In this stirring historical account, Neil Waldman presents the background events that led up to the final and unforgettable confrontation between two proud and disparate cultures.
Waldman begins the story of Wounded Knee with the settling of North America by Europeans, the land that tribes of nomadic hunters had found centuries earlier, and where they had developed their own unique culture. When the settlers arrived and tried to tame the frontier wilderness of the west, a conflict began which would last for decades.
Unfamiliar with European concepts of ownership and diplomacy, the Lakota warrior tribes of the western plains could make no sense of the intruders who were suddenly staking claims to the mountains and prairies they called home. And in turn, the settlers felt unjustly threatened by the "red heathens" who attacked them even when they turned useless prairie into productive farmland.
Finally, the Lakota were forced to cast aside their ancient ways and live on reservations, where the eastern settlers hoped they would learn white ways of living. Then, on December 28, 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, the last free remnants of the proud nomadic hunters faced the might of the U.S. Army. And another series of misunderstandings left the blood of the last free Lakotas trickling into the earth.
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Waldman (The Golden City) immediately captures the audience's sympathy and interest with the heart-pounding experiences of the then-young Lakota warrior, Black Elk, who awakens to gunfire and then witnesses the cavalry slaughter more than 140 Lakota, including women and children.| Read Full Review of Wounded Knee