An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).
Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography, and painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the nineteenth century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.
In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud’s War, they provide intimate portraits of the many lives Red Cloud touched—mountain men such as Jim Bridger; US generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the memorable warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, like the legendary Crazy Horse. And at the center of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life.
“Unabashed, unbiased, and disturbingly honest, leaving no razor-sharp arrowhead unturned, no rifle trigger unpulled....a compelling and fiery narrative” (USA TODAY), this is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way.
For all of our culture's fascination with the American Indian, it's almost impossible to believe that one of the most well-known Indians of his time, the Oglala Sioux warrior chief Red Cloud, could be largely forgotten until now. Yet that's exactly what we discover in this illuminating account by Drury and Clavin (Halsey's Typhoon). As the de facto leader of the Western Sioux nation an unprecedented feat in itself given the Sioux's rigorous individualism and a "culture consisted of fluid, haphazard tribal groups" Red Cloud and his army stand alone in history as the only Indians to ever defeat the United States in a war, which took all of two years (1866 1868). A history inconveniently at odds with the accepted American narrative, the manuscript for Red Cloud's 1893 autobiography lay in a drawer at the Nebraska State Historical Society into the 1990s. Thanks to that work and the authors' extensive, additional scholarship, readers now have access to a much more thorough, comprehensive understanding of the Plains Indians' brutal and tragically futile efforts to protect their land and way of living from the progress of "civilization."
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Heart of Everything That Is
Simply a great read!!!!!! Great insights onto the savagery of the Indian Wars and more importantly the philosophy that drove the two sides.
Fast paced....great story telling and informative. A MUST read!!!!
Seems a little slanted
The author seems to justify the slaughter the Indians caused trying to keep their way of life but condemns the whites for trying to live the life they wanted. The Indians took the land from other Indians the way whites took from the Indians. He also failed to mention, in his attempt to make Red Cloud look like a genius, that the following officer to take over the fort handed Red Cloud the worst losing battle in history where Red Cloud sent over 1,000 Indians in dead and wounded in a failed attack on only 34 soldiers.