The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, by Peter Cozzens (Knopf, 576 pp., $35)
They came on horses and with guns, a martial culture overrunning a more peaceful one unprepared to meet the fight. It was a stunning and successful invasion over a short period of time. The invaders treated the indigenous people as barely human. They committed unspeakable acts of brutality. Those not massacred fled from their homeland, never to return.
The invaders were the Lakota, a Siouxan tribe who swept west in the 1700s, taking for themselves the most prized hunting grounds throughout the Great Plains. Or, to put it in the words of one of their chiefs, “These lands once belonged to the Kiowas and Crows, but we whipped these nations out of them, and in this we did what the white men do when they want the lands of Indians.”