at the multitude of wrongs to which Leonard Peltier has been subjected kept me up several sleepless nights. After reading "Prison Writings: My Life is My Sun Dance", those emotions boiled over - I burned Peltier's prison number #89637-132 into an upside-down American Flag which I display not with pride, but sadness and protest. The only reason this innocent man remains incarcerated is that his tale is an embarrassment to a country that prides itself upon securing and protecting human rights and justice. Lately there has been a resurgent interest in Americans coming to grips with the innumerable wrongs our ancestors have committed against Native Americans. However, many fail to see that blatant problems continue to exist right here, right now, today, and everyday. Peltier's writings are a reminder to us all that we cannot merely apologize for the past. We must do something to correct those mistakes now and in the future.
As a medical student, hearing Leonard describe the inhumane treatment of his medical problems is abhorable. This man may very well die in jail, before President Clinton or a parole board finally grant him his freedom. I cannot say that reading his words will make your blood pressure rise like mine, but I can assure you that it will change your life. With open eyes, then you can decide whether to continue to sit silently by or speak out for the rights of a man whose jaw is nearly frozen shut.
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on 13 July 1999
Having myself been at one time a skeptic of Peltier's fantastic claims, I became convinced of his innocence after poring over the considerable & incontrovertible evidence that clearly proves this man is a victim of political repression. But this book is only secondarily about how Peltier was purposely made a scapegoat by an out-of-control, Gestapo-esque FBI, and by a few unscrupulous scoundrels within Department of Justice [sic]. (That astonshing, disturbing history has been recounted elsewhere, e.g., "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" or "Agents of Repression".)
Instead, in "Prison Writings" Peltier focuses more on the continuing historical struggle of his people to be treated with dignity and equality; offers insights into the realities of contemporary Indian existence beyond the sham portrayals in popular culture; and shows how his perceptions and opinions have been molded by his own experiences, from childhood to the starkness of prison life.
To be honest, I had not expected Peltier's book to be so well written, profound, and powerful; after all, Peltier's involvement with the American Indian Movement was not that of a fiery public speaker, decision-maker, or clever stager of outrageous stunts for the media (like some of AIM's leaders). Instead, Peltier's work with AIM was characterized by his preference to quietly perform the unglamorous yet neccessary tasks to serve his people (e.g., hauling water to homes with no plumbing, making home repairs, babysitting, fixing cars, chastising teenagers to be abstinent from alcohol and drugs, chopping firewood, etc).
Yet despite his humble background and his avoid-the-limelight personality, Peltier's eloquence, wit/humor, irony, and heart-wrenching passion displayed in this book, betrays a depth of clear-thinking, maturity, and courage that is seldom seen in our world. After reading his book, it is no wonder that among all the infighting and divisions within AIM, it was Peltier who was universally trusted and respected by all those in the movement, and admired by the common people for whom he has now sacrificed most of his life to serve and protect.
From one of justice's greatest tragedies comes this powerful offering of wisdom, and an indictment of the fallacy of "The Great American Dream".
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on 21 June 1999
The case of Leonard Peltier is a breathtaking example of an unbelievable failure of our justice system as well as lawlessness by the FBI which was clearly intent on getting anyone by any means necessary to pay for the deaths of its two agents. In a natural, unassuming style, Peltier tells his story weaving his personal background with the events that culminated in his imprisonment. You are there at the camp on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation where the shoot-out occurred; you are there when undercover police fabricate an incident against Peltier in a Mpls bar; you are standing next to Leonard Peltier when he is surrounded by a group of racist, hate-filled cops itching to beat him to death; you are with him as he faces daily life at the mercy of sadistic guards. Most importantly, Peltier presents facts and evidence which support the view that he was essentially railroaded by a vengeful FBI. How does it feel to suffer all this and know you are innocent? Peltier reveals a spiritual strength he has gained from his suffering which helps him not only to survive this nightmare but to help others facing poverty and injustice. I wonder, though, what kind of people can insist on his guilt despite strong evidence to the contrary? What kind of people can knowingly condemn an innocent man to prison? Is it not dangerous for the rest of us that such morally corrupt people dominate our top police agency and have such power over our justice system? In light of Peltier's tragic case, it is sickening that the US can lecture others on human rights and the rule of law.
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on 12 July 1999
This book-- the most open and honest account of one man's struggle for freedom -- will pull at the heartstrings while motivating you to activism on behalf of victims of injustice. Peltier is a gifted writer, a courageous leader, and a strong man who refuses to let the government break his spirit. After reading this book, you'll want to demand justice for all-- beginning with Peltier.
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on 27 June 1999
Prison Writings; My Life is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier. A book written by one who has benn incarcerated for over 23 years for crimes he did not commit. A courageous man who cared for the welfare of his People, who still cares for his People. A brave man who risked his own life for his people. An honorable man, who maintains that honor in everything he does.As the old saying goes "every generation needs a Hero" and Leonard is definately one of our Hero's. Anyone and everyone who is concerned over the misjustice of our nations legal system and the continued road to extermination of our People, the forgotten minority, should stand in line to purchase this book, It is a book that is raw in emotion, pulls at your heart and leaves one in awe of his stength, courage and love he projects after all these year. He continues to soar. FREE PELTIER
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on 9 June 1999
A compelling look at imprisoned Native American activist, Leonard Peltier. So many people have come to understand a bit of his case involving the deaths of two FBI agents in a shootout on the Pine Ridge reservation in 1975, which resulted in now over 23 years of incarceration. Now, take a look at Leonard the man, a view from a place many consider to be the darkness of a political prisoners cell. This book provides a basic understanding of some of the circumstances leading to the tragic shootout in South Dakota. More importantly, Leonard's own words demonstrate dramaticly, his compassion for all people and the need for healing with Native American peoples.
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on 6 July 1999
Never read anything like this. Cost me only 2 days but I wished it could be more. Everyone should read this and everyone should know about Peltier and the whole case. Peltier must be freed today and not tomorrow and we all must continue to fight for this freedom!!
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