Customer Reviews for

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

Amazing and thought provoking.

I just finished re-reading this book, something I rarely do. Jim Fergus has created a rich, lush, story filled with enduring characters and thought provoking themes. I am an avid reader and this is certainly one of my all time favorites and one I always recommend.
One ...
I just finished re-reading this book, something I rarely do. Jim Fergus has created a rich, lush, story filled with enduring characters and thought provoking themes. I am an avid reader and this is certainly one of my all time favorites and one I always recommend.
One Thousand White Women is a fictional account of a would be cultural experiment. It is based on the true fact that in 1854 at a peace conference a Cheyenne chief requested the gift of 1,000 white women as brides for his men. The Cheyenne were/are a matrilineal society...children belonging to their mother's tribe. This would have allowed for the Cheyenne to begin assimiliating into white culture. Of course this request was not met in real life but Fergus vividly paints for us a portrait of what might have happened.
This novel gives us female characters that inspire, motivate and break our hearts. White women, and one escaped African American slave, who risk everything for the opportunity to choose their own destinys. The main character, May Dodd was commited to an insane asylum by her family for, "Moral perversion" after living with and having children out of wed lock with a man beneath her social status. She chooses to volunteer to go west and be married to a "Savage" as a way of gaining her freedom and hopefully one day reconnecting with the children she bore out of wedlock. The book, One Thousand White Women, is her journal and letters to her children and others. We learn of her love for an American soldier she meets along the way and her marriage to a Cheyenne chief named Little Wolf. I think the center of the story though is the bond between Mary and the other white women who make the journy with her. Humorous, touching and inspiring...the tale of their friendship and support truly makes this book the treasure it is.

posted by MoonpieMama on May 7, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

interesting, be sure to keep in mind "savage"

I did find this very interesting, and the early references to "strong" women taking charge of their lives was enjoyable, also the "history" of what it could have been like was a page turner.
HOWEVER, there are many parts that I had to skim over, keeping in mind it is a...
I did find this very interesting, and the early references to "strong" women taking charge of their lives was enjoyable, also the "history" of what it could have been like was a page turner.
HOWEVER, there are many parts that I had to skim over, keeping in mind it is about savages and there are parts that are hard to read. The cruelty to animals and the "savage" treatment of other tribes.

posted by gigi1025 on April 16, 2011

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    interesting, be sure to keep in mind "savage"

    I did find this very interesting, and the early references to "strong" women taking charge of their lives was enjoyable, also the "history" of what it could have been like was a page turner.
    HOWEVER, there are many parts that I had to skim over, keeping in mind it is about savages and there are parts that are hard to read. The cruelty to animals and the "savage" treatment of other tribes.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    This is a book about a bad idea the native americans had to intagrate into the "white world".

    The caracters aren't very real. The book doesn't really seen to make cronological sence. The hero (in my opinoin) the Savages are the ones you rout for, I am suprised I actually was able to finish it. There is very little reference to early american historical figures. So much just didn't make sense.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    I enjoyed this book. Crazy to think this was based off of real e

    I enjoyed this book. Crazy to think this was based off of real events

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Good book

    Nothing in this book is true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Interesting work of fiction

    Entertaining story of "what if", but littered with modern sensibilities by the female protagonist, completely at odds with the era depicted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Good, but not great.

    We selected this book for our book club. Overall, the group did not like this read. I thought it was ok. The plot is a bit slow and what kept me reading was the research and details that the author provided.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Wolf

    I will stop anyone who threatens the gaurdians. Even if they dont mean to the gaurdians are meant to protect their region.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    This book was very interesting and different. I loved it even th

    This book was very interesting and different. I loved it even though at times it was a little slow. I think that the detail added to the book though rather than taking away as it so often does. However, this book was very unexpectedly sexual. I was slightly shocked at what I read. Overall, it is a very intriguing and unheard of part of history and what could have been.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Spoiler Alert - Disappointed this was Fiction

    Everything I had read lead me to believe this book was inspired by a true story. Apparently when you read the ebook you do not find out until the end that this is totally made up. The print copy sets that up in the beginning. While the story was well crafted I found it left a bad taste in my mouth to find this out after the investment in these characters.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    interesting premise, weak delivery

    First off, the e-book version of this work does not include the author's notes which state that this is entirely a work of fiction, which is a bit irresponsible considering the hordes of readers out there who are now convinced that the U.S. government took part in the social experiment the book describes. Fortunately, its fictional nature is pretty obvious from the author's style, vocabulary choice, and awareness of the modern reader. Fergus creates a character that is by modern standards an ideal and by standards of her day an outcast. Her sense of identity, her passion, her powers of self-analysis and prediction, her word choice, and her absence of widely-held beliefs of racial and gender norms place her squarely in a post-1960's mindset. Her fellow characters are one-dimensional, allowing her to appear more riveting and sympathetic. The story thus has the draw of a romance novel, and as such, is a diverting read. It is a nice light companion to, for example, autobiographies of Seneca Falls heroines, but requires a substantial grain of salt while reading.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    what could have been an excellent story to tell.....

    the story...is captivating, to look inside the primitive indian life, although would be more enjoyable if given a clue about what amount is based on actual historical findings, and the characters dont seem real, which takes away most of the enjoyment, I had had to put the book down, I just cant take the sympathy for the pedophile priest who was caught raping a young boy, when days before the women thought they had clubbed a half breed to death, and was glad, for trying to rape one of them....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    a better book than I expected

    This book was much better than I expected.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2008

    Interesting in theory

    I love to read historical books, fact or fiction. If anyone in this country has been persecuted it is the American indians. I enjoyed the book. It was interesting but not great. The background of May and her institutionalization was heart rending. Women of that time period were so unfairly treated and to think they could just be put aside like that. To have done what she did was amazing and I felt realistic. The premise of the story was great. The treatment of the women and indians by our government was very well done. Who were the terrorists then? The different women and their relationship with their indian husbands was very enjoyable, but I'm not sure how realistic. Most were strong women so who can tell? It could have happened that way. These were 18th century women with 20th century guts! Read it with a view to it being somewhat plausable and you will enjoy it. The end was great at tying up the book from beginning to end. I didn't keep wishing I knew what happened after....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2007

    Heavy duty melodrama

    I wondered if the author checked off items from an outline: rape scene, drunken Indian scene, outrageous Army actions, etc. It moved along, I didn't quit reading but it had no soul or depth. Just an assemblage of events.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2005

    Interesting premise...not completely successful...

    This book had a lot to enjoy. I liked the 'idea' of women securing their freedom from intolerable situations by traveling West and marrying Indians. I like the way that it's set up, with the introduction by the heroine's white great-grandson, the main body consisting of her journals, and the ending again by the grandson. There were some very interesting events and, especially near the end, a lot of tension. What I couldn't completely buy was the heroine herself. Did she have to be the prettiest, the smartest, the bravest, the spunkiest, and the wisest?? Still, it was worth reading, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the Old West and the Native Americans who lived there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    fun but anachronistic

    This book starts out well and has a great historical feel to it, but I felt it got lost once the 'plucky' white women marry their indian husbands. From that point on the women behave in distinctly 21st century style (invading the sweat lodge like feminists? puh-leeze). I thought the love affair was pretty silly, too. I finished the book because it was entertaining, but not because it was great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2002

    it's a good read.

    I couldn't put this down until the last 1/4 of the book...Great characters, great storyline, a very disappointing ending. I wanted it to end, so I could start another book! However, up until the last 65 pages, it was wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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