About this title:
[This is Part 1 of a 2-part Audiobook CASSETTE Library Edition in vinyl case.]
About the Author:
[Read by Mark Bramhall]
On a hot June morning in 1975, a fatal shoot-out took place between FBI agents and American Indians on a remote property near Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Four members of the American Indian Movement were indicted on murder charges for the deaths of two federal agents killed that day. Leonard Peltier, the only one to be convicted, is now serving consecutive life sentences in a federal penitentiary.
Behind this violent chain of events lie issues of great complexity and profound historical resonance. In this controversial book, Peter Matthiessen brilliantly explicates the larger issues behind the shoot-out, including the Lakota Indians' historical struggle with the U.S. government, from Red Cloud's war and Little Big Horn in the nineteenth century to the shameful discrimination that led to the new Indian wars of 1970s.
PETER MATTHIESSEN has written eight novels, a book of short stories, and, from his career as a naturalist and environmental activist, numerous acclaimed works of nonfiction. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1974. He is a founder of the Paris Review and has won two National Book Awards, the 2000 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, and the 2010 Spiros Vergos Prize for Freedom of Expression.
The author tells the sad story of the ill treatment of North American Indians since European settlers arrived. By means of interviews, attendance at Indian ceremonies, and extensive research, Matthiessen shares details of life both then and now for the many existing tribes. The embarrassing incidents of treaties made and broken seem without end. Narrator Mark Bramhall can pronounce the extensive vocabulary of American Indian languages, and his voice brings to mind what modern Caucasians might imagine to be the speech patterns of eighteenth-century Native Americans trying to speak English. He shows little emotion or inflection. Since the rambling story never progresses in any particular direction or temporal sequence, it gives Bramhall few of the elements useful to maintain the interest of his listeners. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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