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, Politics, North American Hi..., American History, 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...
  • 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...
  • 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)....
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • David Schwinghammer
    David Treuer's book emphasizes what happened after the massacre at Wounded Knee. Prior to Lyndon Johnson' “War on Poverty” government legislation concerning Native Americans seemed to involve attempts at assimilation of the Indians. This included boarding schools and allotment. At one point Treuer, half Jewish, half Objibwa, focuses on the cemeteries surrounding the various boarding schools, the most famous of which was Carlisle. Allotment wa...
  • Kate Schwarz
    Decades ago when I was an undergraduate student at Seattle University, I took a class called "Native American Politics and Protest," taught by Professor Richard Young. Dr. Young had wanted to call the class "Cowboys and Indians," but the administration (rightly) suggested otherwise. That class was incredibly eye-opening for me. I had not realized the extent to which the early European settlers and, later, U.S. Government had cheated the Native Am...
  • David Dunlap
    Native American author Treuer does an amazing job in this book. Although his concentration (as the subtitle indicates) is on Indian matters following the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, he gives an overview of relations between the indigenous peoples of North America and the European immigrants, then proceeds to trace those relations through the distinct phases they took: treaty/reservation/warfare, allotment, relocation, and assimil...
  • Dirk
    With the exception of the title, which strikes me as a mismatched metaphor, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, is a very impressive work. Among the many points that Treuer makes is that although Indians (his term of choice) have a history of loss, they are very much present and should not be defined as losers. While much of their land and culture and many of their lives were taken from them through warfare, starvation and other policies imposed by th...
  • Sara
    The actual only true non-immigrant Americans, Native Americans have been treated abysmally. Many of us know this history and it is appalling. After a quick review of this history, the author takes us past that into the current showing us how Native Americans are finally thriving often by having learned to take the unjust laws passed and use them to their own advantage. They have learned from the greed of Americans and Europeans not to trust that ...
  • 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...
  • Mike
    This powerful and sweeping book on the history of Native people in this continent from prehistory through to today, is one of the most moving and engaging history books I have read in my life. The very best lessons of history come from the authors who dare to show us the answers to questions it never even occurred to us in our places of privilege and ignorance to pose in the first place. This book should be required reading for all citizens of th...
  • Deborah
    The only real reason I didn't give this book five stars is because he made short work of New England Indians. They seem to have been all killed off in first Contact or went West instead of settling to live rich lives here . I wish there had been some sense of our tribes, particularly our wonderful tribes of Maine. Other than that, I have no gripe. That this is a novelist penning a work of fiction is evident from the first page. He knows how to en...
  • Peter Heisler
    This work is expansive in scope, and its varied tellings of what it means to be Indian (through historical accounts, interviews, and the author's personal experiences) are welcome changes of pace in a long book. The thesis--that we need to look at how our country has treated and labeled marginalized groups to understand how well or poorly we've realized founding principles, and where we need to go--is compelling, and the revisionist angle on that...
  • Janice
    After a trip to the American Southwest, I realized how little I knew about the American Indian in American history. The American history that I was taught in school included so little about Native Americans. Recently, I saw a T.V. interview with David Treuer about his most recent book. I knew I had to read it! The history of the American Indian: EYE-OPENING; ASTOUNDING! I, also, liked the personal stories and experiences that Mr. Treuer included ...
  • Joanna
    Reads like a long long talk with a very smart and well informed friend. Strong and honest and gutsy writing with flashes of humour throughout. Discursive style — slight hints of Galeano Eduardo — makes it hard to see where he’s going at the beginning, but it all hangs together by the end. Minor criticism: breezy style is pleasant to read and unpretentious, but sometimes feels slightly too relaxed for the subject material. Still, an inspirin...
  • Patrick Macke
    To tell the story of Native Americans from Wounded Knee to now actually required telling what felt like a capsulized version of the complete history of Indians, and in accomplishing this alone the author is to be commended ... it is well written and meticulously researched but despite a fair amount of original, engaging interviews, it feels mostly like a textbook ... I know in the end this is to be a story of hope but after hundreds and hundreds ...
  • Tom Gorski
    As with his earlier book about his reservation experience, David Treuer writes a very readable yet comprehensive study of the Native American life in all parts of the country from 1890 (Wounded Knee massacre) to the present. Noted though are the first 90 pages which provide a background for all parts of North American from about 10,000 BCE to 1890. He combines both anthropology and first person narratives in creating this unique study of the indo...
  • 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.
  • Christa
    Very informative, easy to read, great research. It is really interesting to follow the rise of a bee generation of natives albeit the oppression and pillage of their homelands. Really enjoyed reading this book.Very informative, easy to read, great research. It is really interesting to follow the rise of a bee generation of natives albeit the oppression and pillage of their homelands. Really enjoyed reading this book.