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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Book Review

In: Social Issues

Submitted By scarletbeth
Words 1726
Pages 7
Karen Raybould
March 21, 2013
SOCI 1310
Book Review

The book Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, an Indian History of the American West written by Dee Brown is a unique look at the “civilization” of the West through the eyes of the Native American populace rather than through the point of view of American settlers. It is intended to open the eyes of the reader, presumably a white American, to what truly happened during the conquering of the American West and dispel the romanticized version of western settlement popular in mainstream media and history. In the author’s own words “Americans who have always looked westward when reading about this period should read this book facing eastward.” (Brown, XXIV). Through his retelling of history, Brown discusses the effects of stereotypes, the influence of European habits of colonization, and the evolution of American policies regarding the native people. This book was written as a revisionist history of the American West from the point of view of the loser instead of the typical history which is written from the winner’s perspective. In that regard it was highly successful as even Native American authors wished they had written the book. “’Every Indian will wish he had written it,’ said Vine Deloria, author of Custer Died for Your Sins. ‘I wish I had.’” (Brown XVIII). In this work the author presents the history of the Native Americans from their own words and records. He has painstakingly combed through military negotiation transcripts and interviews with survivors in order to get an accurate description of events as the Native Americans saw them to be. Although the book does expose shocking tragedies, gross miscarriages of justice, and the inhumane treatment of the Native Americans by the American government, it was not written with intent to shame or punish white Americans. It was written with the intent…...

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