The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge: A Lakota Odyssey

Overview

Joe Starita tells the triumphant and moving story of a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne family. In 1878, the renowned Chief Dull Knife, who fought alongside Crazy Horse, escaped from forced relocation in Indian Territory and led followers on a desperate six-hundred-mile freedom flight back to their homeland. His son, George Dull Knife survived the Wounded Knee Massacre and later toured in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Guy Dull Knife Sr. fought in World War I and took part in the Siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. ...
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Overview

Joe Starita tells the triumphant and moving story of a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne family. In 1878, the renowned Chief Dull Knife, who fought alongside Crazy Horse, escaped from forced relocation in Indian Territory and led followers on a desperate six-hundred-mile freedom flight back to their homeland. His son, George Dull Knife survived the Wounded Knee Massacre and later toured in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Guy Dull Knife Sr. fought in World War I and took part in the Siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. Guy Dull Knife Jr. fought in Vietnam and is now an accomplished artist. Starita updates the Dull Knife family history in his new afterword for this Bison Books edition.

Told through the voices of a single family, here is the unforgettable story of a century of Lakota Sioux life--an epic journey of cultural identity found, lost, and found again. Compiled from family interviews and historical documents, this fascinating account offers a unique perspective on Native American culture and American history.

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Editorial Reviews

The Boston Globe
"This is a living, heartbreaking account of four generations of a Lakota Sioux family. . . . A truly fine book rich in historical and personal detail of a family and a people."—The Boston Globe
The Miami Herald
"No superfluous sentimentality impedes this saga; it moves across the pages with an immediacy that belies its century-plus timespan. . . . The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge is a story of raw endurance and of a passion for the honorable freedom of mind, heart, and body."—The Miami Herald
Booklist
"A fine story of cultural survival and a history that should find a place alongside those of a Crazy Horse or a Sitting Bull-integral parts of the American experience."—Booklist
The Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer
"You get to know four generations of Dull Knifes as intimately as the characters of a good novel. . . . [Starita] has written a compassionate book, but an angry book."—The Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer
The Manhattan Mercury

"Highly readable and highly recommended."—Glenn M. Busset, The Manhattan Mercury

— Glenn M. Busset

The Manhattan Mercury - Glenn M. Busset
"Highly readable and highly recommended."—Glenn M. Busset, The Manhattan Mercury
Booklist

"A fine story of cultural survival and a history that should find a place alongside those of a Crazy Horse or a Sitting Bull-integral parts of the American experience."

The Boston Globe

"This is a living, heartbreaking account of four generations of a Lakota Sioux family. . . . A truly fine book rich in historical and personal detail of a family and a people."

The Miami Herald

"No superfluous sentimentality impedes this saga; it moves across the pages with an immediacy that belies its century-plus timespan. . . . The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge is a story of raw endurance and of a passion for the honorable freedom of mind, heart, and body."

The Manhattan Mercury

"Highly readable and highly recommended."

—Glenn M. Busset, The Manhattan Mercury

The Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer

"You get to know four generations of Dull Knifes as intimately as the characters of a good novel. . . . [Starita] has written a compassionate book, but an angry book."

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Much of the proud and painful history of Native Americans involves Lakota chiefs like Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, and conflicts in both the distant and recent past at Wounded Knee. Former Miami Herald reporter Starita sensitively illuminates Lakota history through one remarkable family. Dominating the book is patriarch Guy Dull Knife Sr., born in 1899 and revered as the oldest living member of his people. Guy's forebears endured displacement, government deception and war; once enclosed on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, they endured the suppression of their language, culture and religion. Guy's relatives told him of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre; his father toured Europe with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, removed from his people's problems. Guy's own story begins about halfway through the book; it includes cultural resistance to assimilation, service in WWI, marriage to a staunch woman and politics at Pine Ridge. His son, Guy Dull Knife Jr., grew up with rock 'n' roll and endured Vietnam, returning to find himself involved in even more danger: the American Indian Movement's battle against corrupt leadership at the reservation. Now Guy Jr. sculpts statues that reflect his people's history and culture. A memorable American story. Photos. BOMC and History Book Club selections. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This history of a Lakota family spans four generations, beginning with Lakota chief Dull Knife, whose grandson, Guy Dull Knife Sr., born in 1899, is still alive. The family story is meant to serve as a vehicle for the story of the Lakota in general, from their contact and intense conflict with whites, through their years of oppression under the reservation system, and into the modern era of uneasy assimilation. This admirable attempt offers much wonderful material, but the approach is lacking in narrative strength. Starita attempts to use Guy Dull Knife Sr., referred to throughout the book-somewhat disconcertingly during the account of his youth-as "the old man," as an anchor, but the effect is jarring. Recommended for collections specializing in material on the Natives of North America and for libraries in the Dakotas, where most of the book is set.-David Dodd, Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803292949
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 578,313
  • Product dimensions: 0.84 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

An award-winning investigative journalist and former New York bureau chief for The Miami Herald, Joe Starita is now an associate professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska.
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