Dee Brown [The Guardian]
rfidler at cyberus.ca
Fri Dec 20 06:44:15 MST 2002
Writer who exposed the myth of the American west
Tuesday December 17, 2002
If one book demolished for ever the heroic myth of America's conquest of the
west, it was Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History Of The
American West. Published in 1970, it has sold more than 5m copies, and been
translated into 15 languages. But its author, Dee Brown, who has died aged
94, was a white southerner, who had to make himself think like "a very old
Indian" in order to complete his classic.
Meticulously researched and vividly written, Wounded Knee opened the way for
the modern school of revisionist historians, who have largely confirmed
Brown's perception that, rather than a triumph of pioneers, the west was
subdued by a bloody, military conquest of native Americans that amounted to
Much of the material in the book's 446 pages derived from accounts by native
American interpreters who had attended treaty sessions, tribal councils,
meetings with US army officers and other proceedings, including eye-witness
accounts of battles. It concludes with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, in
South Dakota, the confrontation that brought the so-called Indian wars to a
bloody close after the 7th US Cavalry disarmed and slaughtered 300 Sioux,
including women and children.
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