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Publisher's Summary

The first comprehensive history of the Lakota Indians and their profound role in shaping America's history

This first complete account of the Lakota Indians traces their rich and often surprising history from the early 16th to the early 21st century. Pekka Hämäläinen explores the Lakotas' roots as marginal hunter-gatherers and reveals how they reinvented themselves twice: first as a river people who dominated the Missouri Valley, America's great commercial artery, and then - in what was America's first sweeping westward expansion - as a horse people who ruled supreme on the vast high plains.   

The Lakotas are imprinted in American historical memory. Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull are iconic figures in the American imagination, but in this groundbreaking book they emerge as something different: the architects of Lakota America, an expansive and enduring Indigenous regime that commanded human fates in the North American interior for generations. Hämäläinen's deeply researched and engagingly written history places the Lakotas at the center of American history, and the results are revelatory.

©2019 Pekka Hämäläinen (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Scott Klinger
  • 04-11-2019

What an eye=opening history

I learned a lot from this well-written and well-read book. The Lakotas were an equal empire to the US until after the Civil War. They succeeded because of their ability to adapt -- to be shapeshifters.

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  • gary ashley
  • 07-01-2020

second time I've listen to it

After the second time I've listened to this I feel it is a very well written and a good source of information. Your not going to find anyone source better than this and I have read a lot of books on the Lakota. Being an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux tribe. This is my favorite subject to study. It is well worth the time if your not familiarly with a lot of the history you can read Fur fortunate and empire to accompany this book and you would have a good grasp of the early American history and the fur trade. And how it shaped this country

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  • jdcblink13
  • 23-04-2020

Slow burn

The subject matter in the second half is definitely more gripping than the first. Narration is decent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Radlauer
  • 18-06-2021

Sociological history

A fairly dry if comprehensive history of a quite specific time and place. Not lacking in details or colorful examples to make the story clear the narrative retains a lofty sociological perspective. The narrator is fine with pleasant voice restrained manner.

Over and again in these accounts of indigenous American culture and mores I’m struck by the prevalence of horrific personal violence and grisly torture as a way of life. Not a value judgment but an observation.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-08-2020

Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyable. Thorough history, Joe Barrett's voice is captivating. Hope to meet Pekka Hamalainan someday!

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  • Nico Vela
  • 27-07-2020

Great audiobook.

A great audiobook that showcases a post-colonial mindset of the Lakota people, who reinvented themselves twice to maintain power in the face of a domineering Imperial power.

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  • Coy Siddall
  • 14-05-2020

good book enjoyed

it is good book enjoyed if a lot..great info. well written. recommend it to any one.

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  • Marc Twain
  • 09-03-2020

More of an outsiders view of the Lakota.

This really isn't a history of the Lakota versus an outside view of interaction with them over the years. Yes, I realize that is often the case when writing about historical issues, especially on a people with limited written history. I did enjoy learning about tribal politics, which is under represented in writing, and that is the only reason I finished the book at all. This just wasn't a history of the Lakota people.

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