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Voices of Wounded Knee
     

Voices of Wounded Knee

by William S. E. Coleman
 

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In Voices of Wounded Knee, William S. E. Coleman brings together for the first time all the available sources-Lakota, military, and civilian-on the massacre of 29 December 1890. He recreates the Ghost Dance in detail and shows how it related to the events leading up to the massacre. Using accounts of participants and observers, Coleman reconstructs the

Overview

In Voices of Wounded Knee, William S. E. Coleman brings together for the first time all the available sources-Lakota, military, and civilian-on the massacre of 29 December 1890. He recreates the Ghost Dance in detail and shows how it related to the events leading up to the massacre. Using accounts of participants and observers, Coleman reconstructs the massacre moment by moment. He places contradictory accounts in direct juxtaposition, allowing the reader to decide who was telling the truth.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
While researching the career of William F. Cody, William Coleman had the opportunity to interview Benjamin Black Elk, son of the famous Black Elk, the author of Black Elk Speaks. Benjamin discussed the Ghost Dance and its part in the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. He also maintained that the history books did not give enough space to the views of the Native Americans involved in the events. Coleman has set out to give these voices, all the voices, a hearing. His book includes interviews with participants and observers such as the press and missionaries. The events leading up to the massacre are contradictory, but Coleman lets readers draw their own conclusions about whose version is more accurate. Coleman and his wife have spent nearly 30 years collecting documents for this book, so it is thoroughly researched. It will come as a surprise to no one that the press of the day inflamed the situation by printing exaggerations and outright lies. This is the most balanced version of Wounded Knee because it gives voice to all those involved, from the U.S. Army to the Lakota Sioux. A must for high school libraries. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Univ. of Nebraska, Bison Books, 434p. illus. notes. bibliog. index.,
— Janet Julian
Library Journal
While much has been written about Wounded Knee and what happened there, this is the first account in which the participants have been allowed to tell the story almost entirely in their own words. While Coleman (theater, Drake Univ.) was seeking information on Buffalo Bill Cody, a chance meeting with Benjamin Black Elk set him on the trail of firsthand accounts of the events that led up to the Wounded Knee Massacre of December 29, 1890. He has welded these accounts (of the two-week Ghost Dance and the climactic attack by the Seventh Cavalry) into a riveting narrative that tells how the massacre emerged out of a long string of broken treaties, cultural mistrust, governmental rivalries, and inflammatory press reports. Rather than presenting a series of documents, he selects only the relevant parts of each, setting differing accounts of the same event in juxtaposition to each other, with a minimal connecting narrative to keep the chronological selections in context. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.--Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Booknews
Two weeks after the killing of Sitting Bull, December 29,1880, the US 7th cavalry, opened fire on Miniconjou Ghost dancers near Wounded Knee Creek. While some army officials claimed the dancers were armed and that the Ghost Dance was a call for the extermination of whites, many Lakotas thought the massacre stemmed from the cavalry's bitterness over Custer's loss at the Little Big Horn 14 years earler. Coleman (theater, Drake University) spent 30 years gathering documents from Lakota, military, and civilian sources and uses them to recreate the Ghost Dance and the massacre, juxtaposing contradictory accounts so as to give balanced treatment. Coleman believes that after all the evidence is in, the massacre resulted from decades of broken treaties, cultural misunderstanding, power struggles between the army and the Department of the Interior, and erroneous and inflammatory reports by irresponsible members of the press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803264229
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
12/01/2001
Pages:
446
Sales rank:
918,488
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

William S. E. Coleman is a professor emeritus of theatre at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He and his wife spent nearly thirty years gathering documents from collections in the United States and abroad to create this book.

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