The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend

Drury, Bob & . S. & S. Nov. 2013. 432p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451654660. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451654707. HIST
OrangeReviewStarRed Cloud (1822–1909) was an Oglala Sioux war chief who successfully led Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Sioux warriors against the U.S. Army. The war was sparked by the 1863 construction of the Bozeman Trail, which connected Montana's gold fields to the Oregon Trail in violation of the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty. From 1866 to 1868, Red Cloud proved such a brilliant tactician that the United States sued for peace to end what became known as Red Cloud's War. The resulting Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 found the United States pledging to stay out of the Sioux hunting grounds and to close the Bozeman Trail. In exchange, Red Cloud and his people pledged to live in peace on the Great Sioux Reservation. Journalists Drury and Clavin (coauthors, The Last Stand of Fox Company) have written a gripping narrative that illuminates Red Cloud's battlefield prowess. They also show how Red Cloud, a shrewd politician, rejected the overtures of Sitting Bull to join the disastrous 1876–77 war over the Black Hills. By choosing peace, Red Cloud ultimately accomplished more for his followers than he could have gained on the battlefield.
VERDICT This fascinating book is highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of the Old West. Readers should also consider Autobiography of Red Cloud: War Leader of the Oglalas, edited by R. Eli Paul. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/13.]

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