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Posted on: August 1, 2022

The Earth Is All That Lasts by Mark Lee Gardner

Earth is all that lasts

A magisterial dual biography of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, the two most legendary and consequential American Indian leaders, who triumphed at the Battle of Little Bighorn and led Sioux resistance in the fierce final chapter of the Indian Wars, from the bestselling author of Rough Riders and Shot All to Hell.

 

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull: Their names are iconic, their significance in American history undeniable. Together, these two Lakota chiefs, one a fabled warrior and the other a revered holy man, crushed George Armstrong Custer's vaunted Seventh Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. Yet Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, arguably the most famous American Indians to ever live, have never had their full stories told in one book.

 

Both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were born and grew to manhood on the high plains of the American West, in an era when vast herds of buffalo covered the earth, and when their nomadic people could move freely, following the buffalo and lording their fighting prowess over rival tribes. But as idyllic as this life seemed to be, neither man had known a time without whites, whether it was the early fur traders or government explorers. As time went on, the number of white intruders onto Sioux land began to grow dramatically: Oregon-California Trail travelers, gold seekers, railroad men, settlers, town builders--and Bluecoats. The buffalo population crashed, disease spread by the white man decimated villages, and conflicts with the white interlopers increased.

 

On June 25, 1876, in the valley of the Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the warriors who were inspired to follow them, fought the last stand of the Sioux, a fierce and proud nation that had ruled the Great Plains for decades. It was their greatest victory, but it was also the beginning of the end for their treasured and sacred way of life. And in the years to come, both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, defiant to the end, would meet tragic--and eerily similar--fates.

 

An essential new addition to the canon of Indigenous American history and literature of the West, The Earth Is All That Lasts is a grand saga, both triumphant and tragic, of two fascinating and heroic leaders struggling to maintain the freedom of their people against impossible odds. 

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