In this remarkable book, six Plains and Northwest chiefs from tribes swept by the tide of white expansion are profiled. The humanity, courage, compassion and steel resolve of these dignified, resourceful leaders make a strong impact. With a true biographer's dispassion, Freedman simply tells what happened, what was said, and what effects actions had. He does not condemn the cavalry, for example, for the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek, but merely gives the facts. In these stories, though, the facts are enough to elicit strong compassion for the Indians. Some of these chiefs stood and fought to the last ditch, but all reached decisions with intelligence. Faced with overwhelming changes, they adapted to new conditions and became either clever strategic fighters or political manipulators who visited Washington to plead for their people. Each of these powerful biographies can stand alone (in fact, some material is repeated in the parallel stories of Red Cloud and Sitting Bull), but the cumulative effect is staggering. Remarkable photographs from many collections on the American West, including the Smithsonian's glowing portrait photographs of the chiefs, illustrate the times and events.