Shelf Control #289: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

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Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

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Title: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Author: Dee Brown
Published: Originally published 1970; 30th anniversary edition published 2001
Length: 509 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Now a special 30th-anniversary edition in both hardcover and paperback, the classic bestselling history The New York Times called “Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking…Impossible to put down.”

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. For this elegant thirtieth-anniversary edition—published in both hardcover and paperback—Brown has contributed an incisive new preface.

Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.

How and when I got it:

I bought the Kindle edition several years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been exploring Native American fiction over the years, but feel like there are still so many gaps in my knowledge when it comes to understanding the history of Native Americans and the impact of US policies.

I’ve been hearing about this book for ages, and I know it’s considered a modern classic. A family member just read it and raved about it, and that reminded me that this has been on my to-read list for far too long.

I never seem to find time for non-fiction, but this is yet another one that I need to make a priority. From everything I’ve heard, this is an important and powerful look into history and the lasting effects of the US’s westward expansion and settlement upon native populations.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


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