Review by Booklist Review
Leonard Crow Dog speaks with a powerfully stark voice that echoes in the mind long after reading his words. As a medicine man of the Lakota, he is a living memory of his ancestors and a strong voice for preserving Lakota history and tradition. With Richard Erdoes, author of numerous Native American books, Leonard Crow Dog delves briefly into the generations of his family who have carried the name Crow Dog since the American government told them it would be their family name. Primarily, Erdoes has written Leonard's words as they were spoken for Leonard can neither read nor write, but the simple words are compelling. Leonard speaks of his tribe's history and traditions as they affect his life personally, and he conveys a sense of unseen presences, as though his ancestors speak in his ear refreshing his memories of events and rituals. He tells of his involvement as the spiritual leader of the American Indian Movement and the occupation of Wounded Knee in the early 1970s. This book complements Joe Starita's Dull Knife of Pine Ridge (1992). Each book offers a unique perspective of the events on Lakota reservations. While Leonard does not focus as strongly on Lakota history as Starita did, his book is still an admirable addition to any collection. --Melanie Duncan
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In January 1890, Leonard Crow Dog's great-grandfather, Jerome Crow Dog, surrendered to the U.S. Army; he was the last of the ghost dancers, who brought a ``new way of praying, of relating to the spirits.'' Ninety-three years later, Leonard Crow Dog revived the ghost dance at Wounded Knee. From childhood he was destined to be a medicine man; he recounts family history through four generationsJerome was the first Native American to win a case in the Supreme Court; Leonard's father, Henry, introduced peyote to the Lakota Sioux. He details tribal ceremonies and their meanings. By 1971, Leonard Crow Dog had become spiritual leader of the American Indian Movement. In that role and also as medicine man, he was present at the 1972 march on Washington and the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. With Richard Erdoes (Lakota Woman), he gives a stirring account of both eventsa horror story of government brutality and vindictiveness, of prejudice and injustice. Here he offers an illuminating introduction to Sioux culture. Photos not seen by PW. $30,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Here is another addition to Erdoes's autobiographical collaborations with Native Americans that blend oral tradition with Western linear history (Crying for a Dream: The World Through Native American Eyes, LJ 2/1/90). Through the experiences of this family of great medicine men, readers are taken on an intimate journey through 120 years of Lakota history. Events that will already be familiar to some readers are recounted within a moving spiritual framework, replete with descriptions of the ceremonial rites and daily spiritual life characteristic of what the outside world deems Native American culture. We witness through "spiritual eyes" the beginnings of the controversial Native American Church, the Ghost Dance, the American Indian Movement, reservation life, and the "ethnic genocide" of the Indian boarding school system. Most libraries will want this volume to stand alongside Lakota Woman (LJ 2/15/90) and Gift of Power: The Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medicine Man (Bear & Co., 1992), similar titles by Erdoes.Bruce Alan Hanson, Wayzata East J.H.S. Lib., Minn. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Another elegiac ``as-told-to'' autobiography from writer/photographer Erdoes. Erdoes (Tales from the American Frontier, 1991, etc.) befriended the Crow Dogs in the 1970s and parlayed that relationship into two successful volumes about Mary Crow Dog. He now turns his attention to Mary's ex-husband, Leonard, and to previous generations of the family as well. The first Crow Dog, born in 1836, was a renowned warrior and leader who became the first Indian to win a case before the US Supreme Court when his conviction for the murder of a tribal chief was thrown out. He later was one of the earliest Ghost Dancers among the Lakota. Leonard's grandfather, John Crow Dog, traveled with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. The story of Leonard's father, Henry, a noted holy man, is told largely in his own words from a tape Leonard keeps. Like his father, Leonard is a traditional medicine man. He is also a leader in the Native American Church, which uses the hallucinogen peyote, and much detail is provided about that neo-syncretic religion as well as about traditional ceremony. The emotional core of the book, however, is the involvement of Leonard and Henry with the American Indian Movement (AIM) of the 1970s, of which they became spiritual leaders, reviving the Ghost Dance, which had been banned by the US government since the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. Leonard was at the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973 and witnessed the bloody aftermath on the reservation. Because of his role in AIM, he was persecuted and harassed by federal and state authorities, tried three times for minor offenses, and eventually sent to prison. His release was finally secured by lawyers William Kunstler and Vine Deloria Jr. The volume ends at a ``high point'' in Leonard's life, a Sun Dance at Henry's place following his release from jail in 1977. (For a history of another Lakota family, see Joe Starita's The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge, p. 311.) Highly romanticized and flatly told, but nonetheless informative. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($30,000 ad/promo)
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