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The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An…

por Bob Drury, Tom Clavin

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4621140,793 (4.02)23
The untold story of the great Oglala Sioux chief Red Cloud, the most powerful Indian commander of the Plains who witnessed the opening of the West and forced the American government to sue for peace in a conflict named for him.
  1. 00
    Black Hills/White Justice: The Sioux Nation Versus the United States : 1775 to the Present por Edward Lazarus (dkohler52)
    dkohler52: It's been awhile since I read this book and in light of reading The Heart of Everything That Is, I intend to go back a reread portions of this one. What was interesting in Black Hills/White Justice is the attempt to obtain retribution in the U.S. Courts for taking the Black Hills illegally from the Lakota Sioux. Interesting results.… (mais)
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As a student of history, I have found that biographies, many times, are the best way to assess historical events. I am in the midst of reading a string of biographies, some of which are too scholarly for my taste while others read a little too simple. This book on the life of Sioux warrior Red Cloud probably suffers from having followed Rebel Yell, a biography on the life of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, which I found to be outstanding. While this book did not measure up to that biography, it was nevertheless a well written and educational piece of work.

I must confess that my knowledge of the mid-late 19th century Indian Wars on the American Plains was, and is extremely limited. In fact, while I am passingly familiar with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, the Battle of the Little Bighorn is about the extent of my knowledge. In fact, until reading this work, I had never heard of Red Cloud, who the author proclaims was the greatest Native American warrior of the 19th century. According to the author, his relative obscurity is explained by the fact that much of his prowess was achieved at the expense of other tribes in the area of the Black Hills.

This book outlines the early life of Red Cloud and his ascendance to the pinnacle of Sioux leadership, despite a number of handicaps. It follows him through the Civil War years and those immediately following, in which Red Cloud was successful in uniting the various Plains tribes (his most impressive feat) to wage war on the encroaching American settlers and United States army troops along the Bozeman trail. It culminates in the Fetterman massacre, in which Red Cloud virtually wiped out an Army regiment at Fort Phil Kearney in present day Wyoming.

The battle itself was not impressive in itself, as Red Cloud outnumbered the American soldiers fifty to one, but the leadership required to unite the competing tribes and the strategy employed led to a success that rocked the Army establishment and led to a temporary withdrawal from the area. Red Cloud knew that the long term prospects of his people were poor and soon thereafter ceded leadership of the Sioux warrior class to his understudy Crazy Horse.

As I said, this biography does not rise to the level of some I have read, but it served its purpose well, giving me a better understanding of how the Sioux nation was organized and describing well some of the initial clashes between the Sioux and the immediate post-Civil War American Army. ( )
  santhony | Mar 12, 2018 |
Life and times of the Sioux chief Red Cloud ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 9, 2017 |
An instant classic. Simply one of the best histories of the American West I have ever read. Make room on your shelf next to “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Excellent portrayal of Red Cloud and the Indian fight against the white mans encroachment into Indian lands. ( )
  RolandB | Feb 9, 2016 |
Evidently well researched, probably the best book treating the Red Cloud part of the Indian Wars of the 1860s...but, it's boring. A biography of a tribal leader of historic importance should provide the subject's side of the story--the authors fail on Red Clouds side of the story. The book covers in detail, many battles between the Americans and the various Indian tribes outlined--right down to the number of cartridges supplied by the Quartermaster. Further, the book gives short shrift to the second half of Red Cloud's life, treating it only as epilogue. I'm still waiting for the definitive book about Red Cloud. ( )
1 vote buffalogr | May 25, 2015 |
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Prologue: The Bluecoats, many of them veterans of the Civil War, had survived the most brutal deprivations - the "Hornet's Nest" at Shiloh, Stonewall Jackson's "River of Death" on the banks of the Chickahominy, the bloody Sunken Road at Antietam.
It was a pageant unlike anything seen before in the West.
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The untold story of the great Oglala Sioux chief Red Cloud, the most powerful Indian commander of the Plains who witnessed the opening of the West and forced the American government to sue for peace in a conflict named for him.

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