The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

A sweeping history--and counter-narrative--of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present. Dee Brown's 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was the first truly popular book of Indian history ever published. But it promulgated the impression that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee--that not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry but Native civilizati...

Details The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

TitleThe Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
Release DateJan 22nd, 2019
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, Politics, Native Americans

Reviews The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

  • Meike
    "If you want to know America - if you want to see it for what it is - you need to look at Indian history and the Indian present." In a mixture of history book, reportage, and mémoir, Ojibwe author David Treuer tells the story of Native America after the massacre at Wounded Knee, and by doing so, he is resisting the toxic narrative of the "vanishing Indian" and the tendency to view all Native history as a history of pain. This does not mean that ...
  • Angie
    Treuer characterizes this book as 3 journeys in his introduction: a journey into history, a journey across America, and a journey into himself and his identity. He describes all three of theses journeys with great skill, although the historical journey does get a little dry here and there, and his inward journey makes the narrative a little more Minnesota-oriented than it would be coming from someone else (that's a plus for me). After his introdu...
  • Emily Goenner
    How can I not know the things written here? As Anglo-Americans, we've been taught such lies and shaded stories. This book gives a different side, another heart-breaking view of all the evil done by Europeans when they arrived in America. I was fascinated to learn so much and horrified that I didn't know it. While I would like to hand this book to everyone and say, "read this," it isn't an easy read. More like a history book than a personal narrat...
  • Loring Wirbel
    David Treuer, an Ojibwe from Leech Lake Reservation, says he doesn't want a new history of North American indigenous tribes to follow the trajectory of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee or Peter Matthiessen's In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Rather than emphasize tragedy and the repression of Indians through colonial and U.S. history, Treuer wants to focus on the survival and victory of North American tribes, even if victories can seem rathe...
  • Ruby
    This is a great book if you want to learn about Native Americans and their history since Wounded Knee in 1890. Much of it is first person, when the author speaks with a variety of fellow Native Americans on a variety of subjects. The author also does a great job of laying out the history of Native American tribes after Wounded Knee, including ever-changing government policies, including one called "termination," and how various tribes responded. ...
  • Sam toer
    In the 1970 work "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", Dee Brown declared that "the culture and civilization of the American Indian was destroyed". In "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee David Treuer revise that image of the Indian which has long been prevalent in American literature and historiography. The Indians are seen as the "Vanishing American", a race so compromised by disease, war and intermarriage that it is destined to disappear. " David Treuer'...
  • Lisa Vegan
    This book was incredibly hard for me to rate. I think it deserves a 5. Most of the time the reading experience for me was only a 3 and sometimes a 4, and only occasionally a 5, and sometimes even a 2. I can’t in good conscience give it less than a 4 and it pains for not to give it 5 full stars. This should be a history book (and class) in every high school, preferably mandatory – so different from the false histories I was taught when in K-12...
  • Randall Wallace
    Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum wrote of Native Americans, “Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect civilization, follow it up with one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.” Charming. By the 1600’s the colonial powers had shifted their focus from “exploitative colonization” to “exploitive settlement”. Thomas Jefferson writes in secret memos to William He...
  • Amber
    Before I share my thoughts, a few caveats: This is my reading experience and reactions to the book. I am not academically qualified to comment on the historical accuracy of the contents. I am also not culturally qualified to comment on how it represents Native experiences and cultures. I picked up this book to (re)educate myself about Native American history and present-day realities, though it has affected me much more profoundly than I anticipa...
  • James Murphy
    Always interested in American Indians through my background of anthropology and history, I was drawn to The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by that but also by its claim to be a counter narrative to Dee Brown's famous 1970 work Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee which was considered the Indian side of the history of the west but which I thought too sentimentally told. Treuer's book is more balanced. He sees the sentimentality, too, but he also criticizes Br...
  • Liz Mc2
    I listened to the audiobook, read by actress Tanis Parenteau, who is Métis. The motto of this book could be “not dead yet.” Treuer writes partly in response to Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which depicts Indians primarily as victims, and as people of the past. Treuer takes Wounded Knee more or less as the starting point of his book, though he does do a broad history of earlier periods, including pre-contact and first-contact p...
  • Peter Beck
    "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee" is a path-breaking work on the Native American experience. It is actually much more than the title suggests because the first 100 pages explore Indian life before 1890. It is also far more than just a dry history book. Treuer takes us foraging for pine cones and hunting for clams while interviewing colorful family members and acquaintances.Countless books have recounted the tragedies experienced by Native Americans...
  • Bookworm
    Had read 'Rez Life' and 'Prudence' by the same author and was very excited to read this book. I did not care for 'Prudence' but was totally absorbed by 'Rez'. I was curious to see what this was about, especially when I realized it was about Native people in the US after 1890 instead of just Wounded Knee.Treuer takes us through a history of Native America and the history not told in most US history classes (unless you take specific ones, I think)....
  • Jon Glazer
    This frequently frustrating book was largely redeemed by the last chapter. For most of the book the author couldn't seem to settle on a narrative approach and I was often distracted by the rapid shifts between broad historical descriptions, close-up character studies, and straightforward reportage.Frequent stylistic shifts can often be very effective, but it just didn't work for me here. Perhaps that explains why for most of the book I remained u...
  • Joe Kessler
    As the title suggests, this is a book that's very much in conversation with Dee Brown's classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which I regret to say I haven't yet read. Like that earlier volume, this 2019 follow-up centers its Native American history in the perspective of indigenous peoples themselves, but with the added focus on the period following the titular Lakota massacre. Ojibwe author David Treuer emphasizes the fact that Indian civilizat...
  • Cheryl Turoczy hart
    I saw the author interviewed on PBS News Hour and thought this book might be interesting because it was written to offer a description of Native American experience in the 20th and 21st centuries. Actually, it starts out with some pre-Columbian history so you might say it offers a description of the entire history of the group of people we non-Indians tend to pack together as Native Americans.I don't know how to describe the genre of this book. I...
  • Patti
    I'm originally from southern MN. My hometown is infamous for its cold blooded treatment of Dakota POW who rose up against injustice. The fact that the author is from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern MN made this book all that more special for me. I loved reading about the history of the Dakota and Ojibwe and how they first reached Minnesota and how they lived before settlers came for good. But this book isn't just about Minnesota tribes. It...
  • Matt Fitz
    Last year I read "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" by Professor Ibram Kendi, which helped reshape a brain and attitude that had been acculturated to accept a version of race that left out the black voice and story. THIS book does the same thing with respect to Native Americans. As with Kendi's scholarly look at why we aren't "post-racial" for lack of understanding our historical roots, David Treuer (O...
  • Raimo Wirkkala
    This mix of the scholarly, journalistic, and the personal, makes for a fascinating account of Native American history. Treuer, himself an Ojibwe from not so far from where I live, spares us nothing of the violence, deceit, hypocrisy, and tragedy that is endemic to this history but allows none of it to shade a hopefulness and optimism that is heartening and very much at odds with other accounts. This reader hopes he is right.
  • Elisa
    More than a helpful review of all the ways native Americans have been deceived and trampled upon, this book records the dexterity and political intelligence with which they have responded to attempts at legal and economic control. Enjoyed the many details and stories; really appreciated being updated, and was invigorated by the positive account of successful adaptation.
  • Theresa Connors
    This book is a well-researched and important counternarrative chronicling the atrocities suffered by tribes across the United States at various points in history, from 1492 to Standing Rock. Extremely well-researched with personal stories and interviews that you won't find in history books.
  • Linda Barlow
    "Treuer wishes to revise the image of the Indian long prevalent in American literature and historiography as the Vanishing American, a race so compromised by disease, war and intermarriage that it is destined to disappear. His perspective is one of Native American resiliency and survival. “This book,” Treuer writes, “is adamantly, unashamedly, about Indian life rather than Indian death.”By Paul Andrew Hutton (Distinguished Professor of Hi...
  • Dylan Groves
    highly recommend
  • Deidre
    I actually have I think four chapters to go, but it’s mostly finished. I’m back on the hold lists, but thinking I might buy this one.
  • Josh Brown
    “This book is meant to tell the story of Indian lives, and Indian histories and those lives as something much more, much greater and grander, than a catalog of pain. I have tried to catch us not in the act of dying but, rather, in the radical act of living...” (453)
  • Ruby
    "This book tells the story of what Indians in the United States have been up to in the 128 years that have elapsed since the 1890 massacre of at least 150 Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota: what we've done, what's happened to us, what our lives have been like. It is adamantly, unashamedly, about Indian life rather than Indian death.""America did not conquer the West through superior technology, nor did it demonstrate the advantag...
  • Jen
    Interesting history and perspective of the many Indian Nations from BCE to today. The comparison of the European treatment of Natives and the American Indian’s strategy of how to fight back was well done. Although shockingly violent and sad, the author makes a very good argument of the strength of the American Indian to survive instead of the common history many of us learned in school about that time period.
  • Greg
    This was a good book. It fills an important niche--there are few comprehensive accounts of "modern" Indian history (that is to say, history since the end of tribal military resistance) and David Treuer fills that gap marvelously. For the average non-Indian person, this book will be a fascinating read. For the average Indian, this book will be joyfully familiar and probably also enraging in at least a few instances, because there is nothing on Ear...
  • Chris Jaffe
    My there-star rating probably says more about me than it does about the book. Treuer relies heavily on personal stories and anecdotes in this history - and while I understand the appeal, to me it felt overdone. Maybe I've read too many academic histories, but I get more out of books when those personal histories are kept more to the margins. Here, the stories began to obscure broader points instead of illuminating them. YMMV.Treuer notes that a l...