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 June 30, 2009

    Great book CLEARLY written by a man.

    I really enjoyed this book. I thought the whole premise of the story was very original and fascinating. My only complaint about the book is that the main characters are female - who despite the author's attempts - are unlike any women I have ever met. They think like men, have sex like men, process violence and sexual assault like only a man could, etc. I read this book with my bookclub - all female - and our opinion was unaminous that only a man would think that gang-raping a woman would "tame" her. Still, despite this annoying issue, the story was fascinating and the plot well written.

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

    This is a fantastic book and easy read. Although fiction, it read like a non-fiction book. It gave a very realistic account of how it would be like to live with the Cheyenne Indians as a white woman in the late 1800's. It gave information about the choices, or lack thereof, women had at that time. It was exciting and pretty well researched.
    I highly recommend it for those who would like to know more about that time period and place and American Indians.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Good book!

    Very exciting - well written. Reader MUST remember that this is really fiction based on one statement in history. Just one statement. The book really sticks in your mind.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    Good reading

    I really enjoyed this book. It made good reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exquisite Visualizations

    I love books that give you every description needed to create your own visualization of the places, people and events. One Thousand White Women is just that ... a story that unfolded, giving you the words to create every scene with great detail, and making the reading of the story even more intense. I was amazed at how much the author captured the feelings from a female perspective, giving true definition to both the main character as well as her fellow tribe-mates. One Thousand White Women gives me reason to read more from this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    I think it's a book for women readers

    All the time I was reading this book I thought it was a true story. I'm thinking, how come I never heard about this. In the end I find the true facts. I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it. Yes I would read something written by Jim Fergus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Creative. Sweet. Exciting.

    Only fault is that it is too believable! Very engaging read with addictive characterization.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Must Read

    Loved it! One of those books where you think about the characters when you're not reading it. Finished it in record time because I had to find out how their lives turned out. A bonus was the interesting historical narrative. Will keep this book in my library after passing it around to my family and friends who love to read. I plan to recommend this to my book club because it will make for an interesting discussion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2014

    An interesting read!

    A good beach read!

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  • Posted June 3, 2014

    What if our government had gone along with an idea presented to

    What if our government had gone along with an idea presented to them by a chief of the  Northern Cheyenne in 1854?  This idea was to present the Cheyenne with 1,000 white women for them to take as brides.  Since the Cheyenne are a matrilineal society (all children belong to the mother’s tribe), this seemed to the Cheyenne to be the perfect means of assimilation into the white man’s world.  Of course, the USA didn’t even give this a thought.  This novel is written exploring that idea.  It is told as a journal from a white woman who might have gone to the Cheyenne as a bride to help the two cultures come together.  It is so well done, that while reading it, you forget that it is fiction, and truly believe that May Dodd did exist, and did keep this journal of her experiences as the white bride of an Indian chief.  The book does leave the reader wondering if maybe this would have been a good way for the two different cultures to come together – instead of the way the US really handled it.

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  • Posted March 7, 2014

    Good storytelling

    Slow going at first. I didn't initially care for " non-fictionilizing" a fictional event. None-the-less he weaves a most believable story from a woman's viewpoint. His characterizations seem highly accurate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Overall a great story

    The author does a good job with the story and helping to describe the situations the white women would have had to deal with. I thought that the character development was a little incosistent in some cases, and the tying of the history to the present could have been handled a little better. I did really enjoy reading it though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    Great book.

    Read this at our book club. Interesting book and an interesting discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Highly recommended - good read

    I enjoyed the writing, the description and character development. It was one of the better books I read this year and highly recommend it for those looking to simply enjoy a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    I could not put this book down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Great Book!

    This is a fascinating look at the old west....a real eye opener about the way the US government treated native Americans AND the attitude about women in that time. The idea that women could be sold into life with men that WHITE men had no respect for is despicable. And yet, the women exhibited unbelievable courage. I know the book was not "true', and yet I think there was a great deal of truth in the pages of this novel! A page turner. Couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    Interesting in Entertaining

    I thought this was a great book. I very much enjoyed the journal format.... it gave a more personal insite into the character's experience. I would definitely recommend it.

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  • Posted March 9, 2013

    I enjoyed this book.

    I enjoyed this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    ,

    ,

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