This volume presents a complete compilation of the visions and insights of Matthew King, the grandson of both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. National Geographic senior writer Harvey Arden has distilled King's wisdom into a richtreasury, organizing it to read as if it were an intimate conversation with the Lakota chief.
From the Book Jacket: "A deeply moving and very disturbing story of a gross miscarriage of justice and an eloquent cri de coeur of Native Americans for redress, and to be regarded as human beings with inalienable rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution, like any other citizens. We pray it does not fall on deaf ears. America owes it to herself." (Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate) "It would be inadequate to describe Leonard Peltier's Prison Writings as a classic of prison literature, although it is that. It is also a cry for help, an accusation against monstrous injustice, a beautiful expression of a man's soul, demanding release." (Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States) "Listen to this fresh, brave voice, then inform yourself about the shameful case of Leonard Peltier." (Peter Matthiessen, author of In the Spirit of Crazy Horse) "This book takes the reader on an emotional and spiritual journey as Leonard Peltier's surprisingly hopeful reflections make the terrible injustice of his imprisonment for 24 years even more difficult to accept. Peltier's important journal details his trial and conviction which was based in part on admittedly false testimony and evidence so inconclusive that reasonable people everywhere have concluded that he should be granted clemency." (Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee Nation, and author of Mankiller) "Leonard Peltier's words reveal a wise man who has become freer than his captors, despite his false imprisonment for a crime he did not commit. His thoughts here remind us of our true mission as Indian people, as human beings here on this humble, beautiful planet. These thoughts cannot be captured or locked behind bars, or destroyed by gunfire. They fly free." (Joy Harjo, Muskoke poet and musician, author of The Woman Who Fell From the Sky) "If you care about justice, read this brave book. If you care about the perpetuation of the white man's justice against the Native American, you must know the Leonard Peltier story." (Gerry Spence, author of Give Me Liberty!) Harvey Arden is the author and co-author of several books, including Wisdomkeepers and Travels in a Stone Canoe (both with Steve Wall) and Noble Red Man. He lives in Washington, DC. Other books by Harvey Arden are available from Bookshare.
From the book: This journey of ours, then, is a journey into metaphor, into meaning, into human subjectivity, into the belief systems of others and of ourselves, into the very meaning of belief itself. And yet, despite its inward aspects, this spirit-journey is and has been absolutely real, filled with rented cars and cheap motels and fast-food restaurants and shopping malls and interstate highways, and-most significant to us-with out-of-the-way dirt roads leading to the always open doors of those we call Wisdomkeepers, the spiritual elders of Native America. These wonderful men and women don't simply preserve the old wisdom. They live it. And, yes, they share it and teach it, too-not only with their words but with their example, their presence, their lives . . . lives always lived for others, never for themselves. We are not, definitely not, experts on Indians. We aren't scholars or anthropologists or historians; we're not even journalists anymore. Yet our journey, our spirit-journey is inexorably ongoing. Whenever we think it's finally over and done with, we somehow find ourselves swept back into it once again despite ourselves, flung back onto the road, into the current, back on the path of the Wisdomkeepers. But don't mistake it for an easy path. Life, we've learned from the Wisdomkeepers, is not an entertainment. Life is a task, a holy task. There's a path you follow, and there's a set of Original Instructions for following that path. Our journey, our life's work, has been an unfolding of those Instructions, which-as Wisdomkeeper Uncle Frank Davis showed us-lie within our souls like shredded, crumpled pieces of paper, hieroglyphed with the meanings of life, our own personal life in particular.
from the Foreword: "The authors] sought ought out the spiritual Elders of ...Indian nations...[who] revealed their inmost thoughts and feelings, their dreams and visions, their healing remedies and apocalyptic prophecies, and, above all, their humanity..." The book uses symbols between lines to indicate breaks of thought. I changed that to paragraphs, figuring that it would be difficult both for Braille readers and daisy readers to interpret the symbols. The book has photos. I left them in, both to preserve the pagination and in case anyone wanted them. However, they illustrate the text rather than add anything to it. In my opinion, they disrupt the flow of the text. At the very end of the book the photographer has given more detailed descriptions than I have of the pictures, and identified them by page number.
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