Army scout, buffalo hunter, Indian fighter, and impresario of the world-renowned "Wild West Show," William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody lived the real American West and also helped create the "West of the imagination." Born in 1846, he took part in the great westward migration, hunted the buffalo, and made friends among the Plains Indians, who gave him the name Pahaska (long hair). But as the frontier closed and his role in "winning the West" passed into legend, Buffalo Bill found himself becoming the symbol of the destruction of the buffalo and the American Indian. Deeply dismayed, he spent the rest of his life working to save the remaining buffalo and to preserve Plains Indian culture through his Wild West shows. This biography of William Cody focuses on his lifelong relationship with Plains Indians, a vital part of his life story that, surprisingly, has been seldom told. Bobby Bridger draws on many historical accounts and Cody's own memoirs to show how deeply intertwined Cody's life was with the Plains Indians. In particular, he demonstrates that the Lakota and Cheyenne were active cocreators of the Wild West shows, which helped them preserve the spiritual essence of their culture in the reservation era while also imparting something of it to white society in America and Europe. This dual story of Buffalo Bill and the Plains Indians clearly reveals how one West was lost, and another born, within the lifetime of one remarkable man.
Fascinating, brilliant and angry: the tale of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and the tragic fate of its Native American participants Buffalo Bill was the prince of show business. His spectacular Wild West shows were performed to packed houses across the world, holding audiences spellbound with their grand re-enactments of tales from the American frontier. For Bill gave the crowds something they’d never seen before: real-life Indians. This astonishing work of historical re-imagining tells the little-known story of the Native Americans swallowed up by Buffalo Bill’s great entertainment machine. Of chief Sitting Bull, paraded in theatres to boos and catcalls for fifty dollars a week. Of a baby Lakota girl, found under her mother’s frozen body, adopted and displayed on the stage. Of the last few survivors of Wounded Knee, hired to act out the horrific massacre of their tribe as entertainment. And of Buffalo Bill Cody himself, hamming it to the last, even as it consumed him. Told with beauty, compassion and anger, Sorrow of the Earth shows us tragedy turned into a circus act, history into sham, truth into a spectacle more powerful than reality itself. Could any of us turn away? Born in Lyon in 1968, Éric Vuillard is a French author and film director. His books include Conquistadors (winner of the Ignatius J. Reilly Prize 2010), and La Bataille de l’occident and Congo, which were jointly awarded the 2012 Franz-Hessel prize and the 2013 Valery-Larbaud prize. Sorrow of the Earth is the first of his books to be translated into English.
Winner of the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction “Deanne Stillman’s splendid Blood Brothers eloquently explores the clash of cultures on the Great Plains that initially united the two legends and how this shared experience contributed to the creation of their ironic political alliance.” —Bobby Bridger, Austin Chronicle It was in Brooklyn, New York, in 1883 that William F. Cody—known across the land as Buffalo Bill—conceived of his Wild West show, an “equestrian extravaganza” featuring cowboys and Indians. It was a great success, and for four months in 1885 the Lakota chief Sitting Bull appeared in the show. Blood Brothers tells the story of these two iconic figures through their brief but important collaboration, in “a compelling narrative that reads like a novel” (Orange County Register). “Thoroughly researched, Deanne Stillman’s account of this period in American history is elucidating as well as entertaining” (Booklist), complete with little-told details about the two men whose alliance was eased by none other than Annie Oakley. When Sitting Bull joined the Wild West, the event spawned one of the earliest advertising slogans: “Foes in ’76, Friends in ’85.” Cody paid his performers well, and he treated the Indians no differently from white performers. During this time, the Native American rights movement began to flourish. But with their way of life in tatters, the Lakota and others availed themselves of the chance to perform in the Wild West show. When Cody died in 1917, a large contingent of Native Americans attended his public funeral. An iconic friendship tale like no other, Blood Brothers is a timeless story of people from different cultures who crossed barriers to engage each other as human beings. Here, Stillman provides “an account of the tragic murder of Sitting Bull that’s as good as any in the literature…Thoughtful and thoroughly well-told—just the right treatment for a subject about which many books have been written before, few so successfully” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
Sitting Bull was the greatest chief of the Sioux. As both war chief and medicine man, Sitting Bull led the Sioux in their victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn, but he also led them through their years of hardship and turmoil. Rather than surrender, Sitting Bull united many Native American tribes in the struggle to protect the great Plains and the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota.
William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846-1917) rose from humble origins in Iowa to become one of the most famous and most photographed people in the world. He became a leading scout during the American Indian Wars, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and a renowned show business fixture whose traveling Wild West exhibitions played to millions of spectators the world over for 30 years. He hobnobbed with presidents, kings, queens and European heads of state, befriending many legendary individuals of the West, from General George Armstrong Custer and Sitting Bull to Wild Bill Hickok and Annie Oakley. Aside from these achievements, Cody's most important legacy may be how he shaped the world's enduring views of the American West through his shows, which he considered to be educational events rather than entertainment. This biography is a fresh look at the life of Buffalo Bill.
Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody were considered heroes and the greatest plainsmen of their time. They were larger than life, legendary characters. They knew where to locate water, good grass for livestock, sheltered campsites, and game for hunting. They knew how to survive the blistering heat and terrific thunderstorms of summer and the subzero blizzards of winter. They could avoid Indians or act as trackers following the trails of Indians as well as desperados. They were expert marksmen and did not back down from a fight. They rushed in where others held back. Hickok, a frontier wagon and stagecoach driver, became a Union spy during the Civil War, furthering his reputation after the war as a frontier Army scout, gunfighter, and lawman. Cody, who claimed to ride for the Pony Express, served in the Union Army, and became legendary as an expert buffalo hunter and Army scout. Hickok and Cody were good friends and experienced a series of adventures together. Hickok traveled to Deadwood, Dakota Territory, during the 1876 Black Hills goldrush where he was assassinated by Jack McCall. Cody continued scouting for the Army and after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, won a one-on-one duel with a Cheyenne warrior, Yellow Hair. Cody went on to become one of the most well-known showmen in the world with his Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody: Plainsmen, the fourth book in the Legendary West series, explores the lives of these two well-known characters.
Known as Slow when he was little, Native American Sitting Bull becomes one of the greatest chiefs ever known, in a biography that recounts his adventures from the battle of Little Big Horn to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.