The Ancient Memory and Other Stories

John Gneisenau Neihardt, Author, Hilda Neihardt Petri, Editor, Hilda Martinsen Neihardt, Editor University of Nebraska Press $35 (230p) ISBN 978-0-8032-3327-0
Best known for his nonfiction Black Elk Speaks , Neihardt published these nine robust tales of white adventurers and Native Americans in Smart Set and other magazines between 1905 and 1908, before he was 30 years old. His frontier men and women are appealing dreamers who lose everything, start over and often lose everything again; his sympathetically drawn Native Americans are imbued with spiritual qualities. In ``A Political Coup at Little Omaha,'' a congressional candidate cynically manipulates desperately poor reservation Indians to get their votes; although the prejudiced white narrator oozes contempt for Indians, the author's respect for them remains clear. ``The Lure of Woman'' is a crackling yarn of gold-mad miners, broken friendship and love betrayed; ``The Epic-Minded Scot'' follows the tragic tale of a Missouri trapper whose dream of living in harmony with Native Americans is subverted by French expansionist ambitions. As corroborated by Neihardt's daughter in her foreword, the stories exude his firsthand knowledge of the frontier, the last remnants of which he explored during the early years of this century. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-0-8032-8374-9
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