Legends of American Indian Resistance
by Edward J. Rielly
June 2011, 341pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35209-6
$94, £70, 79€, A135
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35210-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Over the course of 400 years, Euroamericans—and later the U.S. government—took dramatic measures to usurp the native people’s land and eliminate American Indians as a culture. For example, the U.S. government enacted a policy starting in the 1870s that resulted in the slaughtering of some 20 million buffalo to force the Plains Indians to accept reservation life.

This book describes the plight of Native Americans from the 17th through the 20th century as they struggled to maintain their land, culture, and lives, and the major Indian leaders who resisted the inevitable result.

From the Indian Removal Act to the Battle of Little Bighorn to Geronimo’s surrender in 1886, the story of how Europeans settled upon and eventually took over lands traditionally inhabited by American Indian peoples is long and troubling. This book discusses American Indian leaders over the course of four centuries, offering a chronological history of the Indian resistance effort.

Legends of American Indian Resistance is organized in 12 chapters, each describing the life and accomplishments of a major American Indian resistance leader. Author Edward J. Rielly provides an engaging overview of the many systematic efforts to subjugate Native Americans and take possession of their valuable land and resources.


  • Describes important leaders from King Philip in the 17th century to Dennis Banks, Russell Means, and Mary Brave Bird in the 20th century
  • Presents a timeline citing significant events in history as they pertain to American Indian resistance
  • Includes various historical photographs and illustrations
  • Provides a bibliographic selection of recommended readings at the conclusion of each chapter as well as a more comprehensive bibliography at the end of the book
  • Contains 24 sidebars that provide additional historical context and information about each leader
Edward J. Rielly is professor of English at Saint Joseph's College of Maine, Standish, ME. His published works include approximately 20 books, including F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography; Sitting Bull: A Biography; and The 1960s.


"Well-framed and executed, this work captures in overview the story of inundation and inevitable loss to superior forces. Highly recommended."—Booklist, October 15, 2011

"an excellent documented resource for Native American Studies and Americans who desire to become more completely informed about their history."—Midwest Book Review, July 1, 2011
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