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1. The Scalpel and the Silver Bear
$16.47 $16.40 list($24.95)
2. The Journey Of Crazy Horse: A
$15.95 $12.96
3. Cherokee Editor: The Writings
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4. Ada Blackjack : A True Story of
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5. Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten
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6. Lakota Woman
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7. Prison Writings : My Life Is My
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8. The Last Algonquin
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9. Where White Men Fear to Tread
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10. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life
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11. Looking for Lost Bird : A Jewish
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12. The Last Comanche Chief : The
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13. Crazy Horse (Penguin Lives)
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14. Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from
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15. Gift of Power: The Life and Teachings
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16. Crow Dog : Four Generations of
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17. The Woman Who Watches Over the
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18. Geronimo: His Own Story
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19. The Blood Runs Like a River Through
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20. I'll Go And Do More: Annie Dodge

1. The Scalpel and the Silver Bear : The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
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Asin: 0553378007
Catlog: Book (2000-06-06)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 59817
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first Navajo woman surgeon combines western medicine and traditional healing.

A spellbinding journey between two worlds, this remarkable book describes surgeon Lori Arviso Alvord's struggles to bring modern medicine to the Navajo reservation in Gallup, New Mexico--and to bring the values of her people to a medical care system in danger of losing its heart.

Dr. Alvord left a dusty reservation in New Mexico for Stanford University Medical School, becoming the first Navajo woman surgeon. Rising above the odds presented by her own culture and the male-dominated world of surgeons, she returned to the reservation to find a new challenge. In dramatic encounters, Dr. Alvord witnessed the power of belief to influence health, for good or for ill. She came to merge the latest breakthroughs of medical science with the ancient tribal paths to recovery and wellness, following the Navajo philosophy of a balanced and harmonious life, called Walking in Beauty. And now, in bringing these principles to the world of medicine, The Scalpel and the Silver Bear joins those few rare works, such as Healing and the Mind, whose ideas have changed medical practices-and our understanding of the world.

... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Scalpel and the Silver Bear
This book explores the remarkable journey of a Navajo women who leaves the reservation to train as a surgeon. It contrasts traditional Navajo practices with those of western medicine and illustrates how one women was able negotiate two worlds at odds with one another. The book provoked me to re-evaluate some of my assumptions of western medicine and heightened my awareness of cultural differences in philosophy of medical care. The book is thought-provoking and inspirational. A quick and easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK
I picked up this book and I could NOT put it down. What a wonderful journey described she interlocks traditional medicine with Navajo, how harmony and positive spirit is such a process in the healing world. You will not be disappointed with this read. I have shared this with all those close to me. Make it part of your list

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid credentials but too abstract
--Dr Alvord writes about her journeys as a Native American student and physician. The book seems clearly designed for non-technical readers rather than the professional medical community, and there's little medical jargon. She uses her own difficult pregnancy and the death of a beloved grandmother as case studies in integrating Western medicine and Navajo ideas.
--On the one hand, it's worth reading this book just to hear such an inspirational story from such a role model. Dr Alvord tells her story with dignity and courage and she has many good ideas about listening to patients and integrating Balance and Harmony in our profession (although these ideas don't seem as radical or as rare within the medical community as she seems to imply, and I don't think she does anyone a great service by implying they are).
--On the other hand, the authors remained disappointingly abstract, even given the limitations of confidentiality and space. The stories of Navajo healing barely scratched the surface and the book was pretty scanty with practical advice that would help non-Native healers understand Native American patients. I'd love to have heard her perspectives on the magnitude of Native American health problems, how she handled the constant pressures of time and funding, or how she successfully used traditional Native American methods to help manage serious medical-social problems (i.e. alcohol use, diabetogenic diets, family pressures, basic compliance and responsibility issues, etc). In short, I'd like to have heard more about her successes.
--The book's perspective gives a good counterpoint to those who criticize Western medicine as too impersonal/sterile/uncaring/whatever, while they fail to demonstrate how to predictably improve things and still efficiently deliver technically competent health care to people with different levels of motivation and understanding. Western medicine works beautifully in its own niche, but it will be made to work less efficiently if we mess around with the wrong things. Perhaps medicine will improve if we balance the responsibilities of patients to live a healthy lifestyle with the responsibilities of healers to carefully listen to patients and then help them heal.
--This book did not practically help me to do this, so I cannot give it five stars despite my respect for her credentials. I do look forward to a sequel.
--Other books which may be of interest include Blessings (by Dr. A. Organick), The Dancing Healers, and Primary Care of Native American Patients.

5-0 out of 5 stars What We All Want in a Doctor
This book was recommended by a friend, and after I read it, I chose it as my selection for my book club. Living in the Southwest, the insight into Native American culture was especially educational. Alvord seems to confirm what so many of us as patients have been saying for years: give us a doctor who will take the time to get to know us on a personal level and treat the whole person. I would recommend this to men and women, young and old alike! What an amazing woman.

5-0 out of 5 stars Made me homesick!
I can't tell you how helpful this book was to me in gaining insight to myself and my own heritage. I too grew up on the "rez", or the Navajo Nation, not far from where Ms. Alvord grew up. (In fact, I am related to her by clan!) I also grew up half Navajo and half white. This book helped me to understand many of the characteristics and traits that I have and the cultural significance underlying them, as I was raised non-traditionally. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially Native youth, because it shows that anyone can achieve their dream. I am very proud of Lori Alvord for being willing to share her story and show the Western medical world the importance of Native/Indigenous healing practices. ... Read more

2. The Journey Of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History
by Joseph M., III Marshall
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0670033553
Catlog: Book (2004-10-07)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 1965
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Book Description

Most of the world remembers Crazy Horse as a peerless warrior who brought theU.S.Army to its knees at the Battle of Little Bighorn. But to his fellow LakotaIndians, he wasa dutiful son and humble fighting man who—with valor, spirit, respect, andunparalleledleadership—fought for his people’s land, livelihood, and honor. In thisfascinatingbiography, Joseph Marshall, himself a Lakota Indian, creates a vibrant portraitof theman, his times, and his legacy.

Drawing on firsthand research and his culture’s rich oral tradition (rarelyshared outsidethe Native American community), Marshall reveals many aspects of Crazy Horse’slife,including details of the powerful vision that convinced him of his duty to helppreservethe Lakota homeland—a vision that changed the course of Crazy Horse’s life andspurredhim confidently into battle time and time again.

The Journey of Crazy Horse is the true story of how one man’s fight forhispeople’s survival roused his true genius as a strategist, commander, and trustedleader.And it is an unforgettable portrayal of a revered human being and a profoundcelebrationof a culture, a community, and an enduring way of life. ... Read more

3. Cherokee Editor: The Writings of Elias Boudinot
by Elias Boudinot, Theda Perdue
list price: $15.95
our price: $15.95
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Asin: 0820318094
Catlog: Book (1996-02-01)
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Sales Rank: 974538
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4. Ada Blackjack : A True Story of Survival in the Arctic
by Jennifer Niven
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0786868635
Catlog: Book (2003-11-12)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 19061
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the author of The Ice Master comes the remarkable true story of a young Inuit woman who survived six months alone on a desolate, uninhabited Arctic island.

In September 1921, four young men and Ada Blackjack, a diminutive 25-year-old Eskimo woman, ventured deep into the Arctic in a secret attempt to colonize desolate Wrangel Island for Great Britain. Two years later, Ada Blackjack emerged as the sole survivor of this ambitious polar expedition. This young, unskilled woman -- who had headed to the Arctic in search of money and a husband -- conquered the seemingly unconquerable north and survived all alone after her male companions had perished. Following her triumphant return to civilization, the international press proclaimed her the female Robinson Crusoe. But whatever stories the press turned out came from the imaginations of reporters: Ada Blackjack refused to speak to anyone about her horrific two years in the Arctic. Only on one occasion -- after charges were published falsely accusing her of causing the death of one her companions -- did she speak up for herself.

Jennifer Niven has created an absorbing, compelling history of this remarkable woman, taking full advantage of the wealth of first-hand resources about Ada that exist, including her never-before-seen diaries, the unpublished diaries from other primary characters, and interviews with Ada's surviving son. Ada Blackjack is more than a rugged tale of a woman battling the elements to survive in the frozen north -- it is the story of a hero. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book
I was lucky enough to sneak a peek at an advanced copy of Niven's book, Ada Blackjack, and found myself swept away by this riveting story about an Inuit woman who was the lone survivor of a grueling expedition. If you are tired of the Arctic genre, don't despair-- this transcends Arctic adventure. Although part of it is set in the Arctic, it is really the story about an amazing, extraordinary woman and her journey to survive, both in the ice and in civilization. I was a fan of Niven's first book, The Ice Master, and am even more of a fan now. Her prose is immediate, accessible, gripping, and skilled, and I love the way she weaves a story, making this reader forget he is receiving a history lesson as, all the while, he is speeding to the last page, desperate to see how it ends.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy follow up to the ICE MASTER
I had read the ICE MASTER by Jennifer Niven when it was first published and found it a remarkably well written and compelling narrative of a strange arctic expedition lead by strange and misguided Vilhjalmur Stefansson. The story of the Karluk getting trapped in the ice and drifting north of Siberia to remote Wangel Island is gripping, as is the miracle of who dies and survives. And now Jennifer Niven has written a kind of sequel or continuation of the story as the strange Mr. Stefansson sends four explorers back to Wangel island to live and settle so the island can be claimed by the British or Canadians (who want nothing to do with the expedition). Strange as it seems one of the survivors of the Karluk, Fred Maurer is one of these four. Joining the expedition is Ada Blackjack, an Inuit Eskimo woman they hire to sew clothing for them while living on Wangel Island. This second volume is told though Ada Blackjack's life story and introduces us to wide ranging cast of characters, the expeditions relatives, Mr. Harold Noice who leads a rescue mission and his mad wife Florence who's paranoia leads to lies and the undoing of Noice and Ada Blackjacks reputation. If this all sounds a bit like an arctic soap opera, it is of course, and the story is not as exciting a read as the ICE MASTER. But anyone who loved that volume as much as I did is sure to enjoy the complete irony of this return exposition and Ada Blackjack's
Unusual life story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heart-wrenching heroics of an Inuit woman
Ada Blackjack reads like a documentary and can be a bit dry at times as it really tells the greater story of the doomed Wrangel Island Expedition of the Arctic. But the deeper story of Ada Blackjack, the lone survivor of the expedition, is riveting. Her simple faith and love for her son gives her the strength to endure unimaginable hardship. This woman should not be forgotten, nor should the folly of the men who pioneered the expedition go unremembered. Kudos to author Niven.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spend the jack to buy this book!
I havn't even finished the book (about 3/4 through it) but I am so impressed by the writer's style, and the general interest of the subject, that I am compelled to recommend it highly. This is one of those books I just can't wait to pick up again. The writer's style is so concise, logical, and flowing that the story moves along effortlessly. Niven has obviously taken a huge amount of information and distilled it skillfully into a lean narrative. Buy it! I am a lover of the adventure/survival genre, particularly as regards the Arctic, and this book is one of the good ones!

5-0 out of 5 stars a worthwhile read
If you like inspirational stories, this is a great one. Ada Blackjack is an amazing woman, every inch a hero, even though she is also a flawed, fallible person. That makes her even more likable and easy to identify with. I highly recommend this book to anyone craving a good story, a good adventure, or inspiration. I will think twice about complaining about the mundane daily details of my life now, after reading what Ada and her colleagues endured. ... Read more

5. Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads With an Indian Elder
by Kent Nerburn
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1577312333
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: New World Library
Sales Rank: 19555
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this 1996 Minnesota Book Award winner, Kent Nerburn draws the reader deep into the world of an Indian elder known only as Dan. It’s a world of Indian towns, white roadside cafes, and abandoned roads that swirl with the memories of the Ghost Dance and Sitting Bull. Readers meet vivid characters like Jumbo, a 400-pound mechanic, and Annie, an 80-year-old Lakota woman living in a log cabin. Threading through the book is the story of two men struggling to find a common voice. Neither Wolf nor Dog takes readers to the heart of the Native American experience. As the story unfolds, Dan speaks eloquently on the difference between land and property, the power of silence, and the selling of sacred ceremonies. This edition features a new introduction by the author. "This is a sobering, humbling, cleansing, loving book, one that every American should read." — Yoga Journal ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars We must talk to one another
"We had people who could tell us about the old days and why they were important to us. The story of our people was like a song. As long as somebody could sing it, it was real. It never mattered if someone wrote it down. When you came you said our song wasn't real because it wasn't written down. Then you wrote it down the way you wanted it. Our history was alive. But your history was dead, even though it was written in words. "
This is an honest and open-hearted book which aims at giving us the Native American perspective on the relationship between the whites and the reds. The anger, the bitternes and the incomprehension which the Indians have for the white man's robot-like obsession with possessing land (how could land, a living organism, be possessed?) and acquiring goods are depicted touchingly via a series of conversations between the author and an old Lakota man. The book is skilfully written and has many humorous passages. It is easily readable but for me it was not an easy read. It is hard to be reminded of the extent to which the Lakota (and other N.A. peoples) were physically, morally and culturally battered and, almost, vanquished by an almost inhuman, greed of the invaders. The desperation, with which they have watched their animal "brothers and sisters" disappear. It made me very sad. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding the N.A. point of view and who wants to take a breather from the deluge of books on N.A. "spirituality", which paradoxically, tend to perpetuate the separation between "us" and "them". If you want to learn about respect, listening and generosity, read this story, listen to its songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Change in Perspective
Every so often, a book comes along that really begs the reader to question his or her belief system, and how those beliefs became a part of their personality. It is often difficult to find a bird's eye view of the subtle idiosyncracies of the average everyday white american lifestyle. Often it takes a foreign perspective, much like DeToqueville's Democracy in America, to comment on what is really going on socially, politically, and economically in a certain place.

Kent Nerburn eloquently relays the teachings and stories of the Old Man in Neither Wolf Nor Dog in this sort of way. From the perspective of an elderly Native American, I was able to partially understand why there is such a gap between Native America and the rest of the country in terms of communal relations, and even everyday interaction. Much of this is due to the mystification of Native America through Hollywood films and frontier novels written by romanticizing white writers.

White America doesn't really understand what it is really like on reservations, and can't possibly comprehend what it is actually like for a population that deals with it's painful history every second of every day; a people lamenting the loss of their ancestoral lands, way of life, and culture.

Nerburn uses the Old Man's narrative to help explain what goes on in the mind of many Native Americans, and how Native America really views the capitalist white society's dealings with race, the environment, history, family, interaction with one another, and employment, among others. In my view, this is the most valuable portion of the book, and the section from which I gained the most perspective. In sometimes complex, but often quite simple terms, the Old Man offers commentary on the roots of our value system, which, after reading his description of our culture, seems very selfish, ignorant, arrogant, and at some times, preposterous. The dichotomy between the two cultures helps to bridge a gap between our two very different, yet forever interwined cultures.

Much like Saul Bellow's Seize the Day, this book deals with a very painful subject: genocide. In Bellow's novella, the topic was the Holocaust; in Nerburn's, the decimation of the Native population of this country. Both touch on the same theme, the inability to move forward as a human race without acknowledging, understanding, and finally accepting the tragedy and horror inflicted upon our fellow man by our ancestors. Only then can we hope to truly live as one people, sharing one land, accepting eachother as brothers and sisters in a world blessed with differences.

I recommend this book to anyone searching for answers, anyone plagued by a feeling they can't quite explain, and anyone who wishes to better themselves by finally asking the questions about human existence that couldn't be more important.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down
This is a well-written book that does the unusual. It can make readers see through someone else's eyes. I felt completely drawn into the story and the perspective of the Native Americans featured in this book. The author made these people seem like friends and I was sorry to leave them behind when the book ended. While they don't speak for all tribes and all peoples, it's an enlightening glimpse into the lives and outlooks of some of the Lakota people.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most powerful book I have ever read
This is the most powerful book I have ever read about the Native people of this land. Since reading it, I have gotten several copies for my friends and loved ones and they have all reported being powerfully touched by it. I can't recommend any book more strongly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Neither Wolf Nor Dog
Finally, a book about indians that tells it the way it was and the way it is today. At first I thought Old Dan was full of BS. But the more I read the more I knew he was speaking the truth. I was truely sad when I reached the last page of the book, I wanted it to go on forever. ... Read more

6. Lakota Woman
by Dog Mary Crow
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060973897
Catlog: Book (1991-05-08)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 22505
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A unique autobiography unparalleled in American Indian literature, and a deeply moving account of a woman's triumphant struggle to survive in a hostile world. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars A breathtaking autobiography..............
A breathtaking autobiography by Mary Crow Dog. This autobiography dipicts the life of an Native American in South Dakota in the seventies you see this through the eyes of a young girl from childhood to adulthood. Mary tells it how it was and spares no detail which makes this book very powerful. You see the racism that the Native Americans had to go through and also their struggles against society to gain freedom. This book is a must read for anybody who's interested in Native American Culture and the struggle they had to go through to be considered equal to whites.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lakota Woman
To experience the full impact of this book read "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" first and then read this book.

Before I even picked this book up from the shelf I thought of the Cheyenne proverb, "A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is done, no matter how brave its warriors nor how strong their weapons." Then I opened the book, and this quote was written at the beginning of the first chapter.

This book is essential for understanding what has been done, and is being done to Native American women and girls. Mary Crow Dog tells her own courageous story, and that of many brave women before her.

5-0 out of 5 stars deep, honest, and REAL...
I was so deeply touched I cried so many times. Native American issues/people are often overlooked. I could not believe the painful lack she had to endure. I am Saved in Christ and I had to stop and pray for the native american peoples so many times... I know how deep it hurts to be extremely poor and struggle in the city but the kind of poverty that exists on many reservations is brutal and heartbreaking and jus keeps the cycle of alcoholism going. The native community in america has been so ::sheisted:: it's not even funny. It's sick. The whole world is sick. Jus really... so sick...

I loved this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lakota Woman - Mary Crow Dog
This is a book review on the book Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog. I liked this book because the main character, Mary Crow Dog, stands up for what she believes in. She is also a strong-willed Native American woman. She and her husband, Lenard Crow Dog, were great leaders in the American Indian Movement(AIM). I enjoyed reading this book because Mary Crow Dog stands strong through the many difficult situations she had to go through. One part I liked in the book was when AIM protested outside of a police station, and the police got scared, so AIM got what they wanted. People who like to stand up for themselves or admire people like that will enjoy this book. I encuorage anyone who is looking for a great biography or autobiography to read this book. After reading this book, I highly admire Mary Crow Dog for what she accomplished. This book would please many kinds of people; it just depends on you and your personality.

5-0 out of 5 stars utterly fascinating
This is one of the best books available to people interested in contemporary Native Americans. Mary Brave Bird's life story sheds light on traditions of her Lakota (Sioux) people from the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota. She shows, in a very clear way, their tortured history with the missionaries, state bureaucracy, the courts, the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). We see to what extent the government has succeeded in destroying the old life and how small groups of the Sioux managed to preserve traditional ways and ceremonies.

The book is written in a way which preserves the unique appreciation Indians have for unadulterated truth - a style which is simple, direct and in which personal experiences are recounted in a frank, almost brutally dispassionate manner. It reveals perfectly the heartless school system ran by abusive Catholic priests and nuns trying hard to deprive young people of their traditions (don't these people have better things to do?); we see the corrupt BIA system designed to prevent cultural and economic emancipation of the Native American "traditionals" (and steal federal money) and the pointless fear that the FBI has of organized Indian movements. Above all, we see the violence that the Sioux face daily from the white South Dakotans as well as the inter-Sioux violence caused by the hopelessness of the life on the rez. I was especially amazed to see that South Dakota has preserved, at the least up to early 1980ies, the barbaric attitudes towards the Native Americans (who are, after all, the original inhabitants, and who were cheated out of their own land by the very same whites who persecute them) which have by and large disappeared from the rest of the civilized world. This includes (unpunished) assaults by drunken lumberjacks and ranchers, systematic discrimination in the courtroom, forced sterilizations at the provincial hospitals (Mary's own sister Barbara was sterilized against her own will) and a system designed to eliminate all of the Indians' most courageous and spiritually conscious young people. A system that would make Uncle Mao proud, but which made this reader very sad, ashamed and angry. I suspect many of these things are still going on in our name. I mean, why can't these people leave the Indians in peace, allow them to practice their religion and (is this too much to ask for?) respect their desire to be different?

There are also many wonderful things in this book. The descriptions of relationships between Lakota men and women, between the young and the old, between the full and half-bloods and between the host and the guest are simply priceless. Likewise Brave Bird's descriptions of peyote meetings, Sundances and Ghostdance revivals. Mary has very strong opinions about the Sioux male machismo and the reluctance exhibited by many Sioux men to providing a comfortable and loving home for their families yet she understands that this is the inevitable consequence of the systematic destruction of the old ways of tribal life. After having read the book I can see the challenges facing the indomitable Sioux nation, the challenge of preserving and honoring the old ways while educating a new elite familiar with the white system (without considering them to be sellouts); only when they gain political representation and economic self-sufficiency will Native Americans be able to keep at bay the greedy timber, mining and ranching industries whose interest is to keep the tribes divided and the people dispirited and lost in alcohol. The Lakota of today need to find a way to create loving conditions for their children. And they need to speak their truth, as often as they can, just as Mary Brave Bird has done in this amazing book. ... Read more

7. Prison Writings : My Life Is My Sun Dance
by Leonard Peltier
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312263805
Catlog: Book (2000-06-16)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 38078
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

In 1977, Leonard Peltier received a life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents. He has affirmed his innocence ever since—his case was made fully and famously in Peter Matthiessen's bestselling In the Spirit of Crazy Horse—and many remain convinced he was wrongly convicted. This wise and unsettling book, both memoir and manifesto, chronicles his life in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Invoking the Sun Dance, in which pain leads one to a transcendent reality, Peltier explores his suffering and the insights it has borne him. He also locates his experience within the history of the American Indian peoples and their struggles to overcome the federal government's injustices.
... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars A spirit free behind bars
This is one of those very rare books that can change your life forever. I was so rapt by this story that I only put it down once (to sleep) and called in sick to work the next morning in order to finish it.

There are many stories of the white man's greed and injustice towards Native Americans, but this is more than just that. It is the story of a man unbowed by years of brutal imprisonment. This man's story transcends race and speaks to the freedom-loving soul in us all.

Through his art, writing, political activism, and spirituality Peltier has accomplished more in Federal Prison than most free men do in a lifetime. His courage and determination as a spirit-warrior are undeniable.

Reading this book makes it clear that this man's imprisonment does not bring justice to the families of Ron Williams and Jack Coler. Two agents who sadly lost their lives in what can only be described as a tragic and brutal blunder by the FBI.

This book proves that there are places in the human psyche that no prison can hold. If this book were required reading for every high-school aged child it would go a long way to repairing America's soul. His life is a lesson to us all.

Write to Leonard at:
Leonard Peltier #89637-132
PO Box 1000
Leavenworth, KS 66048

5-0 out of 5 stars Stirring...a must read if you have any compassion
This well written book not only makes you have more compassion for Leonard Peltier, it also boils the blood to know he is still incarcerated for a wrong he has not committed.

I could not put this book down once I started reading it. In one day it was finished. It also reminded me of a saying of my generation, "Question Authority."

Leonard has in these writings opened his soul and presented the reader with a look into his life as U.S.P. #89637-132. The reading saddened me, but at the same time it stirred emotions of anger.

The documented lies that led to his arrest and conviction have done nothing to speed his release. Mr. President, you have the power with the touch of your pen to right this terrible wrong.

In the Spirit of Leonard, ho!

5-0 out of 5 stars AIM
I have read every (just about) American Indian book that has meaning and truth to it. Leonard Peltier is a man who means a lot to just about every Indian and every non Indian who knows his story. I would do some online research about him and what was going in South Dakota during the 70s prior to this book in order to understand the magnatude of BS this man has endured (not only him but American Indians as well). He tells his story, his feelings and his thoughts. He had my upmost respect prior to reading this book and this book has helped me "get to know" him.
It's a great book. You won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving
A moving account of being in prison. Leonard Peltier, despite being in prison, is still a force to be reckoned with. His words are painful and truthful. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the truth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conformity, assimilation, and opression
What the land of the free whoever told you that was your enemy!Since the first spaniar set foot on turtle island this country has never been the same.Manisfest destiny was there excuse, but that just what it was, an excuse.Leornard Peltier is a prime example of the opression that has kept the native americans under the steeled toe boots of the US government.Me bieng part native american myself this book is a huge inspiration to me.It gives me pride for my culture and the strength to fight the racism in our society that i face every day.Peltier has been incarcirated for nearly 25 years and is still as pacient as he was from day one.The governmaent's attitude towards Peltier is one of complacence.They dont care.This book is basically one of the saddest but at the same time most inspirational story's ever written.No matter what race you are this is a must readand hopefully it will open peoples eyes to the corrupt US government. ... Read more

8. The Last Algonquin
by Theodore L. Kazimiroff
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802775179
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 336049
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Quietly Riveting, Sad But Wonderful Magic
This is a second-hand tale, which is as it should be, as Joe Two Trees did not want his life-story lost, and he did not want the Algonquin tradition of story-telling lost, either. For those of you who liked "Tatham Mound" by Piers Anthony, you'll like this one. If you like this one, "Tatham Mound" becomes suggested reading.

Theodore Kazimiroff tells us the story that his father told him, which was the story that Joe Two Trees told him. The first few chapters tell of how Theodore's father, as a boy, explored the rural areas around New York in 1924, and stumbled across a true treasure. He was looking for Native American artifacts, and found instead a friend and a living repository of Native American history: Joe Two Trees. These early, preliminary chapters are fine, but I would have been disappointed if the entire book followed this course. It didn't.

After the story of the boy meeting the Indian, the book moves on to give us Theodore's recounting of his father's recounting of the recounting of Joe Two Tree's life. From that point on, the reader will find his/her eyes glued to the book. Two Trees was born in 1840 to a small clan of Algonquins in the area of the Hudson River near New York City. By the time he was fifteen, every Indian he knew was dead or vanished. He believed that he was the last Native American left, period. He set off into the White Man's world to avoid the terrible loneliness of his solitude, and gradually becomes Joe Two Trees.

His trek through the ugliness and beauty of the new world being created by the White Man is a quiet adventure that takes the reader along and leaves one feeling that the adventure was actually shared. There is kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, success and triumph, and a gradual process of Joe Two Trees realizing that he was destined to be "The Last Algonquin" and did not belong in the White Man's world. He goes from being "Two Trees" to "Joe Two Trees" and back to "Two Trees", known as Joe by the boy who was the author's father.

What might be most surprising is the quality of writing in this book, which is nearly flawless from a writer who did not write anything else, at least that I could find. Perhaps the purity of his writing was driven by the quality of this remarkable tale. Please keep the tradition alive by reading it, and by passing it on.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Insightful & Fascinating "Hand-Me Down" Story
This is a must read, especially for those of us raised in the Pelham Bay section of Bronx. The tale of The Last Algonquin is inspiring and heartwarming. And, I hope that Mr. Kazimiroff realizes that he has given The Bronx, the Algonquin Indians and his father the immortality they truly deserve.
Remember as long as someone tells( hears or reads) this tale, the story of Joe Two Trees will continue to live on among the rocks and trees of Pelham Bay Park.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story...
Joe Two Trees is the last of his tribe. New York in the early twentieth century is not for him. Or is it? As a native New Yorker with a passion for the past, I loved this beautiful story. Whenever I return home, I can no longer visit the Bronx (especially Pelham Bay) without thinking of Joe and his relationship with Theodore Kazimoroff's father. The writing is lovely, and the story evokes all sorts of feelings at so many levels. It was my Aunt, a former teacher, who told me that I should read this book. It has become one of those novels that I recommend to others regularly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime
Some people talk about spirit like it is taught in "Indian 101", but you can experience something very soulful and ancient in the words and earth here.

5-0 out of 5 stars A sad and touching tale
The Last Algonquin is a sad but heartwarming story about a man and his attempts to come to grips with his place in the world. The fact that this man, Joe Two Trees, is the last of his tribe of the Algonquin's makes his journey that much harder and more interesting. If you are looking for an official history of the American Indians, this isn't the book for you. However, if you are looking for a deep and touching story of one American Indian, and what we as a nation have lost by ignoring the heritage of American Indians, then you will enjoy this book. Mr. Kazimiroff has done an excellent job of preserving the story given to him by his father and keeping the memory of Joe Two Trees and the Algonquin Indians alive. ... Read more

9. Where White Men Fear to Tread : The Autobiography of Russell Means
by Russell Means
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312147619
Catlog: Book (1996-11-15)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 133986
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Means is the most controversial Indian leader of our time. This is the well-detailed, first-hand story of his life so far, in which he has done everything possible to dramatize and justify the Native American aim of self-determination, such as storming Mount Rushmore, seizing Plymouth Rock, running for President in 1988, and—most notoriously—leading a 71-day takeover of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1973. This visionary autobiography by one of our most magnetic personalities will fascinate, educate, and inspire. As Dee Brown has written, "A reading of Means's story is essential for any clear understanding of American Indians during the last half of the twentieth century."
... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Russel Means really opened my eyes and my heart.
Russel Means has writen a powerful and provoking book about his life and the current plight of a people (Native American Indians and other indigenous peoples) that need thier indentiy preserved for thier own sake as much as for ours. He showed me that to lose thier song of life with all it's celebrations, joys, hardships and pain will damage the diversity of all people in our world. I hope many more people will buy and read this book and then pass it on to someone else so they may do the same. After reading his book I feel that I have meet him and have seen into his heart. I feel that it is true and good and what he wants for his people and for all people is for them to be free. Thanks Russel for your story and sharing your spirit that goes with it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Autobiography
Most people have probably heard of Russell Means at some point. Means is the best known member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). AIM was the group that took over Wounded Knee in the early 1970's and engaged in numerous protests to try and bring attention to the plight of the Native American. This autobiography not only gives the reader a detailed description of the life of Russell Means, but insights into the philosophy of this revolutionary. While AIM has receded into the background quite a bit since its glory days, Means is still going strong. This book shows us why.

The book doesn't flinch from unpleasantness. We find out that Means' parents were abusive and that his father was an alcoholic. Russell himself became mixed up in drugs during his youth and quickly became sucked into the same alcoholic world that his father inhabited. Throughout his career as a member of AIM, Means drank constantly until he finally came to terms with this problem and discovered that his rage could be controlled. During the course of the book we see Russell being beaten up, shot, arrested numerous times, and imprisoned for his activities. This guy has seen it all, and the picture on the front of the book tells me that I would hate to be on this man's bad side. He's tough, but cares deeply for his people and what he believes in, a trait that is certainly noble and admirable.

What comes across most strongly in this book is how AIM helped Means find his spirituality. Before becoming conscious of his heritage, Means spent most of his time in bars drinking. Once he gained awareness of his heritage, Means took part in numerous rituals, such as the Sun Dance and crying for visions. The book goes into intricate detail in describing the importance of these rituals and how they are practiced. This spirituality helped Means to quit drinking and allowed him to begin taking care of his family (which is sprawling; he was married a lot and has many children). The element of spirituality in the book is important because for years many Indians were denied the right to practice their religious ceremonies by the federal government. Even now, according to Means, there is still opposition to some of the ceremonies.

The last several chapters of the book show why AIM became increasingly insignificant. Fractures within the group over spiritual matters escalated, and Means himself became wrapped up in trivial issues. Means associated himself with Larry Flynt, the Unification Church, and the Libertarian Party. All of these associations reflected poorly on what AIM tried to accomplish. The final straw seemed to be when Means defended the Indians in Nicaragua against the Communist Sandinista regime. The Indians there were being bombed and killed by the Communists, and Means spends a chapter or two showing how serious this was. American Leftists and other pro-Marxists vilified Means when he proved his case. These people just couldn't accept that Commies were killing indigenous people.

This is an excellent book that will make people think about their culture. I recommend this to anyone interested in Native American studies or political movements. Russell Means, whether you agree with his life or not, should be commended for standing up for what he believes in and never backing down. We should all be more like that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Great Book
Russell Means is an amazing guy and has been through so many situations which are mentioned in the book.

His book explains his life and how he discovered his true identity - Lakota and how he dealt with the issues that impact his tribal identity.

In addition, the book also mentions how his involvement with the movement and other demonstrations which represent his views and why many things that are done by the US are wrong or a flagrant insult to the tribes.

I strongly suggest you to read his book to learn how he found his true identity, how he evolved from being indifferent into a big time activist, and what messages we lack to understand about the tribes.

Lastly, the book is easy to read and entertaining!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Russell Means is controversial, but I admire him for
telling it like it is, after all,
this is HIS book, HIS viewpoint. If we don't like what he
says, we don't have to finish the book.

I may not agree with everything he says, either, but
he does have the right to express his opinions.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sonii Wytewa, a Native woman
Sure, he's a great man, but please look into the image of the "leader" they call Russell Means before falling in love with him, the man who called people "apples" then went on to selling himself out in "Last of the Mohicans" and "Pocahontas," two pieces of texts he previously condemned while he was with the AIM, WHICH he quit on multiple occassions WHILE they put up with his oftentimes sociopathic behavior -- currently Means is running for governor of New Mexico but has had run-ins with the law out there for assaulting his Dine' father-in-law (an elderly man, mind you!) and then, recently, for domestic violence involving beating his wife, also Dine'. Come on, who is afraid to tread around Means unless he has a crowbar in his hand and is going to beat you for not agreeing with his ideals.

I'm sure his text has some historical, political, and cultural resonance but when put into context with the wackyness he is about these days, it doesn't quite add up to much. ... Read more

10. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
by Black Elk, John Gneisenau Neihardt
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803261705
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Sales Rank: 7811
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Black Elk's Narrative shows us what we have lost
This is one of the singularly most powerful narratives I have ever read, and, being an academic focused on Native Languages, I have had the opportunity to read many. Black Elk tells the story of his life and his spiritual experiences unabashedly, and with the force and clarity that come with wide experience and careful contemplation. He was a singular individual, and his story is unique, even among his own people. His account is dense and complex, especially regarding his spirituality - and it is naturally very confusing to a Westerner. The historical accounts are fascinating, and more accessible, and drive home with vivid imagery the human beings our country devoured in the name of "progress". (Something particularly useful to remember at this juncture in our history)
For his story to have the right impact, you must believe what Black Elk says to be true. If you're coming to his story for "feel good" new-age spirituality, go read something mushy from the Oprah Book club. Any sort of Western paternalism, most often cloaked in new-age terminology and half-witted sophomoric Literary criticism, about how Black Elk uses "wonderful metaphors" and "fabulous, alive imagery" is really missing the point and dishonors one of the key figures of a very important Native American religious movement - the Sun Dance. This movement is not only important to the Sioux, but to many other tribes in the great plains.
Black Elk is telling you the truth. He wasn't "smoking peyote" as some suggest, or anything of the sort. He really did see a red buffalo that led him through the spirit world. Suggesting that he was confused or delusioned, or feeding half-truths to Mr. Neihardt is like patting him on the head and telling him to trot off to bed so that the 'big boys' can think important things. If you don't accept that premise, you will never understand him or any of his people.
One aspect of his life that has fascinated me the most is his fearless application of faith. He was given a vision in which he was told that a bow would protect him in battle. So he promptly got the bow, and then went out in front of the Union machine guns with it held over his head, riding back and forth. After several trips across the line, he was hit once with a bullet. This he attributes to his own momentarily failing faith, and not to the falsity of the vision. Another man believed he could stop bullets with a sacred pelt-cloak draped across him. He put it on and stood calmly at the crest of the hill in full view of the Union guns. After a while, he came back down and shook the bullets from his clothing onto the ground. I find myself wondering how many of the sweating, blubbering "religious" people in the modern age would be so brave as to put their professed faith into such direct action. Black Elk and many of his fellow warriors LIVED the "matrix"'s dualistic philosophy instead of watching it on TV.
This underscores an excellent message in his narrative - where have we come to? Why do we live this false life now? The trappings of modern civilization that we have been taught to see as blessings and indispensible to life were seen by Black Elk as a curse on his people. They robbed his people of their power and made them helpless. It is left to wonder if this technology has done the same for its creators.

5-0 out of 5 stars Black Elk Still Speaks
To potential readers, worried about the authenticity of this work and its right to speak for Native Americans:

The question of how closely the words of this book follow the words of Black Elk has long been debated. It will not be decided here. Turn to the scholarly literature if you truly wish to pursue an answer. I have done that and in my mind (and I do have some education in these realms) am at peace with the book as a genuine expression of turn of the century Lakota spirituality. Neihardt may have written the words, and Ben Black Elk (Black Elk's son) may have done the translating, but Black Elk lived the life, as is corroborated by other sources.

I use the work in my introduction to religion classes, to bring another world to life for my students. Is Black Elk's vision theirs? Of course not. Is the book even Black Elk's vision? Perhaps not exactly. But it is a vision of power and every now and then it awakens a vision in students living 100 years after Black Elk. I belive Black Elks speaks and there is some power in his words still.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primary Source
Black Elk's account of the life of the plains indians at the close of the 19th Century is an excellent first hand account of how the United States forced change on the Native Americans and how they struggled to find a way to save their culture in the face of such a radically different and sometimes violent opposing philosophy. Through out the story, Black Elk indicates a level of sadness at being forced into violent confrontation and forced moves around the upper midwest and into Canada. As he puts it in, all they wanted to do was to live in the land that was theirs and it was no longer theirs. His accounts of how the United States routinely violated treaties that were forced on the Native Americans is also a source of the sadness that pervades his account.

In addition to providing a great accounting of the injustices that were committed by the United States, Black Elk also gives an excellent insiders view to the culture of the Lakota. The use of visions, sweatlodges, and dances as a way of promoting their nations is recounted in great detail and provides real insight into how this tribe lived prior to being forced onto a reservation.

The writing of Black Elk speaks is also well done. It is not dumbed down, but at the same time, it was not written over the head of the average reader. There are some instances where going to the appendix to find a good meaning for some of the native words included in the text is helpful, but this is not in the least bit distracting to the readers. If you are looking for an excellent first hand account of the close of the 19th century and the US treatment of Native Americans, look no further than this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Tale
This work relates some of the main events of the life of a man (Black Elk) who was both an Indian warrior and holy man. He had several visions when he was younger including one great one which formed much of his later thought and also how he viewed his people. It's a heartwrenching story because one can't help but feel saddened while listening to this man relate how his people lost their land and also many of their own in battles. Also one is moved to sadness by hearing of the instances when the Government lied to his people and either gave them half of what they said they would (in the way of land or cattle) or flat out didn't uphold the terms of a treaty. As Black Elk said, "You can't eat lies." One is reminded how devastating our modern notion of progress has been while we have wallowed in the ignorance of other people and also of the Great Mother (Earth). We've lost out on much of a great culture with the Indians and their way of life and also ruined a lot of the environment out of notions of stupidity such as looking for yellow metal. I recommend this book to get you thinking about how to have compassion for all peoples regardless of how different or savage they may appear and also so we hopefully never make some of the dastardly mistakes other people have made in the past.

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This is a book that every person will obtain something of important value in their life from reading. It is my thought that every person who is a religious leader of any faith should consider it required reading. ... Read more

11. Looking for Lost Bird : A Jewish Woman Discovers Her Navajo Roots
by Yvette Melanson, Claire Safran
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380795531
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 355310
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


In this haunting memoir, Yvette Melanson tells of being raised to believe that she was white and Jewish. At age forty-three, she learned that she was a "Lost Bird," a Navajo child taken against her family's wishes, and that her grieving birth mother had never stopped looking for her until the day she died. In this haunting memoir, Yvette Melanson tells of being raised to believe that she was white and Jewish. At age forty-three, she learned that she was a "Lost Bird," a Navajo child taken against her family's wishes, and that her grieving birth mother had never stopped looking for her until the day she died. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story about loved ones being reunited!
Like many of the readers I couldn't put the book down until I read it from cover to cover. While reading the story I found out these people were my extended family! I know everyone mentioned in the book. As a youngster I remember the crusade of Aunt Desbah, Uncle John and others in finding the twins who were stolen as babies. I wept at the end when Yvette participated in the holy Hozhoji ceremony to be reunited with her birth place, family, culture, and environment. Very moving!

Aunt Betty, Yvette's biological mother lived a very brave life as she longed and searched everyday of her life wanting to be reunited with her twins. May God bless her soul.

4-0 out of 5 stars A poignant uplifting story about finding one's roots + place
A few years ago, NBC-TV did a story about a 43 year old Jewish woman who, when she sought out her birth parents, discovered that she was actually born to a Navajo family. Yvette was a lost bird, the name Native Americans give to their children who were stolen by "well-meaning" white social workers and others. This is Yvette's fascinating story. Yvette Melanson was born "out West" in the 1950's, adopted by a Jewish couple in Miami, and raised in New York City in a wealthy, doting, Jewish family. Although she knew she was adopted, her parents always deflected questions about her roots, but did let it slip that she had a twin brother. When her mother died a painful death when Yvette was just a young teenager, Yvette's father blamed Yvette, rejected her, and soon remarried a woman who treated Yvette worse than Cinderella. So I don't give away any more juicy details, suffice it to say that Yvette moved to a Kibbutz in Israel at 17, was injured as a soldier during the '73 Yom Kippur War, returned to the U.S., joined the US Navy, and settled in Maine to raise a family. Can you believe that at her father's funeral, a stranger had to ask her stepmother to move over so Yvette could sit in the family pew? Can you believe such a family? Upon discovering her true birth heritage a while after the funeral, we follow Yvette as she meets her Navajo family, learns the truth, tries to fit into Navajo culture, which is sometimes at odds with a more loud, New York City/Israeli/Jewish one, and finds similarities between her Jewish faith and Navajo culture. Will she fit in? Will she find her twin brother? Can a Jewish woman find peace on the res? A fascinating cross-cultural story

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking for Lost Bird: A Review
Looking For Lost Bird:
A Jewish Woman Discovers Her Navajo Roots.
Yvette Melanson with Claire Safron
Bard Books. 233 pages. $22.00
By Elliot Fein

Looking For Lost Bird is a true story that is disturbing yet compelling. A Native American Navajo Indian woman gives birth on her reservation home in Arizona to twins, a girl and a boy. During their infancy, both children get sick. The mother takes the children to the nearest local hospital for a diagnosis.

Hospital staff members instruct her that they will need to keep the two children over night for observations. When the mother returns the next day, the children are gone. The hospital has no record that they were ever admitted.

The kidnapped infant children are each adopted in Florida by two different families. One of the families is a young Jewish couple that lives in a New York City suburb. Looking for Lost Bird is the story of the Navajo girl, Yvette Melanson, who is raised in that Jewish household.

As an adult, Melanson discovers her Navajo origins and searches for her family roots. She finds her family (minus her mother, who died of a broken heart grieving for two lost children) still living on the Navajo reservation in which she was born. At the age of forty-three, Melanson decides first to visit her birth family in Arizona, then to move there permanently with her husband and two children.

While adjusting to the reservation, Melanson learns and begins practicing the religion, culture, and way of life of her birth family. In this process, she abandons many of the Jewish cultural practices (but not necessarily Jewish values) in which she was raised.

Melanson's Jewish parents (particularly her mother) provide a loving and caring environment for their daughter. In Yvette's recollection of how she was raised, their warts do surface, particularly the shortcomings of her father. After her mother becomes ill and eventually dies during her teen years, the father changes into a different, less appealing character.

Melanson never reveals whether her Jewish parents knew about her Navajo origins. The reader is left to speculate whether the knowledge, if known by her Jewish parents that she was stolen from a Native American Indian family would have impacted their decision to adopt.

What is surprising in the telling of this life story is the absence of any form of anti-Semitism by the author. When Melanson writes critically about her mother and father, she writes about them as individuals. She does not associate her criticism of them with Judaism as a faith tradition.

On the reservation, when she begins taking on Native American Indian ways, Melanson naturally compares Navajo culture to Judaism. In this comparison, Melanson writes with respect, affection, and even admiration about the religious tradition in which she was raised.

Melanson tells her life story (with the help of Claire Safron) with compassion, humor, and eloquence.

I recently led a book club at my synagogue. A member of the club recommended that I read Looking for Lost Bird. After reading it, we immediately decided to include Looking for Lost Bird one of our featured selections. The book provides a great opportunity to learn about Navajo culture and to see how it compares to Judaism as a religious tradition. The book is also a true gift for adopted individuals, particularly native American Indians, seeking to uncover their past.

Elliot Fein teaches Jewish Studies in the Tarbut V'Torah School in Irvine.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful journey of soul and spirit
I read this book from cover to cover in a few hours and wished it had gone on and on. It is a poignant yet heartwarming story of an American family. For many years our Native American people suffered immesurable pain as their children were stolen from them and often lost forever. This is a "happy ending" story of a joyful reunion! The emotions in all of the family members are deeply felt. Lost children are returned to their roots and the depth of love of these family members for one another is beautiful. This book is wonderfully written!

4-0 out of 5 stars Navajo Twin finds her harmony on the reservation
This story is a touching recollection of painful experiences. Through Yvette's story the reader is taken through a series of emotions. Native Women coming from a matrilineal clan systems will surely relate to the expressed feeling of attachment to family, land, sprirituality and harmony.

Although the reader is taken through a complex array of ceremonies, the content is described with specific simplicity , as to not disrespect the traditional ceremonial purposes.

The book encourages women everywhere to take adversity in ones life and face it with courage, vision, and spiritual growth. ... Read more

12. The Last Comanche Chief : The Life and Times of Quanah Parker
by BillNeeley
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471160768
Catlog: Book (1996-08-16)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 231073
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Critical acclaim for The Last Comanche Chief

"Truly distinguished. Neeley re-creates the character and achievements of this most significant of all Comanche leaders." — Robert M. Utley author of The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull

"A vivid, eyewitness account of life for settlers and Native Americans in those violent and difficult times." — Christian Science Monitor

"The special merits of Neeley's work include its reliance on primary sources and illuminating descriptions of interactions among Southern Plains people, Native and white." — Library Journal

"He has given us a fuller and clearer portrait of this extraordinary Lord of the South Plains than we've ever had before." — The Dallas Morning News ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Balanced and Accurate
Neeley's saga depicts the life of the man who led the last free Comanche tribe from the Texas plains into the modern world. In one lifetime Quanah successfully bridged centuries and cultures. A chasm so vast that Quanah is the only native American Chief that truly made the transition. Son of a captive girl, Cynthia Ann Parker, and son of a Chief, Peta Nocona, Quanah is a man who is truly unique in every way. Neeley's account of this man is fantastic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quanah Parker, American Hero
Bill Neeley is to be commended for a fine and well documented historical work which reads as good as a Larry McMurtry novel. No finer cast of characters could be invented than those very real people who populated Quanah Parker's world of the Texas Panhandle at the end of the 19th century. Definitely a book for those who prefer there history as it really happened. Not glossed over or compared only to the way it fits into someone's idea of what constitutes the historical "big picture". Must reading for those interested in the history of the plains Indians and real life cowboys, frontiers-folk and Texas lore. Sired by the great Commanche war chief Nocona on Cynthia Ann Parker, a young Texan captive taken in a raid on her father's ranch, Quanah Parker was the last and probably the finest example of a Commanche warrior. Although they never numbered more than 3,000 to 5,000 warriors, the Commanche stood astride the southern gateway to the west and single handedly stopped the southwestern expansion of America for 100 years. The reason Lewis and Clark were sent north to find a route to the west coast around them. So hated by the Texans that the Texas Rangers were created with the sole purpose of annihilating them. The Commanches preyed on Texan settlers along the frontier for both livelihood and sport. Quanah Parker was the last man standing. The last of the plains Indians to surrender to the US Cavalry. Never defeated in battle. Quanah led a tired band of warriors to Ft. Sill Oklahoma, gave up the fight and became a legend in his own time. Neely tells the story well, no unnecessary sentiment, no moral judgement. Just a man and his times as recounted by him in old age, his friends, his enemies and the newspapers of the day. Great fodder for a movie, the life of Quanah Parker. A genuine American hero, although I am not sure he would consider that a complement.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for everyone
Bill Neeley's Book- The Last Comanche Chief, The Life and Times of Quanah Parker is the most comprehensive account of the greatest Comanche chief ever to roam the plains. His book chronicles Quanah's entire life, beggining with the capture of his white mother at Parker's fort. This book details Quanah's storied war accomplishments, and also of his acclaimed rise to favor in the white man's world. Quanah befriended the nation's most powerful men, and his people benefitted from his amazing influence with the white man. It includes a section of rare photos that are just as marvelous as the rest of the book. If you have a passion for books about Native Americans, or just like to read about great leaders, Bill Neeley's book is for you. ... Read more

13. Crazy Horse (Penguin Lives)
by Larry McMurtry
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670882348
Catlog: Book (1999-01-01)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 17840
Average Customer Review: 2.77 out of 5 stars
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In writing his superb life of Crazy Horse, Larry McMurtry faced the same obstacle as every previous biographer of the Oglala Sioux icon: a notable paucity of facts. This didn't inhibit such chroniclers as Mari Sandoz or Stephen Ambrose (whose dual portrait of Crazy Horse and George Custer featured a certain amount of authorial ventriloquism). In this case, however, the shortage of documentation actually works to the reader's advantage. Unencumbered by reams of scholarly detail, McMurtry's book has the shapeliness and inevitability of a fine novella. The author may describe it as an "exercise in assumption, conjecture, and surmise"--but his phrase does scant justice to this elegant, admirably scrupulous portrait.

As McMurtry recounts, Crazy Horse was born around 1840 in what is now South Dakota. Already the arrival of white settlers--who brought with them such mixed blessings as metal tools, firearms, and smallpox--had begun to transform the culture of the Plains Indians. But soon a more ominous note crept into the relationship: "The Plains Indians were beginning to be seen as mobile impediments; what they stood in the way of was progress, a concept dear to the American politician." As whites sought to remove these impediments with increasing brutality, Crazy Horse led his people in a sporadic and ultimately doomed resistance, which peaked at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Within a year the young warrior (and occasional visionary) had surrendered to the United States Army. Four months later he was dead, stabbed in a highly suspicious scuffle with white and Indian policemen, and the Sioux resistance died with its legendary leader.

McMurtry's powers of compression are formidable. In no more than a few rapid paragraphs, he gives a sense of how this "prairie Platonist" divided the world into transient things and eternal, invisible spirits. He also conveys his opinion of Caucasian double-dealing with fine, acerbic efficiency: "In August, Custer emerged and described the beauties of the Black Hills in mouthwatering terms. In another life he would have made a wonderful real-estate developer. In this case he sold one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate in the West to a broke, depressed public who couldn't wait to get into those hills and start scratching up gold." McMurtry's Crazy Horse is the leanest and least rhetorical version yet of this American tragedy--which makes it, oddly enough, among the most moving. --James Marcus ... Read more

Reviews (44)

2-0 out of 5 stars A little balance perhaps
I am a fan of the Pengin Lives books. I'll say that up front. But Mr. McMurtry's book on Crazy Horse falls short of the standard the series sets with other works like the book on Rosa Parks. The author has clearly done a great deal of reading and researching to prepare for his task, however, through that he seems to have become bitter about the amount of speculation there has been to fill in the unknown holes of Crazy Horse's story. So he sets out to write a book with just the facts. Nothin' but the facts. And he clings to his effort by breezing past events of the day that were influencing Crazy Horse's life both directly and indirectly. He drops names and dates and places as if we had all done the research with him. In the end the writing and tone of McMurtry's work culminates in a dud of a biography that is lacking in richness. I won't go so far as to say that there is nothing to be learned from reading this book (as some other reviewers have said); I learned a thing or two. I am just left with the feeling that Mr. McMurtry has squandered a great opportunity by pinning himself to flimsy rules out of seeming contempt for other authors on the subject. For shame.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Beginning Book About Crazy Horse, the Man
Crazy Horse has been puzzled over by genertions of historians. Larry McMurtry gives a sensitive portrait of the great Sioux warrior who became a reluctant leader at the battle of the Little Big Horn. It is a short biography with a wonderful story teller's touch! It's worth the read.
Evelyn Horan - teacher/counselor/author
Jeannie, A Texas Frontier Girl Books One - Three

4-0 out of 5 stars Very nice quick overview of the whole thing
This is my first run at Crazy Horse, so I have nothing to compare it to. While McMurchy does an excellent job of giving only the facts, this book was more about the Sioux then of Crazy Horse.

This book is a great overview, but that's it. I would recommend this book as a primer, then maybe some other historical account of his life

3-0 out of 5 stars brief encounter
I have not previously read a Penguin Lives book so I don't have a point of reference on how much to expect from one of these biographies. I have noted that none of the volumes seem to be any thicker than McMurtry's "Crazy Horse". I will assume that the purpose of this series is that the reader gets a brief overview of the highlights in the lives of an important historical person. That sounds like a nice idea but the question I have regarding "Crazy Horse" is this; Does it half to be THIS brief?

I was inclined to accept McMurtry's observation that little factual information exists on Crazy Horse. In fact, I think he's soured me somewhat on reading Mari Sandoz's much lengthier biography. However, this book goes in some strange directions dealing with this paucity of information. For example, in trying to describe the great gathering of Indians at the Ft. Laramie Council of 1851, McMurtry inexplicably quotes Wilfred Thesiger's account of an Ethiopian gathering of African tribesmen. Shortly thereafter, he describes the tribal warfare of the Sioux by quoting Peter Matthiessen's description of tribal warfare in New Guinea in the early 1960's. Well, the primary resources on Native Americans may be limited but not so much that we must wander to other continents for our facts. (On second thought, maybe I WILL read Sandoz's book). McMurtry suggests at one point that it would be "hubris" to think that we can read Crazy Horse's mind. He momentarily passes on speculation of Crazy Horse's thoughts and motives and then spends much of the remainder of the book doing just that. So much of these 141 pages are devoted to events that happened during the time of Crazy Horse that little space is left to the man himself. As a biography of facts this work seems more along the lines of Charlie Browns Christmas vacation book report.

However, Larry McMurtry's talent is spinning a tale rather than reporting the facts. This is the saving grace of "Crazy Horse". It reads like a well-written short novel and will leave the reader exasperated but sensing nonetheless that he has just read a good story.

3-0 out of 5 stars If you like McMurtry...
Larry McMurtry is, in my mind, one of the greatest living authors. His novels make Texas come alive for anyone who reads them. His most famous works, like Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show, deserve all of the praise they get, and even his less famous works, like Zeke and Ned, and Boone's Lick, are worth a read. However, he does not often turn his pen to nonfiction, as with his biography of Crazy Horse. It was a tough subject to tackle, due almost entirely to the shortage of facts regarding the legendary Indian leader. This may seem a daunting setback, but McMurtry perseveres, writing a thoroughly engaging biography. Particularly enjoyable are McMurtry's quips at Ambrose. ... Read more

14. Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from a Native American Childhood
by Ednah New Rider Weber, Richela Renkun
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
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Asin: 1584302313
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Sales Rank: 161713
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15. Gift of Power: The Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medicine Man
by Archie Fire Lame Deer, Richard Erdoes
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
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Asin: 1879181126
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: Bear & Company
Sales Rank: 97858
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Gift of Power is a classic story of one man's journey through alienationand struggle to epiphany and redemption. Archie Fire Lame Deer embodies the NativeAmerican struggle for survival in a homeland that has become foreign. In vivid first- person narrative, Lame Deer recalls his tumultuous life in a stereotypical Indian world ofbottles, feathers, and horses.After enough booze and fighting to kill an average man, hetranscends his self-destructive tendencies by reclaiming the spiritual elements of histraditional culture. We learn along with Lame Deer the power and secrets of nativemedicine and the gifts that they bring to the beholder. This Lakota medicine man is ateacher and a model. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of the Greatest books I ahve ever read.
Lame deer pulls no punches and tellyou how it was and how it is. I wish I could have met him in person. He teachings are carried on through others that he has taught. ... Read more

16. Crow Dog : Four Generations of Sioux Medicine Men
by Leonard C. Dog
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0060926821
Catlog: Book (1996-02-28)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 323724
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the co-author of Lakota Woman, which has sold more than 150,000 paperback copies, comes a compelling account detailing the unique experiences and spiritual knowledge accumulated by four generations of powerful medicine men. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars History in the real meaning
Leonard Crow Dog tells his family history and the history of his nation with a love and power which can almost overpowers the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars History - past and present!
In the beginning paragraph it says, "We are still making history." as Crow Dog explains his family roots. That sentence sums up the book for me. It is history. The history that is learned and not lost by Crow Dog. The ceremonies and native ways that he is trying to maintain and to pass on are intricately described. I don't think I have read a book that is so visually written. I could picture the things he described. I savored this book for a few months, letting each chapter sink in. Although the book is written in a simple manner there is nothing simple about the information shared. A great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare book explaining the truth about Native American life.
With the abundant help of Richard Erdoes, Leonard Crowdog gives us the history of his people and their never-ending battle for freedom in a white world that was once theirs. I highly recomend this book for people interrested in reading about the injustices loaded onto the Native American people since the arrival of white men on their land. ... Read more

17. The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir
by Linda Hogan
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0393323056
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 181757
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I sat down to write a book about pain and ended up writing about love," says award-winning Chickasaw poet and novelist Linda Hogan. In this book, she recounts her difficult childhood as the daughter of an army sergeant, her love affair at age fifteen with an older man, the legacy of alcoholism, the troubled history of her adopted daughters, and her own physical struggles since a recent horse accident. She shows how historic and emotional pain are passed down through generations, blending personal history with stories of important Indian figures of the past such as Lozen, the woman who was the military strategist for Geronimo, and Ohiesha, the Santee Sioux medical doctor who witnessed the massacre at Wounded Knee. Ultimately, Hogan sees herself and her people whole again and gives an illuminating story of personal triumph. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Life sometimes emerges from pain
In this memoir, Hogan attempts to reveal not only an individual memory but the geography, and the history that is common to all human spirits, in particular, to Native American people. With the dominant image of broken things, such as the woman clay (broken body), the broken earth, and the fragmented Native American past, Hogan's inherited gene, blood, and cell from her families and tribal culture could make her become a witness to the whole journey of memory. What she sees, feels and interprets are a part of the past, the present, and the future. Her female body seems to be as vulnerable as the land and as Native American history. The trauma, physical or emotional pain, and wounds of an individual here are identical with those of tribal history so as to reconstruct the geography of Native American world and to get the healing. ¡§It wasn't healing I found or a life free from pain, but a kind of love and kinship with a similarly broken world¡¨(16). Because some matters are too sharp to be memorized, through elements and creatures of nature, Native people are able to regain the life-giving power and continue the generations. From another aspect, I am curious about the remedy of love toward the pain, whether it is presented inwardly or outwardly. It seems that Hogan does not regard love as the only therapy to conquer all the sufferings. At least, it is not the love only existed between human beings.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Twinning of the Interior/ Exterior Landscapes
In Hogan¡¦s Memoir, I see Hogan¡¦s compelling attempt on retrieving not merely an individual but a communal and collective memory of Native American people whose existences had been obliterated by the dominant History and represented as simply silence and blankness. Like the broken clay woman who connects to the lands by ¡§her very body, the very same clay,¡¨ Hogan is the woman who watches over ¡§the injured world¡¨ with a broken soul and memory (17, 21). Hogan juxtaposes the inner landscape of a human spirit and the outer landscape of the Mother Earth to exemplify the correspondence and rhythms of human souls with the natural world, and further to demonstrate Native Americans¡¦ worldviews of perceiving the world as an oneness full of interconnected organic beings. The pain of the human soul and human body parallels with the pain of the lands for the loss of the lands shears off Native Americans¡¦ attachment to the earth, the places. To Hogan, the devastation of the lands corresponds to the destruction of the minds. Only with a sense of place, there comes a sense of history, a sense of identity. The outward landscape, the Mother Earth and all the elemental beings are the fountains of healing power never stop flowing out unless the interconnectedness and balances is destroyed. Thus, Hogan finds ¡§[her] doctors become earth, water, light, and air. They [are] animals, plants, and kindred spirits¡¨ (16). Through interrogating the interior geography inside a human spirit, Hogan intends to restore and recollect the whole exterior natural landscape of the Mother Earth comprising all the coexistent elements as water, land, fire, light, stone, and animals.

4-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Life is a journey form fragments to wholeness. Hogan's memoir tries to reveal her steps and processes of having harmony in her life. She divides her memoir into eleven sections with various topics to express her different experience of life. Each part of her personal experience is the part of life journey, though in the journey, no absolutely direction is shown to tell her when to go or what to do. In "Geography: An Introduction," Hogan says there is no maps of direction in life, even she wish to direct her life to others by saying "This way," (14) but she couldn't. From receiving the broken pieces of the clay woman named "The Woman Who Watches over the World" that she bought in the museum, Hogan starts to illustrate her journey of broken past in "Water: A Love Story," which narratives how she falls in love with a sergeant army in German, and how she decides to come back to America by through the sea. Then she says "through our time life-times it is water that sustains us, water that is the human substance, the matter of cells"(31). In her years of falling, Hogan concludes "falling isn't always bad. Sometimes it is better into world" (66). As the topics go, readers seem to have steps to penetrate Hogan's inner floating. From piecing the following topics together, including "Silence is My Mother," "Fire," "Dreams and Visions: The Given-Off Light," "Span: Of Time and Stone,¡¨ ¡§Mystery,¡¨ ¡§Bones, and Other Precious Gem,¡¨ and ¡§Phantom Worlds,¡¨ we gradually finish the journey made by Hogan's personal events by the topic steps she gave us. Reading Hogan's memoir is like playing jigsaw puzzle, which is the game from fragments to wholeness. The process of the play jigsaw puzzle is like the process of facing many events in journey life. As she describes herself from the broken past to the harmony in the living world, Hogan's memoir also reveals the situation of Native American today. Therefore, it is not only a memoir of self, but a reflection of her tribes.

5-0 out of 5 stars History, Healing and Survival
Hogan¡¦s memoir is a book not only ¡§about love¡¨ (16), but about ¡§healing, history, and survival¡¨ (16). In this memoir of eleven chapters, the idea of history dominates the whole work in which Hogan retrieves not only her personal history but the communal history. The ¡§space-time¡¨ relationship becomes a unifying force for each chapter to construct a unified whole and present a ¡§a geography of the human spirit, common to all peoples¡¨ (16). For Hogan as a Native American, history, no matter personal or tribal one, is present in geography, no matter a spiritual or spatial one. First of all, Hogan tries to relate her ¡§self-telling¡¨ to the young people on reservations and thus connect her personal history with the history of the continent since ¡§I can lay a human history out before me and hold a light to it, and in that light is the history of a continent¡¨ (14). She then identifies herself and the world with the clay woman, ¡§the Woman who Watch Over the World¡¨ since she, the clay woman and the world/land are all broken. And the historical traumas are revealed and shown in human bodies and the land in itself. Thus, by retrieving the history of her physical pain, emotional suffering, and early inarticulateness inherited from her mothers, she presents us a suffering history of her tribe in this continent. By exploring both the personal and tribal history, she displays a map/path for herself and the young tribal men to pursue after her. It is then a map/path of healing. By healing, she means the power of words and the cure of nature. She offers a history of three generations of women in her family, herself, her mother and her two adopted daughters, who, because ¡§the destruction of the body and land have coincided in history¡¨ (62~63), have been or are, in a way or other, voiceless of their emotional, physical, or spiritual sufferings. Thus, the power of storytelling/words is significant for her to deal with her personal problems and recognition of self-identity in the tribal community. Moreover, after years of experiences with pain, she finds her cure relies on ¡§earth, water, light and air¡¨ (16). Its significance can be seen when several elements in nature are used to entitle six out of the eleven chapters. Finally, what unifies all these treads presented in the memoir into a spider web, separate but of the same direction, is the power of tribal survival through which personal survival is also attained. It is only because of a quest into her haunted past and tribal hardships can she find a power to refresh her spirit and a meaning for her life. Thus, with the presentation of both traumatic histories and ways of healings, she positions herself and establishes her subjectivity in a tribal world that, in turn, survives in face of possible genocide. And it is this urgency of survival, no matter personal or tribal, that makes the memoir and the Naitve American literature extraordinary to the Euroamerican literature.

1-0 out of 5 stars History, Healing, and Survival
Hogan¡¦s memoir is a book not only ¡§about love¡¨ (16), but about ¡§healing, history, and survival¡¨ (16). In this memoir of eleven chapters, the idea of history dominates the whole work in which Hogan retrieves not only her personal history but the communal history. The ¡§space-time¡¨ relationship becomes a unifying force for each chapter to construct a unified whole and present a ¡§a geography of the human spirit, common to all peoples¡¨ (16). For Hogan as a Native American, history, no matter personal or tribal one, is present in geography, no matter a spiritual or spatial one. First of all, Hogan tries to relate her ¡§self-telling¡¨ to the young people on reservations and thus connect her personal history with the history of the continent since ¡§I can lay a human history out before me and hold a light to it, and in that light is the history of a continent¡¨ (14). She then identifies herself and the world with the clay woman, ¡§the Woman who Watch Over the World¡¨ since she, the clay woman and the world/land are all broken. And the historical traumas are revealed and shown in human bodies and the land in itself. Thus, by retrieving the history of her physical pain, emotional suffering, and early inarticulateness inherited from her mothers, she presents us a suffering history of her tribe in this continent. By exploring both the personal and tribal history, she displays a map/path for herself and the young tribal men to pursue after her. It is then a map/path of healing. By healing, she means the power of words and the cure of nature. She offers a history of three generations of women in her family, herself, her mother and her two adopted daughters, who, because ¡§the destruction of the body and land have coincided in history¡¨ (62~63), have been or are, in a way or other, voiceless of their emotional, physical, or spiritual sufferings. Thus, the power of storytelling/words is significant for her to deal with her personal problems and recognition of self-identity in the tribal community. Moreover, after years of experiences with pain, she finds her cure relies on ¡§earth, water, light and air¡¨ (16). Its significance can be seen when several elements in nature are used to entitle six out of the eleven chapters. Finally, what unifies all these treads presented in the memoir into a spider web, separate but of the same direction, is the power of tribal survival through which personal survival is also attained. It is only because of a quest into her haunted past and tribal hardships can she find a power to refresh her spirit and a meaning for her life. Thus, with the presentation of both traumatic histories and ways of healings, she positions herself and establishes her subjectivity in a tribal world that, in turn, survives in face of possible genocide. And it is this urgency of survival, no matter personal or tribal, that makes the memoir and the Naitve American literature extraordinary to the Euroamerican literature. ... Read more

18. Geronimo: His Own Story
by Geronimo, Frederick Turner, S. M. Barrett, Frederick W. Turner
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452011558
Catlog: Book (1996-03-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 152791
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Were the Apache people treated fairly?
Geronimo wrote this book so that others may judge if he and the Apache people were treated fairly. This is a simple quesiton that becomes quite complex -- murder, robbery and broken both the Apaches, Mexicans, and white settlers and troops. It is difficult to assign culpability in this context.

I see it more of as a tragedy of when one culture encounters another radically different and less developed than its own. You will need to read the book yourself to develop your own conclusion.

What makes the book interesting is that it is Geronimo in his own words. It is transalted, but there is no white-man slant or probing questions. It truly is Geronimo in his own words. And as such, it provides a fascinating testament to early American Indian culture, interaction with both Mexicans and Americans, and the legendaryu cowboy-and-indian wars. The early chapters on Apache creation were fascinating, as were the later chapters on the St. Louis World's Fair.


4-0 out of 5 stars The story in his words...
Mr. Barrett interviewed Geronimo after several years of his captivity and this is his version of what happened in the Apache Wars. Definately an interesting read and a great story. Not what you should read if interested in a complete history of the Apache Wars and the part Geronimo had, but still worthwhile as it tells it from his prespective in his old age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once I moved about like the wind...
This was a pretty good book and a fast read. The book has an introduction with some history about the Apache conflict and then goes into the part that is Geronimos own words, translated in the early 1900's. The book does point out places in the text that are disputed as being the words of Geronimo. He talks about things that happened to him as a child and as a young man.
However some things that are discussed in detail in traditional history books are barely mentioned here. There are some good pictures in the book. It's very interesting to hear it from his point of view, but I would also recommend other sources to get the complete story from both sides. I would compare the way the text reads to the book "Black Elk Speaks". ... Read more

19. The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams
by Nasdijj
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618154485
Catlog: Book (2001-09-17)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Sales Rank: 62193
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A searing book as powerful as the life experience that inspired it, THE BLOOD RUNS LIKE A RIVER THROUGH MY DREAMS transports readers to the majestic landscapes and hard Native American lives of the desert Southwest. Born to a storytelling Native mother and a roughneck, song-singing father, Nasdijj has always lived at the jagged-edged margins of society, yet hardship and isolation have only brought him greater clarity -- a gift for language and a voice of searching honesty. "In a prose style that could almost be chanted" (New York Magazine), Nasdijj writes of his adopted son, Tommy Nothing Fancy, and of his own chaotic childhood; of his struggles betweentwo cultures and his pursuit of the writing life -- as a lifeline. A powerful, unforgettable memoir, THE BLOOD RUNS LIKE A RIVER THROUGH MY DREAMS will "wash over readers and often take them by surprise" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram). ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brought Home With Nasdijj's Words
While viewing books in a bookstore in Boise, ID, Nasdijj's memoir caught my eye. The title drew me in, since I am a poet. The first chapter made me sit down. Chapter three brought me to tears, as he writes of Mariano Lake, which is home. I am Navajo and live next to the school. The wild horses Nasdijj wrote about are my uncles'. They are still there, running and creating dreams and fantasies in boys' eyes. And the goats and sheep are my grandmother's, my mother's and mine, they still graze around the school and in the baseball field. The school officials always tell us not to graze them there, but we tell them the goats were there before we permitted the school to be built. They leave us and the goats alone now, until new administrators arrive. My grandmother (the old lady in the book) died September 11th. My mother took her place with the goats and sheep.
I read the whole book in the bookstore, then I bought it. Now, the children in Mariano Lake are reading the book. I have to send five new copies, soon. Nasdijj has literally painted a picture of my community and Navajo life, in general, with words which is hard to do. This book is more than a treasure. The simple sight of it reminds me of home, with Nasdijj's empowering colorful words.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams is enthralling
Into the majestic desert landscape of the American Southwest, among the hard life of a Navajo reservation & into this angry man's life comes a baby boy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome & an unrelenting & mystical would-be mother. With Tommy Nothing Fancy's arrival, the heart of this dry & sorry man is cracked open & out floods memories & all the love of the world & a father is born.

Yes, this is an angry book - there is no escaping the heartache of a people severed from their ancestry, confined to welfare misery & generations of intentional abuse by government & do-gooders. Children wrenched away to boarding schools where everything that made them who they were was systematically & brutally erased. Adults proscribed from eking out a living off their land & that ubiquitous & invidious palliative for all that pain. That assuager which brings the dread disease that destroys their children before they are born.

Read The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams for the story Nasdijj has to tell, then read it again for his lyrical language. Like paintings of sunsets over desert mountains, Nasdijj's essays are fulgent with passions, paronomasias & revelations.

I could not put this book down until I'd read the last word & even then I sat, astonished & breathless with Nasdijj's thoughts & images. I urge you to check out my eInterview with this author & my full review at: [my website].

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustaining Hope, Love, Life - Despite the Odds
Nadijj writes his memoirs with tenderness, compassion, insight, and matter of fact clarity. He writes stark naked sentences that speak volumes of truth in very few words about difficult life situations. The author recalls tangible things that remind him of his 6 year old adopted son, who we learn had died of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The baby had acquired this disease from a mother who drank alcohol while pregnant. The author reveals the challenging social and economic conditions of growing up in a Native American culture without harshness or bitterness. The author "walks between two worlds", the Native American and White culture. He inherited the physical features of his father who was White yet he does not identify with the White culture. He absorbed the spirit and soul of his mother who was a Navajo (American Indian) which is evident by his use of imagery, descriptions of nature and wild life, and use of language. This book reveals how the author developed and transformed his life, despite poverty, and within the chaotic and often harsh circumstances of migrant work. His parents traveled all over the country working on ranches or farms. It is amazing how he maintained a sense of inner balance and harmony while the outside conditions were anything but that. The author describes a situation where his work with high school youth disillusioned him and yet later he was able to salvage one young Indian teenager's life through sustained interaction and discipline. We also are shown the seedy and underside of life for Native American teenagers when interventions are unsuccessful. In the midst of so much sadness and hardship one senses the hope and dreams upon which to build a better future. Past Native American defeats by the dominant culure and subsequent humiliations have permeated the mind-set of many Native Americans. While many aspects of the Native American culture have disintegrated there is a reawakening to traditions which is helping to revive the spirit and renew the dignity of the culture. This author describes heart-breaking life events of vulnerable people with understanding and compassion. His writing style, choice of words, and imagery are exceptional. I read this book in one sitting - unable to put it down. One learns about the shadow side of life but one also learns how the light of love and caring make even the most difficult situations bearable. This book is highly recommended. Erika Borsos (erikab93)

3-0 out of 5 stars Well-written, but ulitmately lacking something
Memoirs are easily written. That is, anyone can tell the story of his life. However, writing a memoir as a coherent whole, rather than a string of memories, is much more difficult, and that is where I felt this work fell short.

Nasdijj does have a way with words. He often captures landscapes and characters in an amazing way. Instead of a memoir, however, this was more like reading the "notebooks" to which he referred so often. It was like the journals that most writers keep to practice and improve their craft, similar to an artist's sketchbook. The sketches might be quite good, but they are still just sketches and framing and hanging them together would not be enough to get an artist a show in most gallaries. Similarly, this work, while far superior in writing style, lacked the progression of, say, an Angela's Ashes, or, in lieu of that, a coherent theme--homelessness, fetal alcohol syndrome, poverty, reservation life. If any of these themes that were touched on, ran through the entire book, it would have been an improvement.

Also, in writing the memoir of an unhappy life, one must be careful not to make it one long lament. If this was indeed his true life story, the man did deal with some real trajedies. However, based on his picture on the fly leaf, and his own admission that he "looked white," one can only suspect that any discrimination he suffered for being an Indian was more his own perception than what actually occured. Also, when the author goes directly from homelessness to a job as a reporter for a small newspaper, it's hard to feel that the odds are completely stacked against him. Near the end of the book he blames his not having been published yet on "writing and publishing [being] more of a white people game than even we gave it credit for way back then." (p.206) This is because an editor "ripped apart' (I assume not literally) his novel manuscript. However, while most writers, Indian, white, black or anything inbetween, would give their eye teeth to have an editor comment on anything they wrote rather than sending out the generic rejection slip, the author sees this as another condemnation from the world of white people, which he will never understand.

Parts of this book are very well written, and the language often verges on the poetic, but getting this published was a break for someone who, I admit, seemed to enjoy very few breaks in his life. I hope Nasdijj sees this one for what it is, and takes this opportunity to impove on his craft even more.

3-0 out of 5 stars The blood runs like a river through my dreams
this was an ok book... i sometimes found it to be boring and repetative at times..but in the long run it was semi intreating and kept me wanting to read... throughout the book there were many refrences dealing with death, and after a certain amount of time started to become semi-depressing.. but the overall book was good and and i suggest reading it for anyone else who is looking for a good book ... Read more

20. I'll Go And Do More: Annie Dodge Wauneka, Navajo Leader And Activist (American Indian Lives Series)
by Carolyn Niethammer
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803283849
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Bison Books
Sales Rank: 1004427
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