CROW DOG

FOUR GENERATIONS OF SIOUX MEDICINE MEN

Another elegiac ``as-told-to'' autobiography from writer/photographer Erdoes. Erdoes (Tales from the American Frontier, 1991, etc.) befriended the Crow Dogs in the 1970s and parlayed that relationship into two successful volumes about Mary Crow Dog. He now turns his attention to Mary's ex-husband, Leonard, and to previous generations of the family as well. The first Crow Dog, born in 1836, was a renowned warrior and leader who became the first Indian to win a case before the US Supreme Court when his conviction for the murder of a tribal chief was thrown out. He later was one of the earliest Ghost Dancers among the Lakota. Leonard's grandfather, John Crow Dog, traveled with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. The story of Leonard's father, Henry, a noted holy man, is told largely in his own words from a tape Leonard keeps. Like his father, Leonard is a traditional medicine man. He is also a leader in the Native American Church, which uses the hallucinogen peyote, and much detail is provided about that neo-syncretic religion as well as about traditional ceremony. The emotional core of the book, however, is the involvement of Leonard and Henry with the American Indian Movement (AIM) of the 1970s, of which they became spiritual leaders, reviving the Ghost Dance, which had been banned by the US government since the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. Leonard was at the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973 and witnessed the bloody aftermath on the reservation. Because of his role in AIM, he was persecuted and harassed by federal and state authorities, tried three times for minor offenses, and eventually sent to prison. His release was finally secured by lawyers William Kunstler and Vine Deloria Jr. The volume ends at a ``high point'' in Leonard's life, a Sun Dance at Henry's place following his release from jail in 1977. (For a history of another Lakota family, see Joe Starita's The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge, p. 311.) Highly romanticized and flatly told, but nonetheless informative. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($30,000 ad/promo)

Pub Date: April 26, 1995

ISBN: 0-06-016861-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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