Customer Review

106 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buried My Heart, Too, 24 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Paperback)
I read this book over ten years ago and have read it a number of times since, and it just doesn't seem to lose any of its impact.

"Bury My Heart" is the harrowing tale of the systematic conning, concentrating and extermination of the Native Americans of the United States between the 1830s and 1870s.

Told chronologically, it relates tribe-by-tribe the incredible levels of deep-seated racism and greed displayed by white prospectors, settlers, soldiers and politicians as they carved up the vast land of North America into its component states and territories in their boardrooms and forts, with the Native Americans trampled underfoot along the way.

Not legally recognised as "people" (with the sole exception of Standing Bear, who managed to become a person only through legal action), the indiginous occupants of North America were confronted by soldiers tribe by tribe, and told to move out of the place they lived, and onto a reservation - or be killed. The Native Americans who agreed ended up on reservation land which was no use to the whites - that it, no use for hunting, farming, or living. The rations fed to them were not fit for human consumption, and on some reservations, most simply died from disease or starvation. Those who tried to complain, resist, or leave were imprisoned or killed. For the Native Americans that fought, they resisted long and hard but eventually they became vastly outnumbered. Originally they were only a few million in number themselves, but with another ten million new white faces arriving each and every year over the period written about, the already rapidly-diminished native population found itself up against unconquerable odds.

Dee Brown wrote this originally in 1970, when Native Americans were still termed "Indians", and there are references to "squaws" and "heap big soldiers" that probably wouldn't be found in a more modern treatise. Nevertheless it's a hugely important piece of work that exposes the early movers and shakers in an embryonic United States, for the lies, greed and deep racism that they indulged in.

An absolute must-read.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Feb 2012 10:21:32 GMT
This is a good review overall but isn't "another ten million new white faces arriving each and every year over the period written about" a bit of an exaggeration? Having just had a quick look at some figures, during the whole of the 1840s, for instance, the population grew by only six million.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 23:56:35 GMT
I thought the same when I read that.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2013 03:21:20 GMT
It was a while back when I reviewed this so I don't recall why I said that, I wouldn't have pulled the figure out of nowhere deliberately - so I'm guessing I probably misread what it said in the book (or less likely the book was wrong and gave the wrong figure!).

Posted on 3 Feb 2013 21:26:09 GMT
Samadhi says:
When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.

Native American on the white man

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2013 16:46:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2013 16:47:05 BDT
Motte 1 says:
To Samadhi) We, the white man, woman and children are well on our way to fulfilling that prophecy....god help us.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2013 13:55:44 BDT
Samadhi says:
We cannot change the past but can change the future by changing ourselves. Morality is to do good in accordance to the study of Ethics based on the understanding that to do good results in good actions. The ramifications of bad clarifies good.

good luck
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