Crazy Horse by Mr. Kingsley M. Bray
A Lakota Life (Civilization of the American Indian Series)

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Crazy Horse was as much feared by tribal foes as he was honored by allies. His war record was unmatched by any of his peers, and his rout of Custer at the Little Bighorn reverberates through history. Yet so much about him is unknown or steeped in legend.

Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life corrects older, idealized accounts—and draws on a greater variety of sources than other recent biographies—to expose the real Crazy Horse: not the brash Sioux warrior we have come to expect but a modest, reflective man whose courage was anchored in Lakota piety. Kingsley M. Bray has plumbed interviews of Crazy Horse’s contemporaries and consulted modern Lakotas to fill in vital details of Crazy Horse’s inner and public life.

Bray places Crazy Horse within the rich context of the nineteenth-century Lakota world. He reassesses the war chief’s achievements in numerous battles and retraces the tragic sequence of misunderstandings, betrayals, and misjudgments that led to his death. Bray also explores the private tragedies that marred Crazy Horse’s childhood and the network of relationships that shaped his adult life.

To this day, Crazy Horse remains a compelling symbol of resistance for modern Lakotas. Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life is a singular achievement, scholarly and authoritative, offering a complete portrait of the man and a fuller understanding of his place in American Indian and United States history.


About Mr. Kingsley M. Bray

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Kingsley M. Bray is Senior Bookseller at BMA Hammicks Medical Bookshop in Manchester, England. He has spent the past twenty years researching Plains Indian, especially Lakota, history and ethnology.
Published November 19, 2011 by University of Oklahoma Press. 515 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Crazy Horse

Publishers Weekly

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Bray carefully weighs the private and the political life to illustrate the interaction of Crazy Horse's personal experiences with larger historical events (including intertribal conflicts, fragile alliances, and clashes with American soldiers, among them the battle at Little Bighorn)\x97all shape...

| Read Full Review of Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life (C...

The Wall Street Journal

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The Lakota Siouxwar chief Crazy Horse now lives in legend—as he did among his own people years before his death in 1877.

Nov 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life (C...

The New York Review of Books

Powers switches back to the soldiers’ perspective when he begins the part about Crazy Horse’s “surrender.” The Red Cloud Agency, where Crazy Horse and his band enrolled, took its name from the Oglala chief who presided there, and who would make his own malign contribution to Crazy Horse’s demise.

Feb 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life (C...

ForeWord Reviews

Each of these has added a layer of mystique to Crazy Horse’s life, starting with Mari Sandoz’s classic 1942 biography, Crazy Horse, the Strange Man of the Oglalas, which this author maintains “helped shift the paradigm in Indian studies, away from the racist stereotyping of the previous century, ...

Feb 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life (C...

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