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The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee

The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee


Part of Studies in North American Indian History

  • Date Published: September 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521605908


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About the Authors
  • This volume, first published in 2004, presents an overview of the history of the Plains Sioux as they became increasingly subject to the power of the United States in the 1800s. Many aspects of this story - the Oregon Trail, military clashes, the deaths of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the Ghost Dance - are well-known. Besides providing fresh insights into familiar events, the book offers an in-depth look at many lesser-known facets of Sioux history and culture. Drawing on theories of colonialism, the book shows how the Sioux creatively responded to the challenges of US expansion and domination, while at the same time revealing how US power increasingly limited the autonomy of Sioux communities as the century came to a close. The concluding chapters of the book offer a compelling reinterpretation of the events that led to the Wounded Knee massacre of December 29, 1890.

    • A fresh interpretation of the relations between the Plains Sioux and the United States in the 1800s
    • Gives the Sioux perspectives on events of the 1800s
    • Offers a compelling reinterpretation of the events that led to the Wounded Knee massacre of December 29, 1890
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is an important one. It will make you think.' South Dakota History

    ' … a new way of viewing the history of the Plains Sioux and their interaction with US government … author forces the reader to reconsider previously held ideas and to question the validity of sources usually employed to narrate the past … Ostler seeks to untangle assumptions about the motives of Ghost Dancers or of leaders like Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, illustrating the complexity of each choice made by the Sioux … Ostler's re-examination of the Plains Sioux story adds another important work to a recent wave of scholarship that sees significant agency in colonized people. this important layer of the human story helps correct the long canon of history written by the conquerors or colonizers. the author uses an engaging, narrative style and weaves story and analysis skillfully together. … excellent work and a significant addition to scholarship on the Plains Sioux.' Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

    'Jeffery Ostler's The Palins Sioux and U.S. Colonialism form Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee offers professional historians and history students an insider's perspective of U.S. expansionism. … What makes Ostler's study valuable is that it can serve both as as a reference work for professors who need to expand or support their claims of American settlement as well as to Student's requiring an introductory text to American colonialism.' Cercles

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521605908
    • length: 406 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: colonialism, agency and power
    Part I. Conquest:
    1. 'Vilest Miscreants of the Savage Race': the Plains Sioux in an empire of liberty
    2. 'Futile Efforts to Subjugate Them': failures of conquest
    3. 'Doubtless an Unauthorized Promise': the politics of the Great Sioux war
    4. 'Force is the Only Thing': the killing of Crazy Horse
    Part II. Colonialism:
    5. 'We Were Raised in This Country': claiming place
    6. 'I Work So Much It Makes Me Poor': the reservation economy
    7. 'Just as Well with My Hair On': colonial education
    8. 'All Men are Different': the politics of religion and culture
    9. 'Great Trouble and Bad Feeling': government agents and Sioux leaders
    10. 'Enough to Crush Us Down': struggles for Land
    Part III. Anticolonialism and the State:
    11. 'When the Earth Shakes Do Not Be Afraid': the Ghost Dance as an anticolonial movement
    12. 'To Bring My People Back into the Hoop': the development of the Lakota Ghost Dance
    13. 'The Most Serious Indian War of Our History': the army's invasion
    14. 'If He Fights, Destroy Him': the road to Wounded Knee
    15. 'A Valley of Death': Wounded Knee
    Conclusion: after Wounded Knee.

  • Author

    Jeffrey Ostler, University of Oregon
    Jeffrey Ostler is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oregon. He is the author of articles in such scholarly journals as Western Historical Quarterly, Great Plains Quarterly, and Pacific Historical Review.

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