“…a cogent, heartbreaking narration…” BCCB
“…history classes and others interested in this period will welcome this offering.” Booklist
“…a masterful adaptation….This is a must-have addition to any United States history collection serving teens.” VOYA
“A powerful work, this book will serve as a discussion starter and as an educational tool.” School Library Journal
“A wrenching account of the injustices the Sioux endured from white men and the battles that ensued, based on Dee Brown's classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” Kirkus Reviews
In Saga of the Sioux, Dwight Jon Zimmerman has created a masterful adaptation of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, presenting late nineteenth century history from a Native American viewpoint. While Brown's book traces the fates of several Native American tribes in the western United States, Zimmerman's adaptation focuses solely on the Sioux because, "As the largest and most powerful nation, the Sioux represent the story of the Native American experience in the American West" (p. 14). This focus on the Sioux creates a straightforward narrative that is easy for younger readers to follow, while losing none of the emotional impact of the original work. Historical figures central to the narrative, both Native American and white, are portrayed as real people, rather than caricatures. Rather than simply describing what happened, the book looks at why it happened. Individuals' motivations, strengths, and flaws are all explored in relation to how historical events unfolded. The book includes numerous photographs, illustrations, and maps that aid understanding and create visual appeal. Suggested websites and recommended reading will assist student researchers in finding more information, both historical and current, about the Sioux. This is a must-have addition to any United States history collection serving teens. Reviewer: Bethany Martin
Gr 6–9—It has been 40 years since the publication of Dee Brown's seminal work on the conquest of the American West from the Indian perspective. That the book was and remains a cultural force is unquestioned, but its accessibility has been vastly enhanced by this adaptation. Zimmerman's focus on one tribe condenses the length of the book while keeping intact the issues and the indignities visited upon the Native American tribes between 1860 and 1890. Well-known figures such as Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse attain new dimensionality, and the story taken as a whole is nothing short of unnerving and, ultimately, heartbreaking. A final chapter covers the Native American movements of the 1960s and 1970s as well as the state of tribal advocacy today. Spellings of names and places follow closely those in Brown's original, sometimes given in both the Anglicized and Native versions. The narrative style is straightforward and readable, depending heavily on primary-source documentation, an exemplar of sound historical research. Black-and-white period photos appear throughout, as do maps of the territory under discussion. Back matter includes a detailed time line from 1851 to 1909 and information on the Sioux calendar. A powerful work, this book will serve as a discussion starter and as an educational tool. It's especially useful for illuminating the fact that the historical record depends heavily upon the viewpoint of those recording it.—Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA
A wrenching account of the injustices the Sioux endured from white men and the battles that ensued, based on Dee Brown's classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Brown's work, considered groundbreaking in 1971, told the painful history of Native Americans in the late-19th century from their perspective. Rather than just shorten the weighty original, Zimmerman draws from chapters about the Sioux as representative of the broken treaties, battles, suffering and death. The fluid chronological adaptation conveys the view that "an overwhelming number" of settlers, soldiers and men in authority were "arrogant, greedy, racist, murderous, and cruel beyond belief," a conclusion supported by the many well-told accounts of travesties. Except for references to the Civil War, the author offers little historical or social context. He rarely mentions women, although the controversial term "squaw" appears once. The overall effect feels dated, including occasional flowery prose from the original book, such as "the remnants of the once proud woodland Sioux awaited their fate." Except for material supporting the introduction and epilogue, source notes are not included; readers are referred to the original for Brown's. Photographs, including many by Edward Curtis, and illustrations with useful captions appear frequently in the attractive, open design.
Flawed and no longer groundbreaking in its perspective, this nevertheless offers a readable description of an essential part of American history.(time line, glossary, suggested websites, recommended reading, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)