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The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History
     

The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History

4.5 6
by Joseph M. Marshall
 

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The author of The Journey of Crazy Horse presents a legendary battle through the eyes of the Lakota

The saga of ?Custer's Last Stand? has become ingrained in the lore of the American West, and the key players?Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and George Armstrong Custer?have grown to larger-than-life proportions. Now, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall

Overview

The author of The Journey of Crazy Horse presents a legendary battle through the eyes of the Lakota

The saga of ?Custer's Last Stand? has become ingrained in the lore of the American West, and the key players?Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and George Armstrong Custer?have grown to larger-than-life proportions. Now, award-winning historian Joseph M. Marshall presents the revisionist view of the Battle of the Little Bighorn that has been available only in the Lakota oral tradition. Drawing on this rich source of storytelling, Marshall uncovers what really took place at the Little Big Horn and provides fresh insight into the significance of that bloody day.

Editorial Reviews

Most of us grew up thinking of the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn as "Custer's Last Stand," a reductive way of regarding an armed engagement that involved at least 1,600 men. In recent decades, historians have given depth to what might be regarded otherwise as one soldier's bloody last hurrah. Now award-winning Lakota historian Joseph Marshall III presents this momentous confrontation from a Native American viewpoint, adding nuances that had been available previously only in Lakota oral tradition. This meticulous study identifies some of the roots of the conflict and reveals some of its seldom-discussed consequences. History from a new angle.
Publishers Weekly

America's westward expansion in the 19th century was far from a foregone conclusion to the thousands of indigenous peoples, whose ancient way of life lay in its path. Historian Marshall (The Journey of Crazy Horse; The Lakota Way), who was born on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation and has long chronicled the traditions and perspective of the Great Plains tribes, explains the context and the painful aftermath of this major turning point in his people's history. His careful description of the Greasy Grass Fight of 1876 (or the Battle of the Little Bighorn) overturns the popular misconception that the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne warriors' victory over the U.S. Seventh Cavalry was a "fluke" or, worse still, "a massacre." Yet he also registers the enormity of the change that followed—including forced settlement, assimilation and dependency—when Crazy Horse surrendered his rifle to a U.S. Army officer less than a year later. Chapters alternately emphasizing strategy, weaponry, beliefs, lifestyle and other areas lend a fractured quality and some redundancy to the narrative. But Marshall's thoughtful reflections and rich detail (much of it drawn from the oral stories of unidentified Lakota elders) also immerse the reader in the experience of a once free people wrestling with an uncertain destiny. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Custer's Last Stand from the Lakota point of view. Marshall (The Lakota Way, 2001, etc.) has examined all the research on the Battle of the Little Bighorn undertaken by traditional historians and Custer "groupies." In addition, he has studied the versions told by Lakota storytellers since that June day in 1876 when flamboyant Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer unwisely divided his force and died with all of his men on the hills above the Little Bighorn River in southern Montana. In an eloquent introduction, the author argues for the significance and dignity of the oral tradition. Marshall alludes appropriately to academic scholarship, but he focuses sharply on how the Lakota saw events and the impact of their last major victory on their lives thereafter. He begins with the deaths of respected Lakota battle leader Gall's two wives and daughter-the first to fall, he avers, when a column of Custer's Seventh Cavalry fired directly into the tipis as it rode toward the enormous Lakota village in which some 10,000 Indians from various tribes had assembled. Marshall, himself raised on a Sioux reservation, occasionally leaves the battle to instruct us in his people's history and culture, as well as their conflicts with the seemingly endless torrent of (mostly) white Americans propelled across the plains by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. He tells us about the great Lakota warriors and leaders: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Gall, whose value at Little Bighorn the author believes has been greatly underestimated. Marshall also explains the history of the bow and arrow, commends the Lakota for their discipline, martial prowess and horsemanship, explores their spiritual life and, most disturbingly,outlines the government's egregious post-battle policies, which seemed intent on destroying the Lakota way. A profoundly loving and proudly tendentious view of a bloody battle and the fierce cultural warfare that ensued.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101202357
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/10/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
734 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Joseph M. Marshall III, historian and storyteller, is the author of six previous books, including The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living, which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA West Award in 2002.  He was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation and his first language is Lakota. Marshall is a recipient of the Wyoming Humanities Award. He makes his home on the Northern Plains.

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Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The title is so true. The title can't be more true. One of the best of the battle and the people. A combination of books would put it together more, but this one should be on the lineup to read. Many nights of reading were well fulfilled.
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Father_of_5_Boys More than 1 year ago
While the book has a few chapters on the Battle of Little Big Horn (or Greasy Grass Creek as the Lakota refer to it), it is really more about the history of the Lakota and how Little Big Horn fits into the bigger picture of Lakota history. It was very valuable to read history from a Lakota perspective, and you can't help but feel terrible about the way history played out. When I travel out West I just have a deep sense of sorrow that things happened the way they did - there seems to be so much land - it just seems like there should have been enough space for the Indians and the U.S. government to work things out in a way that was much more just for the Indians. To me, the two biggest tragedies in U.S. history are slavery and the way things happened with the Indians. But at the same time, while the author is understandably critical of the Eurocentric version of history that we all learn, he does the same thing from the opposite side. His take seems to be that the Lakota (and their allies) won at Little Big Horn because they were simply smarter, stronger, faster, braver, better horsemen,.... and that Custer and the rest of his ilk were just pure evil. I understand the bitterness he has for the way things played out, but I think Sitting Bull and some of the other Lakota leaders were right in understanding that white westward migration was pretty much inevitable and the Indians were helpless to stop it in a lot of ways. - - - So the history we learn paints the white settlers as the "good guys" and the Indians as the "bad guys", and the author paints the Indians as the "good guys" and the white settlers as the "bad guys". I don't think either is accurate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading "Day the World Ended at Little Big Horn," and found it to be quite informative as to the reasons why and how the United States decided to try and eradicate or assimilate the Plains tribes, especially the Sioux tribes. I had also just completed writing a paper for a Masters course in Social and Cultural Concerns in School Counseling, using the North American Indians as my target population, and especially those living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I believe that many people have grown up with or been encouraged to look at the American Indians as the "bad guys" in the nation's westward movement and expansion through the so-called Manifest Destiny thanks to many western movies and TV shows. Remember, most American tribes were just reacting to those who wanted to take their land and eliminate their way of life and eventually their culture. You be the judge.