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Lives of great leaders profiled
Sitting Bull, Crowfoot, Louis Riel and more
By Tony Hollihan
Lone Pine Publishing
320 pages (sc)
The history books are full of the names of Aboriginal leaders and how they reacted when European explorers and settlers began to take over their lands.
From Sitting Bull to Crazy Horse, from Crowfoot to Louis Riel, all were powerful Aboriginal men who led their people in uncertain times. All were leaders who worked to improve the lives of their followers, with varying degrees of success.
The lives and accomplishments of a dozen of these men, their choices, and the consequences of those choices, are examined in Great Chiefs, a two-volume work by author Tony Hollihan, whose past work includes the book Gold Rushes, a recounting of five legendary gold rushes from California to the Klondike.
In Great Chiefs, Hollihan offer a sometimes fictionalized narrative of the key events in the lives of each of the men profiled, with the author striving to paint as accurate a picture as possible of how those events actually unfolded. An author's note at the end of the book states that, wherever possible, records of actual conversations were faithfully reproduced within the book.
Volume I of the series examines the life of Lakota Sioux spiritual leader Sitting Bull, who struggled to keep European newcomers from taking over the land of his people, and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, who spent his life fighting to reclaim the land taken from his. Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, who helped his people adapt and survive as change swept across the land, and Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Sioux, who fought alongside Sitting Bull to try to maintain control over Sioux traditional lands are also profiled, as are Metis leader Louis Riel, and Sequoyah, who invented a system of writing for his people, the Cherokee.
Volume II examines the lives of legendary Apache war leader Geronimo, who fought against the American army over his people's homeland, and Shawnee leader Tecumseh, who tried to unite all the tribes of North America into a single alliance. Volume II also revisits the lives of Blackfoot Chief Crowfoot and Crow Chief Plenty Coup, as well as the lives of Paiute prophet Wovoka and Sioux war shaman Crazy Horse, who led his warriors against Custer's forces.
Each of the narratives that make up the book makes full use of historic illustrations and photographs, as well as maps of the areas referred to the in the stories. A list of the sources the author used in putting the books together is also included at the end of each book, providing the reader with a starting point if they want to learn more about these 12 men who even now, years after their deaths, stand out as leaders among men.
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