An Open Wound

american-carnage_wounded-knee_jerome_GreenIn American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890 (University of Oklahoma Press, $24.89), Jerome A. Greene, former research historian for the National Park Service and author of numerous books about the U.S. military encounter with native peoples of the American West, turns his attention to the 1890 tragedy at Wounded Knee.

His sprawling and exhaustively researched account of the slaughter on the Pine Ridge Reservation argues that much of the blame rests with the inexperienced and poorly led U.S. soldiers, but that sheer confusion magnified the horrific scale of the violence. The special power of the book, however, is Greene’s careful attention to the searing memory for the Lakota survivors and their descendants, an aftermath Greene describes as an “untreated sore.”

–Andrew R. Graybill, author of The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West

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