Where White Men Fear To Tread The Autobiography of Russell Means
"Indian people are dying of sympathy," declares legendary activist Means. "What we want is respect." His unwieldy yet absorbing epic conveys his furious, resourceful activism, intertwined with (and sometimes overshadowed by) his own dramatic, messy life--including heavy drinking, attempts on his life, a stint in prison and several rocky marriages. "Conscientized" by the American Indian Movement at 30, Means helped define Indian rage, leading an occupation of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and, in 1973, an armed takeover of Wounded Knee in protest of a corrupt Lakota tribal government. Assisted by historian Wolf, Means tells his story with vernacular frankness, regularly slamming Eurocentrism. While Means's love for his people and his anger at America's historic depredations seem genuine, his conclusion steals some of his thunder (and contradicts his opposition to intermarriage): after finally entering therapy to cope with his anger, he determines that "feelings and relationships" matter far more than race or culture.
“It's impossible to stop reading [Mean's] gripping autobiography . . . Few readers will leave the book without feeling profoundly altered by the authenticity of Mean's story. It's American history--warts, wounds, and all.” San Francisco Chronicle Book Review