The life of Crazy Horse encapsulates the tragedy of the native Americans, and the death of the untamed West. Crazy Horse symbolized a proud refusal of the American Indians to bend to the yoke of domestication, and the white man's will to rule. Legend clouds the real man and everyone who has appropriated his powerful myth has tried to use him to ...
The life of Crazy Horse encapsulates the tragedy of the native Americans, and the death of the untamed West. Crazy Horse symbolized a proud refusal of the American Indians to bend to the yoke of domestication, and the white man's will to rule. Legend clouds the real man and everyone who has appropriated his powerful myth has tried to use him to further their own agenda. In this vivid, carefully considered biography, Larry McMurtry strips away tall tales to arrive at the essence of this brilliant, ascetic warrior-hero. McMurtry captures the poignant passing of a time and offers a vibrant new understanding of one of America's greatest figures.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-11-16 Deceptively brief and seemingly lightweight, this wonderful work effectively cuts through decades of hyperbole. McMurtry illuminates the enigma and the myth of Crazy Horse to present him as a manæno more, no less. He has stripped away the incessant Noble Savage image that persists in many serious works about Native Americans, even to this day. He gently jabs earlier biographers who based entire volumes on little or no evidence of the events in Crazy Horse's life. "Still I am not writing this book because I think I know what Crazy Horse didæmuch less what he thoughtæon more than a few occasions in his life; I'm writing it because I have some notions about what he meant to his people in his lifetime, and also what he has come to mean to generations of Sioux in our century and even our time." McMurtry's simple, eloquent prose conveys Plains Indian culture far better than most anthropological efforts, leaving the reader with a clear, dignified image of the great warrior (who died in 1877) without needless conjectures of day-by-day activities. Although complicated by the politics of money and land, this is, as McMurtry ultimately shows, the story of a man "who had no politics, just the conviction that he wanted to live his life in accordance with the precepts of his own people." First serial to American Heritage; BOMC alternate. (Jan.) FYI: Viking plans to release two Penguin Lives titles each season, six each year. This volume, along with Edmund White's biography of Proust (see p. 62), is the first. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1999-02-01 McMurtry's historical biography of Crazy Horse, the Sioux warrior who was a leader at the Battle of Little Big Horn, is one of two initial audio releases in the new Penguin Lives series. (The other is Marcel Proust by Edmund White, read by Barbara Rosenblatt). In each, an accomplished novelist tackles the short-form biography as a literary challenge (note: as audio programs, these are only "slightly" abridged). For McMurtry, this means reexamining the American Old West, the territory of his epic, multivolume fiction adventures (Lonesome Dove, etc.). Noting that almost nothing that Crazy Horse said was ever recorded, McMurtry relies on the historical record, interviews with elderly Sioux conducted early in this century and on his own thoughtful analysis of the general mood of the times. As audio, it's this sense of the author's fresh curiosity that keeps the program interesting. Actor Conger performs his narration in subdued tones, which respectfully reflect the academic spirit of McMurtry's project. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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