“Lakotas will kill you,” came to Tatanka Iyotake not by human voice, but by the song of his beloved meadowlark. Standing Rock Agent James McLaughlin sent Indian Police to arrest Tatanka Iyotake, also known as Sitting Bull, concerned he was leading a Ghost Dance rebellion.
The arrest ended with the deaths of Sitting Bull, some supporters, and some Indian Police. Norman E. Matteoni’s Prairie Man: The Struggle between Sitting Bull and Indian Agent James McLaughlin (TwoDot, $18.95) recounts the struggle between the Lakotas’ desire to continue their way of life and the whites who wanted to “civilize” them. This struggle focused on Sitting Bull’s attempt to preserve traditions and James McLaughlin’s insistence that Indians must conform. Well-written and well-researched, Prairie Man belongs with the classics of the northern plains.
—Bill Markley, author of Deadwood Dead Men