The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge: A Lakota Odyssey

Joe Starita, Author, Joseph Starita, Author
Joe Starita, Author, Joseph Starita, Author Putnam Publishing Group $24.95 (388p) ISBN 978-0-399-14010-5
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Much of the proud and painful history of Native Americans involves Lakota chiefs like Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, and conflicts in both the distant and recent past at Wounded Knee. Former Miami Herald reporter Starita sensitively illuminates Lakota history through one remarkable family. Dominating the book is patriarch Guy Dull Knife Sr., born in 1899 and revered as the oldest living member of his people. Guy's forebears endured displacement, government deception and war; once enclosed on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, they endured the suppression of their language, culture and religion. Guy's relatives told him of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre; his father toured Europe with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, removed from his people's problems. Guy's own story begins about halfway through the book; it includes cultural resistance to assimilation, service in WWI, marriage to a staunch woman and politics at Pine Ridge. His son, Guy Dull Knife Jr., grew up with rock 'n' roll and endured Vietnam, returning to find himself involved in even more danger: the American Indian Movement's battle against corrupt leadership at the reservation. Now Guy Jr. sculpts statues that reflect his people's history and culture. A memorable American story. Photos. BOMC and History Book Club selections. (Apr.)
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