BRAVE EAGLE'S ACCOUNT OF THE FETTERMAN FIGHT

The defeat of Captain Fetterman, who boasted that he could "Whip the whole Sioux nation with only 80 men," retold (as amended and enlarged by the authors) with the same mixture of pride and sorrow that permeated Red Hawk's Account of Custer's Last Battle (1970). Brave Eagle was present at the Fort Laramie council where the Great White Father's representatives (they "did not look very important; they had not painted their faces and their hair was cut short as if in mourning") demanded a right of way along the Bozeman Trail through Sioux territory. Later, when Red Cloud refuses and Fetterman's men are finally decoyed into ambush, Brave Eagle is a witness to bravery on both sides (though the dose formations of the soldiers made them easy prey for Sioux arrows — "it was a strange way to fight and keep alive") and the tragedies within the battle — his pony's death, the shooting of a dog who was the last survivor of Fetterman's band, the finding of a picture of a wife and children inside a soldier's jacket ("The memory of it does not leave me"). The columns of blue-clad soldiers advancing across the pages, Indian ponies running free, even fallen warriors tumbling head over heels down the page are both more colorful and more controlled than in the previous volume. Like Red Hawk, Brave Eagle proves an outstanding witness.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1972

ISBN: 0803270321

Page Count: 74

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more