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The Heart of Everything That Is

The Heart of Everything That Is

The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).

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 the nineteenth century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.

In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin 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 lives Red Cloud touched—mountain men such as Jim Bridger; US generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the memorable warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, like the legendary Crazy Horse. And at the center of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life.

“Unabashed, unbiased, and disturbingly honest, leaving no razor-sharp arrowhead unturned, no rifle trigger unpulled....a compelling and fiery narrative” (USA TODAY), this is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451654707 | 
  • November 2013
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Heart of Everything That Is includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Though he was the only American Indian ever to defeat the United States Army in a war, the incredible story of the Sioux warrior Red Cloud was, for a long time, lost to history. In an era when expansion westward was at the forefront of the U.S. government’s mind, Red Cloud and his army of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors mounted a powerful defense against the white man’s invasion of their lands—so powerful that they ultimately forced the U.S. government to sue for peace on their terms. This was an outcome that had never occurred before—and would never occur again. In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin tell the story of Red Cloud’s rise to power against the backdrop of an exciting, dangerous, and in many ways tragic epoch, when American Indian warriors like Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull battled for the lushest hunting grounds and the prospect of gold and adventure lured men like John Bozeman and Nelson Story to the West. But even among these great men, Red Cloud stands out as having live see more

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