“Killing Crazy Horse” Review

If you are a history buff at all, you might be interested to read Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. It was an easy read – enough details to be really interesting, but not so many that I was bogged down trying to read it. Be warned that many sections are very brutal and graphic though. The savagery on both sides of the fighting was sad – but the authors presented fascinating factual accounts of battles and personalities from both perspectives.  

The book begins at Fort Mims, Alabama in 1813 where a massacre takes place. It continues through the 1800’s and ends in 1889 with the Oklahoma Land Rush. I was fascinated with the story of Native American tribes such as the Creek, Comanche, Sauk, Apache and Oglala. Some of their leaders – Cochise, Blackhawk, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and others are also described, including the qualities that made them so memorable. On the other side of the war is the U.S. Government and almost 20 presidents who had dealings with Native American tribes. There are many broken treaties and many dishonest people wrapped up in the history of the Native American story in America. In contrast, there were also some on both sides that tried to compromise – but in the end, all Native Americans are relocated to reservations.

I am so glad I chose this book to read, despite the horrific incidents that are described in many of the battles. I have visited some of the landmarks mentioned in the book, and reading Killing Crazy Horse made me want to visit more of them – many of the battle sights and landmarks are now protected in our National Park System.

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