My rating: 5 of 5 stars
At one level, it was a seriously hard book to read! Not the style, though. Duane Schultz, courtesy professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, writer of three college textbooks, and prolific author, knows how to write and capture the reader's attention. What made this 324 page paperback, "Over the Earth I Come: The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862" so hard was the rottenness of many, and the profuse brutalities of multitudes! But Schultz doesn't give out gratuitous accounts of violence, rather he has crafted a well written dossier that chronicles those dark days, but also uncovers the glimmers of bright light that shone through in surprising places.
One of the aspects that impressed me was how Schultz shows not only the lead-up to the uprising, but fairly recounts the good, the bad and the ugly on all sides. The conflicted Little Crow; the foot-dragging Henry Sibley; the heroism of scores of Native Americans and settlers; the blood-lust, rapine and savagery of Sioux warriors; the dishonesty of White merchants, Indian agents and Government officials; as well as the hasty injustices of the trials and deportation at the end. I appreciated the author's honesty, while I cringed at the tale's horrors and hatefulness. And if a reader wonders is the manuscript historical and documented, there is a plethora of chapter notes with citations, and well-stocked bibliography at the end.
Even though the volume was first published in 1992, it is a must-read for Americans of all stripes and ethnicities! It is a dark piece of our history that gives thoughtful background to deep-seated presuppositions, prejudices and premises. And it is a sobering aspect of our heritage that can help to inform our present perceptions and encourage empathetic actions. I strongly recommend this book!
You can find the book here: Over the Earth I Come
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