So when this new history of the Sioux people--especially focusing on Red Cloud--came out, it was an easy choice for me. And in many ways, I'm glad I read it. Red Cloud is the only Indian leader who ever defeated the U.S. Army in a significant campaign. He was remarkably adept at strategy and guerrilla tactics, and he held true to his own purpose for decades, despite having to cobble together his warriors from among tribes that were often enemies.
But as a narrative, the book leaves me cold. The research is extensive and meticulous, but I think the details overwhelm the story for whole chapters at a time, and there isn't any drive to the story for me. That might explain why it took me so long to finish it. I just couldn't read it for long stretches of time because I'd grow weary of the details.
from the publisher: Red Cloud, the great Sioux warrior-statesman, was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud's powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography and painstaking research research by two award-winning authors, the story of our nation's most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told. This fiery narrative, fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports, eyewitness accounts, and meticulous firsthand sourcing, is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way.