Best of the West Biographies book cover

QBC E99.7201LAN                

Best of the West Biographies:  Crazy Horse American Indian Leader
by Elaine Landau
Enslow Publishers, Inc
Jan 2005

Pages 48

Grade: 5 - 8

Rating :   Harmful - stereotypical



Best of the West Biographies uses a childlike tone to tell a non-Native version of a story about Crazy Horse.  If we read the “Editor’s Note,” a paragraph in eight pitch font we find that the publisher is aware that the term “Sioux” is often considered offensive, but since Crazy Horses people are still often referred to as Sioux (by the non-Indian purchasing public) they are going to use the term anyway and write the book anyway.  Not meaning any disrespect of course to the Lakota, Nakota, or Dakota People.

Through subtle hints we find that Crazy Horse was of questionable character. Young Native readers will leave with the impression that they are somehow less, for believing Crazy Horse a Hero.  Native Americans are portrayed as a hostile, tricky and unscrupulous, but in a light hearted tone.  This is a very ethnocentric view that shows that the publisher and author wield their white privilege well and expect to sell this book to Non-Native peoples. Offensive!

Marlette Grant-Jackson – ITEPP-CRC

More Resources

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New perspectives on THE WEST

Indigenous Peoples' Literature

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