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Lakota America


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About the Author

Pekka Hamalainen 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.


"Impressive. . . . Lakota America takes us from the 16th century to the present, with painstaking, carefully marshaled detail, but its real feat is in threading how the Lakota philosophy and vision of the world guided their reinventions and their dealings with colonial powers. . . . Hamalainen has the novelist's relish for the strange, pungent detail . . . [in this ] accomplished, and subtle, study."-Parul Sehgal, New York Times

"A comprehensive history of the tribe"-The Economist

Named One of the New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2019

"A briliant, bold, gripping history."-Simon Sebag Montefiore, London Evening Standard, Best Books of 2019

"Turned many of the stories I thought I knew about our nation inside out."-Cornelia Channing, Paris Review, Favorite Books of 2019

"[. . .] You'll catch something roiling beneath that professional composure: a lively truculence that gives this book its pulse, and its purpose. Pekka Hamalainen's impressive history is also a quarrel with the field, with how history - especially the history of indigenous Americans - has been told and sold"-Parul Sehgal, International New York Times

Shortlisted for the Mark Lynton History Prize, sponsored by the Columbia School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation.

Winner of the Western Heritage Book Award for Nonfiction, sponsored by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Winner of the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies

Winner of the 2020 Spur Award, sponsored by the Western Writers of America

Finalist in the PROSE Awards North American and U.S. History category, sponsored by the Association of American Publishers

"Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse live in history as great warriors. Hamalainen'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 Hamalainen 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

"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

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