Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder: And Other True Stories of the Nebraska-Pine Ridge Border Towns

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Overview

The long-intertwined communities of the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation and the bordering towns in Sheridan County, Nebraska, mark their histories in sensational incidents and quiet human connections, many recorded in detail here for the first time. After covering racial unrest in the remote northwest corner of his home state of Nebraska in 1999, journalist Stew Magnuson returned four years later to consider the larger questions of its peoples, their paths, and the forces that separate them. Examining ...

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The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder: And Other True Stories from the Nebraska-Pine Ridge Border Towns

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Overview

The long-intertwined communities of the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation and the bordering towns in Sheridan County, Nebraska, mark their histories in sensational incidents and quiet human connections, many recorded in detail here for the first time. After covering racial unrest in the remote northwest corner of his home state of Nebraska in 1999, journalist Stew Magnuson returned four years later to consider the larger questions of its peoples, their paths, and the forces that separate them. Examining Raymond Yellow Thunder’s death at the hands of four white men in 1972, Magnuson looks deep into the past that gave rise to the tragedy. Situating long-ranging repercussions within 130 years of context, he also recounts the largely forgotten struggles of American Indian Movement activist Bob Yellow Bird and tells the story of Whiteclay, Nebraska, the controversial border hamlet that continues to sell millions of cans of beer per year to the “dry” reservation. Within this microcosm of cultural conflict, Magnuson explores the odds against community's power to transcend misunderstanding, alcoholism, prejudice, and violence.“Like all good stories, The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder spins against the way it drives. Even as the people of Sheridan County despise, scorn, exploit, assault, and kill one another, their lives, like objects slipping out of control, become more and more inseparable. Indians and whites coexist and, against all odds, somehow get along, sharing space they really don’t want to share. This countercurrent is the source of the many unexpected stories Magnuson brings forth.” —Pekka Hämäläinen, from the foreword

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896726345
  • Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Series: Plains Histories Series
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of Omaha and a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Stew Magnuson is a Washington, D.C.–based journalist and former foreign correspondent who has filed stories from Mali, Japan, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Indonesia. He has traveled or lived in forty-five countries, including the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, where he served in the Peace Corps, and Peshawar, Pakistan, where he worked with Afghan refugees in the late 1980s. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.Pekka Hämäläinen is associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and specializes in borderlands and Native American history. He is the author of The Comanche Empire.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations

Prologue 3

A Cold Night in Gordon 11

The Story of John Gordon 25

Where Is Uncle Raymond? 37

The Oglalas' Long Journey to Pine Ridge 63

The White Folks' Journey to Sheridan County 87

A New World 105

Indian Scare 129

Two Paths 157

Thunder in the Courthouse 185

Billy Jack Goes to Gordon 215

Little Skid Row on the Prairie 257

The Battle of Whiteclay 287

Another Saturday Night in Gordon 305

Sources 341

Index 349

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Dull

    It is...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Thunderstrike

    Dullsmoke? Are you inactive now?

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  • Posted December 18, 2008

    Well researched, provocative book

    Stew Magnuson took the time and effort to get to know all sides of the story and it shows in his latest offering. This book is well thought out and is a must-read for anyone interested in Native American affairs. Even for those with no interest, it is a must-read as it offers a glimpse into a way of life that most choose to ignore.

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