Recent Title: ‘The Earth is All That Lasts’ by Mark Lee Gardner

“True West” calls The Earth is All That Lasts “The most ambitious American history published in 2022. For the first time, a major scholar of the West has distilled the known primary and secondary sources equally with heretofore unused Sioux Indian oral history, correspondences, memoirs, and interviews to create the finest dual-biography ever written about Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. … Through the final pages readers will have taken a literary and historical journey that will leave them with a greater understanding and perspective on one of the most heralded and written about cultural conflicts and wars in United States history.” 

The book, by Mark Lee Gardner (Rough Riders) was released by Mariner Books (Harper Collins) in June 2022 and is featured in the Montana Historical Society bookstore, though the retail price is lower on Amazon.

From the Publisher

“A magisterial dual biography of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, the two most legendary and consequential American Indian leaders, who triumphed at the Battle of Little Bighorn and led Sioux resistance in the fierce final chapter of the “Indian Wars.”

“Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull: Their names are iconic, their significance in American history undeniable. Together, these two Lakota chiefs, one a fabled warrior and the other a revered holy man, crushed George Armstrong Custer’s vaunted Seventh Cavalry. Yet their legendary victory at the Little Big Horn has overshadowed the rest of their rich and complex lives. Now, based on years of research and drawing on a wealth of previously ignored primary sources, award-winning author Mark Lee Gardner delivers the definitive chronicle, thrillingly told, of these extraordinary Indigenous leaders.

Crazy Horse, 1877, Disputed Photo – Wikipedia

“Both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were born and grew to manhood on the High Plains of the American West, in an era when vast herds of buffalo covered the earth, and when their nomadic people could move freely, following the buffalo and lording their fighting prowess over rival Indian nations. But as idyllic as this life seemed to be, neither man had known a time without whites. Fur traders and government explorers were the first to penetrate Sioux lands, but they were soon followed by a flood of white intruders: Oregon-California Trail travelers, gold seekers, railroad men, settlers, town builders—and Bluecoats. The buffalo population plummeted, disease spread by the white man decimated villages, and conflicts with the interlopers increased.

“On June 25, 1876, in the valley of the Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the warriors who were inspired to follow them, fought the last stand of the Sioux, a fierce and proud nation that had ruled the Great Plains for decades. It was their greatest victory, but it was also the beginning of the end for their treasured and sacred way of life. And in the years to come, both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, defiant to the end, would meet violent—and eerily similar—fates.

Wikipedia

“An essential new addition to the canon of Indigenous American history and literature of the West, The Earth Is All That Lasts is a grand saga, both triumphant and tragic, of two fascinating and heroic leaders struggling to maintain the freedom of their people against impossible odds.”

According to  “American Heritage,” Gardner “An authority on the American West, Gardner has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, as well as on the History Channel, the Travel Channel, and on NPR. He has written for the Los Angeles TimesTrue West, Wild West, American Cowboy, and New Mexico Magazine. He lives with his family in Cascade, Colorado.”

–Malcolm

New Title: ‘I’m Tired of Racism: True Stories of Existing While Black’ by Sharon Hurley Hall

Writer and educator, Sharon Hurley Hall (Exploring Shadeism), released this book of essays on October 1, bringing the information and wisdom of her Anti-Racism Newsletter to a wider audience.

From the Publisher

To feel empathy, you need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. If the experiences of racism in a white supremacist system seem too far away from your daily reality, I’m Tired of Racism will change that. If you think of racism as something that only happens where you are, I’m Tired of Racism will change that, too. And if you’re wondering how you can be a true ally and avoid performative nonsense, this book is an excellent starting point.

“I’m Tired of Racism” collects many of Sharon Hurley Hall’s anti-racism essays, sharing her global perspective on racism, anti-racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy, born out of experiences in the Caribbean, the UK, the US, and elsewhere. Hurley Hall has lived and worked in multiple countries, enabling her to accurately reflect what’s the same and what’s different about experiences of racism in different locations.

The foreword, by Ashanti Maya Martin, says: “Because Sharon’s experience is rooted in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Europe, she’s able to tell us how the U.S. looks from the outside in (not great at the moment), and explain how even being a citizen of a Black-majority country comes with its own layered burdens rooted in colonialism and white supremacy.”

The book is available on Kindle and in hardcover. The audiobook and paperback editions will be available soon. I have known Sharon online for possibly 20 years and look forward to seeing her newsletter in my in-basket.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the Florida Folk Magic Series about a conjure woman fighting the KKK in a 1950s-era town in the Florida Panhandle. The series begins with “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”

New Title: ‘Parables Ironic and Grotesque’

Oblique Voices Press of Portland, Oregon has released a selection of dark satire stories by author and George Fox University Professor Emeritus Douglas G. Campbell, Parables Ironic and Grotesque

From the Publisher

Irony reigns in these biting and ofttimes darkly humorous tales. Campbell invites us to ponder upon the common follies of his fellow man, highlighting such weaknesses as pride, selfishness, fear, and greed, and pointing out the further foolishness of ignoring such shortcomings. Allegorical in nature, this body of work challenges the reader to a closer look into their own frailties and deficiencies and invites him to a healthy dose of quiet introspection.

From the Foreword by Jay Beaman, PhD

The irony of this artifact, this book, is the irony of how we communicate with each other in post-speak society. In the cyber-world, I can send off a message, and a few seconds later someone else speaks back to me or at me with a tweet, but usually there is a time interval between parts of the same message. Alexander Graham Bell’s first message on the telephone, “Mr. Watson –come here- I want to see you,” was instantaneous and continuous. Cyber-communication is discontinuous, disjunctive, and in that sense ironic. Here we are just now getting around to reading a book by Doug Campbell, written when he was a great speaker, when his voice was in the moment, some years ago before his stroke. Given his current difficulty in saying words, it is ironic to read such prescient work written about our society. I hope to have lunch with Doug again in days, and our conversation will be halting, frustrating, even primitive. But here I read him with such thoughtful and deft clarity. Doug loves puns, like his painting of a frog workshop, titled “toad’s tools.” This book is filled with puns. I hope Doug will forgive me for my pun, quite in bad taste, but written with deepest empathy, I weep as I write it, that this book reads like “a stroke of genius.”

I won’t commit the faux pax of reviewing my brother’s book, though I have to say, I love puns, satire, and irony and find this collection (in those terms) a comforting read.

Malcolm

 

New Title: ‘An Inchworm Takes Wing’

Thomas-Jacob Publishing has released a new novel by Robert Hays, An Inchworm Takes Wing in Kindle and paperback editions. A hardcover edition will follow in the near future.

Description: In the tranquil solitude of a darkened Room 12 in the ICU on the sixth floor of Memorial Hospital’s Wing C, a mortal existence is drawing to an end. His head and torso swathed in bandages, his arms and legs awkwardly positioned in hard casts and layers of heavy gauze, he’s surrounded by loved ones yet unable to communicate, isolated within his own thoughts and memories.

He does not believe himself to be an extraordinary man, simply an ordinary one, a man who’s made choices, both good and bad. A man who was sometimes selfish, sometimes misguided, sometimes kind and wise. A man who fought in a war in which he lost a part of his soul, who then became a teacher and worked hard to repair the damage.

When faced with the end, how does one reconcile the pieces of an ordinary life? Does a man have the right to wish for wings to carry him to a summit he believes he doesn’t deserve to reach?

I’m looking forward to reading this!

Malcolm

News: Free book and a new title

For your consideration when you’re looking for something to read:

  • Mountain Song is free on Kindle December 2 and 3: David Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever?
  • Quotation: “After a while, the characters I’m writing begin to feel real to me. That’s when I know I’m heading in the right direction.” – Alice Hoffman
  • A Shallow River of Mercy, a new title from Robert Hays, released December 1 by Thomas-Jacob PublishingErnst Kohl has spent nearly half his life in prison after being convicted of murder as a young man. Upon his release, with nowhere else to go, Kohl returns to his old family home on the outskirts of a small Michigan town, hoping for redemption, or at least understanding. He finds a dog, a girlfriend, and a job in quick succession, and it seems as if he might finally be able to leave the past behind and make a quiet life for himself. But some of the residents, including the town’s corrupt deputy sheriff, are less than thrilled to see him, and will stop at nothing to rid the town of its infamous resident. As events hurtle to an inevitable conclusion, Kohl is left to decide: At what point might a man break, and at what cost to himself? 
  • Thanksgiving: I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving or–if needed–survived the relatives. We enjoyed a nice visit with my brother and his wife who drove up from Florida, shared wine and food and a thousand-piece puzzle, and provided a lot of great conversation. The lights and wreath went up (not by themselves) on the front door today while inside we’re wrapping gifts to hand over to the post office, hopefully for delivery.

Malcolm