The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend (Hardcover)
November 2013 Indie Next List
“The authors present the epic story of Red Cloud, the only Native American tribal leader to defeat the U.S. Army in the West. Red Cloud could be vicious and savage and he used those attributes to achieve power. But he could also show patience and restraint in his efforts to defeat the Army's expansion into the Powder River country of present-day Wyoming. This book presents an important chapter in American history that needed to be told, using Red Cloud's own autobiography as a major source.”
— George Rishel, The Sly Fox, Virden, IL
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
An astonishing untold story of the American West
The great Sioux warrior-statesman Red Cloud 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 by two award-winning authors, the story of our nation's most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.
Born in 1821 near the Platte River in modern-day Nebraska, Red Cloud lived an epic life of courage, wisdom, and fortitude in the face of a relentless enemy--the soldiers and settlers who represented the "manifest destiny" of an expanding America. He grew up an orphan and had to overcome numerous social disadvantages to advance in Sioux culture. Red Cloud did that by being the best fighter, strategist, and leader of his fellow warriors. As the white man pushed farther and farther west, they stole the Indians' land, slaughtered the venerated buffalo, and murdered with impunity anyone who resisted their intrusions. The final straw for Red Cloud and his warriors was the U.S. government's frenzied spate of fort building throughout the pristine Powder River Country that abutted the Sioux's sacred Black Hills--Paha Sapa to the Sioux, or "The Heart of Everything That Is."
The result was a gathering of angry tribes under one powerful leader. "The white man lies and steals," Red Cloud told his thousands of braves at council fire. "My lodges were many, now they are few. The white man wants all. They must fight for it." What came to be known as Red Cloud's War (1866-1868) culminated in a massacre of American cavalry troops that presaged the Little Bighorn and served warning to Washington that the Plains Indians would fight, and die, for their land and traditions. But many more American soldiers would die first.
In "The Heart of Everything That Is," Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, the New York Times bestselling authors of "Halsey's Typhoon" and "The Last Stand of Fox Company," restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud's War they provide intimate portraits of the many and various men and women whose lives Red Cloud touched--mountain men such as the larger-than-life Jim Bridger; U.S. generals like William Tecumseh Sherman who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, the legendary Crazy Horse in particular. And residing at the heart of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life.
This fiery narrative, fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports, eyewitness accounts, and meticulous firsthand sourcing, is a stirring chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way. "The Heart of Everything That Is" not only places the reader at the center of this remarkable epoch, but finally gives Red Cloud the modern-day recognition he deserves.
About the Author
Bob Drury is the author/coauthor/editor of nine books. He has written for numerous publications, including "The New York Times", "Vanity Fair", "Men's Journal", and "GQ". He is currently a contributing editor and foreign correspondent for "Men's Health". He lives in Manasquan, New Jersey.
Tom Clavin is editor of the "East Hampton Independent " and the "South Hampton Independent " and a former chief environmental correspondent for the "New York Times".