Crazy Horse, A Life

Nov 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 18-2: Traditional Wisdom Our Strength, Media Reviews

Penguin Putnam, Inc. (1999)
New York
160 Pages — ISBN 0-670-88234-8
Hardcover $13.97

Review by Tracey Jilot

In his introduction, the author explains his book as an attempt to dispel the rumors surrounding Crazy Horse and to give an accurate portrayal of his life.

McMurtry draws on Crazy Horse’s life from a wide variety of resources: historians, such as Judge Eli Ricker and Stephen Ambrose, and interviews of elderly Sioux Indians, such as He Dog.

In a time of upheaval and loss, Crazy Horse stood as a defiant symbol of resistance for his people. He earned the honor of becoming a “shirt-wearer” early in his life, but lost it when he took another man’s woman. In battle, he dressed as simply as possible, throwing dust on his horse and himself to show his humility.

According to his vision he was to keep few possessions and give to the poor. On record, his life spanned only four months, but his legend lives on today, written in a stone mountain held within the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Tracey Jilot is the librarian at Stone Child College on the Rocky Boy Reservation of Montana.

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