Review: The Heart of Everything That Is

  • Title: The Heart of Everything That Is
  • Author: Bob Drury & Tom Clavin
  • Paperback
  • Pages: 414
  • Published: September 2, 2014
  • Genre(s): biography, history
  • My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“When I was young among our nation, I was poor. But from the wars with one nation or another, I raised myself to be a chief” – Red Cloud told Sam Deon.

I choose to read this book because I have always had an interest in history and Anthropology.  Red Cloud was a name that I had come across a few times but didn’t know anything about him besides that fact that he had some connection to Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.  I am so glad that I read this book.

Red Cloud was born in 1821 into a Oglala Sioux tribe.  Red Cloud is the English translation of his Sioux name, Makhipya-luta.  Red Cloud has the distinction of being the only Native American (of any tribe) to beat the US military during their 300 year war for America.  “On the whole he projected an aura of quiet dignity with an undercurrent of physical menace.” (pg. 24)

I was impressed with the amount of details that filled every chapter of this book.  The authors clearly put a lot of time into their research and they were very thorough.  This book had details about every character that was mentioned in the book, no matter what their role was.

The authors presented details relevant to both the Sioux and the whites.  The details were compiled in a way to understand Red Cloud and the Sioux side, which is the opposite of most American history books about this time.  They even had a footnote on page 158 saying “It should be noted that whites have always been much more inclined to affix the term “massacre” to  Indian atrocities while preferring to call their own victories, such as the one at Blue Water Creek, “battles”.”

If you have any interest in nineteenth century American history you should definitely check out The Heart of Everything That Is.

Happy reading!!

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