Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life

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Overview

Crazy Horse was as much feared by tribal foes as he was honored by allies. His war record was unmatched by any of his peers, and his rout of Custer at the Little Bighorn reverberates through history. Yet so much about him is unknown or steeped in legend.

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life corrects older, idealized accounts—and draws on a greater variety of sources than other recent biographies—to expose the real Crazy Horse: not the brash Sioux warrior we have come to expect but a ...

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Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life

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Overview

Crazy Horse was as much feared by tribal foes as he was honored by allies. His war record was unmatched by any of his peers, and his rout of Custer at the Little Bighorn reverberates through history. Yet so much about him is unknown or steeped in legend.

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life corrects older, idealized accounts—and draws on a greater variety of sources than other recent biographies—to expose the real Crazy Horse: not the brash Sioux warrior we have come to expect but a modest, reflective man whose courage was anchored in Lakota piety. Kingsley M. Bray has plumbed interviews of Crazy Horse’s contemporaries and consulted modern Lakotas to fill in vital details of Crazy Horse’s inner and public life.

Bray places Crazy Horse within the rich context of the nineteenth-century Lakota world. He reassesses the war chief’s achievements in numerous battles and retraces the tragic sequence of misunderstandings, betrayals, and misjudgments that led to his death. Bray also explores the private tragedies that marred Crazy Horse’s childhood and the network of relationships that shaped his adult life.

To this day, Crazy Horse remains a compelling symbol of resistance for modern Lakotas. Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life is a singular achievement, scholarly and authoritative, offering a complete portrait of the man and a fuller understanding of his place in American Indian and United States history.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bray, an independent researcher who has been studying the Lakota for more than 20 years, has responded to the need shown by Larry McMurtry's brief "Penguin Lives" biography of Crazy Horse and produced a full and detailed life of the noted Lakota war chief. Acknowledging that the documentary evidence is fragmentary, Bray has mined interviews given by Crazy Horse's friends early in the 20th century and has interviewed modern Lakotas to glean additional information about his genealogy, family background, and private and spiritual lives. The result is a well-rounded biography that shows Crazy Horse not only as a great warrior but also as a leader concerned with the welfare of his people. Bray conveys how the divisions within the Lakota bands, particularly the Oglala, influenced and were influenced by Crazy Horse. He has penetrated deep enough beneath the enigma that is Crazy Horse to show the forces and events that shaped the chief's inner world and determined his career. This finely written biography is likely to become the standard account of Crazy Horse and should be in all libraries. Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Wielding the source material with muscular assurance and a judicious eye, historian Bray aims at nothing less than a definitive account of the great Oglala warrior and tribal chief. This nonfiction debut promises to be a standard reference for many years to come.” —Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806139869
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Series: Civilization of the American Indian Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 947,999
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kingsley M. Bray is Senior Bookseller at BMA Hammicks Medical Bookshop in Manchester, England. He has spent the past twenty years researching Plains Indian, especially Lakota, history and ethnology.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Crazy Horse, Great Thinker, Great American

    As an American with a small amount of native blood I have found myself in search of details of native history to be more knowledgeable of what really happened. Through a typical public school I have been taught of the great hero's of western lore and the attempts to protect us from the savage peoples who lived here.

    Our history is filled with glorified stories of great conquerors but in researching them to find truth, what we often find is horrifying. So too it is with the stories of the Native Americans. Though they may have been brutal and primitive in some of their beliefs and traditions, they could not stand up to the brutality we brought. The systematic extermination that they suffered can only be rivaled by events like the holocaust.

    If your true desire is to better understand the people for who they were, the predicament they found themselves faced with, the politics that they tried to understand and live with and the truly compassionate and dedicated way they lived this book is for you. Extensively researched, this book delves into Crazy Horse and his religious beliefs and visions that he was to be a "Heyoka", a thunder dreamer, and his life of accomplishments and failures as one of the Lakota's greatest war chiefs. Read of his compassion for the needy, his mentoring spirit for the young, his loyalty to his people and most importantly, his battlefield prowess and ability to learn that provided him the tools he needed to defeat not just Custer and the 7th, but to embarrass many US military commanders through the years.

    This book for me was difficult to put down as I found myself intrigued with the details and when finished, more in love with the man and feeling deep remorse for his premature demise. He was not only a great warrior but on my top 10 list of great American leaders. He lead from the front and by example. He influenced people to be better. I think that if he were leading us today, we might even be in a better place.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    This book is not a textbook but it is mistakenly classified as a

    This book is not a textbook but it is mistakenly classified as a textbook. So the only format that you can read it is your nook reader. That turned out yo be a problem for me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    The ebook version of this book is mistakenly classified as an eT

    The ebook version of this book is mistakenly classified as an eTextbook.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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