Re: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - discussion
That is a horrifying scene, Cheryl. It never fails to amaze me how much destruction and death can be unleashed by a single act of bigotry, hubris, or neglegence.
One thing that I feel I have to point out about Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
is its sometimes-skewed point of view. The book is self-admitedly "eastward-looking" (written from the perspective of the Native Americans) and as such needs to be taken with a grain of salt - the same grain of salt which must be taken when reading works written from the settlers ("westward-looking") perspective. I have come across passages in Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
that are unmistakably intended to portray the Native Americans in the best possible light and the American settlers and soldiers in the worst. I am sure there are similar passages in most westward-looking literature of which the reverse is true. Is it true that the Native Americans were badly mistreated by whites? Certainly - but it is also true that whites were sometimes badly mistreated by the Native Americans. Is it also true that some of the Native tribes were peaceful, noble, and courageous? Again, yes - but the same could certainly be said for many of the whites who went west.
Basically, I'm saying that Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
is colored by its sources' personal involvement and its author's deep respect for the people he's writing about. There is a lot of great information in the book, and I'm enjoying it very much. But I sense some bias (more in certain passages than in others) in the work.
And no one needs to point out the futility of trying to find an unbiased historical account. I know it's almost impossible. That, however, doesn't mean that bias shouldn't be pointed out when it's discovered.