In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI's War on the American Indian Movement

Overview

An “indescribably touching, extraordinarily intelligent" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) chronicle of a fatal gun-battle between FBI agents and American Indian Movement activists by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise
 
On a hot June morning in 1975, a desperate shoot-out between FBI agents and Native Americans near Wounded Knee, South ...

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Overview

An “indescribably touching, extraordinarily intelligent" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) chronicle of a fatal gun-battle between FBI agents and American Indian Movement activists by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise
 
On a hot June morning in 1975, a desperate shoot-out between FBI agents and Native Americans near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, left an Indian and two federal agents dead. Four members of the American Indian Movement were indicted on murder charges, and one, Leonard Peltier, was convicted and is now serving consecutive life sentences in a federal penitentiary. Behind this violent chain of events lie issues of great complexity and profound historical resonance, brilliantly explicated by Peter Matthiessen in this controversial book. Kept off the shelves for eight years because of one of the most protracted and bitterly fought legal cases in publishing history, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse reveals the Lakota tribe’s long struggle with the U.S. government, and makes clear why the traditional Indian concept of the earth is so important at a time when increasing populations are destroying the precious resources of our world.

 

Kept off the shelves for eight years by legal battles, this is the comprehensive history of the desperate Indian efforts to maintain their traditions and preserve the sacredness of the earth. Matthiessen reveals the Lakota Indians' long struggle with the U.S. Government, from Red Cloud's War and Little Big Horn to the Indian wars of the 1970s. 3 maps.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140144567
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 688
  • Sales rank: 124,491
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Matthiessen was the cofounder of the Paris Review and is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Indian Country, and The Snow Leopard, winner of the National Book Award.

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION

BOOK I
1. THIEVES ROAD: The Oglala Lakota, 1835–1965
2. THE UPSIDE-DOWN FLAG: The American Indian Movement, 1968–73
3. TO WOUNDED KNEE: February–May 1973
4. THE WOUNDED KNEE TRIALS: January–September 1974
5. THE NEW INDIAN WARS: AIM Versus the FBI, 1972–75
6. THE U.S. PUPPET GOVERNMENT: Pine Ridge and Dick Wilson, 1975

BOOK II
7. THE SHOOT-OUT I: June 26, 1975
8. THE SHOOT-OUT II: June 26, 1975
9. THE "RESERVATION MURDERS" INVESTIGATION: June–September 1975
10. THE FUGITIVES I: July–November 1975
11. THE FUGITIVES II: November 1975–May 1976
12. THE TRIAL AT CEDAR RAPIDS: June–July 1976
13. THE TRIAL AT FARGO: March–April 1977

BOOK III
14. THE ESCAPE: Lompoc Prison and the Los Angeles Trial
15. THE REAL ENEMY
16. ANOTHER IMPORTANT MATTER: Myrtle Poor Bear and David Price, 1976–81
17. FORKED TONGUES: The Freedom of Information Act and the New Evidence, 1980–81
18. IN MARION PENITENTIARY
19. PAHA SAPA: The Treaty, the Supreme Court, and the Return to the Black Hills
20. RED AND BLUE DAYS

EPILOGUE
AFTERWORD BY MARTIN GARBUS
NOTES
INDEX

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2009

    American Indian Injustice

    American Indian Injustice<BR/><BR/>Leonard Peltier was born on September 12, 1944. Peltier is an American Indian Movement member and native american activist. In 1977 he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murder of two FBI agents who were killed in the 1975 shoot out on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. Some supporters and organizations like Amnesty international see Peltier as a political prisoner. There have been many lawsuits that have failed on his behalf. This is a review of the case and why forensics plays such an important role in Law Enforcement and the Investigative process. <BR/> On June 26 1975, FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams were looking for a young native man named Jimmy Eagle he was wanted for questioning for a recent assault and robbery of two local ranch hands. Eagle had been involved in a physical altercation with a friend and he was accussed of stealing a pair of cowboy boots. Agents Coler and Williams were driving separate government cars, and were following Jimmy Eagle in his red pick up truck. The FBI agents were in pursuit of Eagle when he led them to the Jumping Bull ranch where American Indian Movement and Leonard Peltier had set up a spiritual camp. <BR/>FBI agents in pursuit radioed to another agent Gary Adams the discription of the truck they were in pursuit of. After a few radio transmissions between Adams and agents Coler and Williams the radio messages became more panicky until one of the agents in pursuit said ¿If you don¿t get here quick were gonna be dead.¿ Agent Gary Adams was the first one to respond to agents Coler and Williams. Gun Fire started to erupt at the Jumping Bull camp. Leonard Peltier said that he was at Jumping Bull ranch where American indian movement members were camped out. He said in his statement ¿he was in his tent enjoying the days weather as the women were making breakfast when he heard gun fire.¿ At first Mr Peltier said he thought it was someone practicing shooting then Pelter said he heard someone screaming. <BR/>American Indian movements members Bob Robideau and Norman Brown who were aslo at the ranch said the agents started firing their weapons first, the AIM members fired back unknowing that the two white men were FBI agents. The fire fight escalated when more AIM members joined in.The FBI agents only had their 38s hand guns and were trying to get their rifles in the back of the trunk of the car. At point blank range agent Williams was shot through his hand and into his head. Agent Coler was also shot at point blank range in the head. Agent Gary Adams reported heavy gun fire and after the shoot out he was accompanied by 350 US Marshals, FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs police for a massive manhunt for the suspects responsible for the murders of agents Coler and Williams. The men suspected for the murders were AIM members, Bob Robideau, Darrelle Butler, Jimmy Eagle and Leonard Peltier. After the shooting the men fled to higher ground to pray for the victims spirits. The three men hid out at an old mans house but within a couple of days Bob Robideau and Darrelle Butler were arrested,and Peltier fled over the border to Canada. <BR/>On February 2 1976 Leonard Peltier was caught in Canada and his extradition was delayed. The Judge decided to start the trial for Bob Robideau and Darrelle Butler during this time. The charges were later dropped for Jimmy Eagle . The government tried to prove that Bob Robideau and

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2004

    Reviewing colonialism and its ugly reality

    I read this volume when it was first released in 1992...then twice in the years afterward. The author is a great researcher, a respectful mirror for the rights of indigenous peoples, and forwards the story of the native people with dignity and fairness. The story generated here is one of colonialism and broken promises...and it unfotunately supports many of the policies used to poliferate American ideals worldwide. It shows the indifference of the status quo toward any culture not in keeping with accepted mores...and illuminates the stage regarding conflicts the world over. For non-natives, it will offer you a glimpse into the heart of oppression and political slavery, and force you to look into the eyes of Uncle Sam with a new skepticism.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2005

    Book Vindicates Leonard Peltier

    'In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,' by Peter Matthiessen, picks up where 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' leaves off. In the first chapters of the book, Matthiessen describes how the U.S. government tried to destroy the culture of the American Indian and created a hostile environment for them. This hostility, hatred, and racism led to inevitable bloodshed in 1975 during a shootout on Near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, which left two FBI agents and one Indian dead. Based on circumstantial evidence, Leonard Peltier was convicted of this crime; however, two other co-defendents were set free. Someone HAD to pay for this crime, and through intimidation and forced confessions, the author shows how the FBI fabricated a case against Peltier, who is still serving time in Federal prison. To this day, many questions remain, which the author explores. Why were the agents on the reservation in the first place and why was a SWAT team just minutes away? Who fired the first shot? Also, the author shows that another individual killed the agents, but it was in self defense.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Womans Perspective

    I was born and raised in South Dakota.

    I remember hearing these names as a kid, but I was too young to know much about it. What I remember is that women weren't worth much, and there wasn't much of a chance that they would be protected. I encountered rapists when I was a kid and I had no reason to believe that anyone would help me. From my perspective, it wasn't a life worth living. I knew I had to get out of there.

    There's a darkness that hangs over South Dakota for me. My question is whether it is possible for South Dakota to make the shift from patriarchy to democracy? It needs a lense change.

    I would recommend Carol Gilligans work. http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/729.

    I wish the people of South Dakota the very best. I feel like I lost my home because I know that I will ever go back there. It was too violent for me.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2004

    In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

    Has taken hold of my heart and opened my spirit, this book. I say all Human Beings need to read this in order to understand the war that still rages in this country, and the misconception of 'justice' the egoic lack of humility of the FBI and all government beaurocrats parading around in the spirit of white privlege. Free Leonard Peltier!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    a voice for leonard peltier

    A must read novel for anyone interested in the A.I.M. and the plight of political prisoner Leonard Peltier. What happening on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the 1970's was a travesty. If you think the American goverment learned from the mistakes they made dealing with the Native Americans during the 19th century your wrong.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    Recommended only if you want to read a book which is unsupported in fact.

    This book is only partial factual.. Leonard Peltier was convicted for murder and deserves his sentence. As a retired FBI Agent who is familiar with this case and the unsuccessful appeals, Peltier deserves to rot in prison.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    The native American Culture Rocks!!

    This one book, although confusing at times explores the modern native american trials and tribulations through the persecution of AIM by the FBI better thanany avaialble. Leonard Peltier was a spiritualgiant not a murderer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2000

    To The People

    The book was a great book for those wishing to know more of the Indian struggles after the white man. Very Informative and clear information. 'In the Spirit of Crazy Horse' says it all. You will be enlightened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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