Most helpful positive review
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating yet utterly appalling tale of Native Americans
on 9 October 2005
I love how Dee Brown has chosen a mounted Native American warrior as his cover picture, as this drew my attention to his book. I feel it presents the right image, that of a strong, proud and noble warrior belonging to such a tribe. I liked the inclusion of a map at the beginning of the book, charting the significant battles, rivers, territories and settlements of the time. The inclusion of photographs was inspiring, and I found that this helped me to envisage each chapter whilst allowing me to study in particular some of the more famous Native American chiefs I have heard or read about. Hundreds of quotes appear at the beginning and throughout each chapter from both Native Americans and white Americans. This, I believe, is an essential part of any non-fiction novel, as many books are naturally written through the eyes of their author or historians of another background, leaving a biased view. This ensures that effectively, the Native Americans have told much of their own story, which is vital. Furthermore, with most views of the USA having come and coming from white Americans alone, it is a refreshing change and a well deserved chance for old voices to be heard. The song at the end of each chapter is another thoughtful way of tapping into Native American culture. There are war songs and tribal dances, and if you're musical you can play them, as the notes are all there!! There is also a complex bibliography for those who want more detailed information.
Dee Brown has put a great deal of work into this book and I hope he is extremely proud of it. I will be buying it and I shall read it again. There is such an abundance of information and numerous people are mentioned (he gives so many the centre stage, I admire that) that I know I will have missed something, as one can when one reads a piece of literature only once.
This book is a breakthrough and would be an essential part of any historical research.