Lakota America

A New History of Indigenous Power

Pekka Hamalainen

View Inside Price: $35.00


October 22, 2019
544 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
54 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300215953
Hardcover

The first comprehensive history of the Lakota Indians and their profound role in shaping America’s history
 
This first complete account of the Lakota Indians traces their rich and often surprising history from the early sixteenth to the early twenty-first century. Pekka Hämäläinen explores the Lakotas’ roots as marginal hunter-gatherers and reveals how they reinvented themselves twice: first as a river people who dominated the Missouri Valley, America’s great commercial artery, and then—in what was America’s first sweeping westward expansion—as a horse people who ruled supreme on the vast high plains.
 
The Lakotas are imprinted in American historical memory. Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull are iconic figures in the American imagination, but in this groundbreaking book they emerge as something different: the architects of Lakota America, an expansive and enduring Indigenous regime that commanded human fates in the North American interior for generations. Hämäläinen’s deeply researched and engagingly written history places the Lakotas at the center of American history, and the results are revelatory.

Pekka Hämäläinen is the Rhodes Professor of American History and Fellow of St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. He has served as the principal investigator of a five-year project on nomadic empires in world history, funded by the European Research Council. His previous book, The Comanche Empire, won the Bancroft Prize in 2009.

Lakota America is beautifully researched, persuasively argued, and justifiably audacious in its reach and implications.  It is both a landmark in American Indian history and a provocative rethinking of North American history generally.”—Elliott West, University of Arkansas

“Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse live in history as great warriors. Hämäläinen’s brilliant exploration of the history and culture of the people that produced these two men is destined to become a classic.”—Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University

“Deeply researched, epic in scale, interpretatively adventurous, and ambitious, Lakota America will influence historians for years.” — Richard White, Stanford University

“Like the Lakotas he studies, Pekka Hämäläinen is a shapeshifter. He is nuanced, nimble, and wise, with an uncanny capacity for reinvention as new understandings come to light. The result is stunning. To read Lakota America is to rethink American history itself.”—Elizabeth Fenn, University of Colorado Boulder
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