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Prison Writings: My Life is My Sun Dance (1999)

de Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden (Editor)

Altres autors: Ramsey Clark (Prefaci), Arvol Looking Horse (Introducció)

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412948,712 (3.73)5
Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier received a life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents. He has affirmed his innocence ever since--his case was made fully and famously in Peter Matthiessen's bestsellingIn the Spirit of Crazy Horse--and many remain convinced he was wrongly convicted.Prison Writingsis a wise and unsettling book, both memoir and manifesto, chronicling his life in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Invoking the Sun Dance, in which pain leads one to a transcendent reality, Peltier explores his suffering and the insights it has borne him. He also locates his experience within the history of the American Indian peoples and their struggles to overcome the federal government's injustices.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 9 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Matthiessen's book covers this much better. This is not compelling writing, though the subject matter is. ( )
  shaundeane | Sep 13, 2020 |
A sun dance is a ritual that includes (among other things I'm sure) self-mutilation. Spiritual awakening occurs at a sun dance when prayer and pain negate the self in service to a higher power, the Great Mystery. The metaphor is poignant. Leonard Peltier is a spiritual warrior for his people, and the massive repression that he and the American Indian Movement have suffered have caused him enormous suffering. But suffering is something he has been prepared to shoulder through these sacred sun dances.

Even though Leonard Peltier is not a superlative writer, I appreciate reading his words as he no doubt very carefully wrote them. You can read the anger at the treatment of Leonard Peltier's people in every word of this book. You can sense his sense of injustice, but on top of all of that you can sense his determination to keep alive, as he insists his people have done, in the face of massive amounts of oppression.

The historical memoir of Leonard Peltier's time in the American Indian Movement was my favorite part of the book. Peltier was a hunted fugitive since he was teenager, with arbitrary legal troubles hounding him since he was old enough to go to jail, just like all Native youth. Leonard Peltier had no choice but to rebel, or die forgotten and let his people die forgotten as well. And rebel he did, as a part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs occupation, as part of fishing rights protests, and as part of the spiritual protection he was attempting at Oglala when a FBI agents and paramilitary rightwing GOON (funded by the US government) shot wildly into the area, starting the infamous "Incident at Oglala."

One of the images that will stay with me, though, is a much more personal one: the sweat lodge set up by Peltier and other native prisoners in the corner of the recreation area of the prison, the source of their religion and of the spiritual strength that keeps them alive and strong for their people. It's a breathtaking description.

Because of this book, I would like to read a more in depth book about the incidents described. I plan on picking up [book:In the Spirit of Crazy Horse|57585] by [author:Peter Matthiessen|6975]

The book design is strange. The book is much taller than it is wide, making for a narrow page area. And the type is very large, with perhaps 100% leading between the lines. It makes the book a quick read, and very legible, but its awkward shape bothered me throughout.

I would pair the reading of this book for newcomers to the Leonard Peltier case with the article "I Am Obama's Prisoner Now"
http://www.republicoflakotah.com/2009/i-am-obamas-prisoner-now-leonard-peltier-s... ( )
  magonistarevolt | Apr 21, 2020 |
Review: Prison Writings by Leonard Pelter.

A memoir that is interesting with some embedded history of a man, Leonard Pelter that was found guilty by officials and the courts. This book is about how over time he accepted his life in prison after many appeals because he claims he is innocent of murdering two FBI agents in 1977. He feels his race as a Native American is the real reason he still sits in prison and not home on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

As you followed Leonard Pelter on his journey with Indian issues by joining the AIM (American Indian Movement) to defend the rights of his people but it did no good. He has experience intense fear, sad disappointment, racism, lost family members, and stripped of all his rights, yet in this book he accounts his shortcomings extensively with a quiet quest throughout the book and talks with a soft tone and is not bitter.

He even talks about how US Presidents would not give him a pardon, yet he still has hope and shows great appreciation to his fellow supporters. I think it will be up to the readers to make their own opinions about if he is guilty and not guilty. It’s a heartfelt story that even in today’s society racism is still being used unfairly…. ( )
  Juan-banjo | Sep 23, 2019 |
There is something very moving in this book, which is a testimony of a life. And it isn't the mere chain of events that brought a man in prison in spite of his innocence. It is the strength that oozes from every page, Peltier's simple and yet shockingly strong act of resistance: refusing to become a victim. Be true to himself, to his beliefs, to his people. The act of choosing who he is and will be, no matter who others try to turn him into.
I'm happy I read it. ( )
  JazzFeathers | Jul 27, 2016 |
This is a poignant and truth filled book written by Leonard Peltier, who is still incarcerated unjustly by the federal government for a crime they admit he did not commit.

Leonard tells of the events leading up to his unjust incarceration, the many attempts made on his life by the feds while being incarcerated, and his undying faith in Tunkashila (Creator) and his life on this here Canka Luta Waste (Good Red Road).

Leonard Peltier is a hero in no uncertain terms.

Mi Takuye Oyacin ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Leonard Peltierautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Arden, HarveyEditorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Clark, RamseyPrefaciautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Looking Horse, ArvolIntroduccióautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier received a life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents. He has affirmed his innocence ever since--his case was made fully and famously in Peter Matthiessen's bestsellingIn the Spirit of Crazy Horse--and many remain convinced he was wrongly convicted.Prison Writingsis a wise and unsettling book, both memoir and manifesto, chronicling his life in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Invoking the Sun Dance, in which pain leads one to a transcendent reality, Peltier explores his suffering and the insights it has borne him. He also locates his experience within the history of the American Indian peoples and their struggles to overcome the federal government's injustices.

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