"The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West"

Nov 22, 2016

On this edition of ST, we speak with the author Peter Cozzens, who has written several acclaimed books on the Civil War and the American West. He chats with us about his newest book, which is just out: "The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West." Per Douglas Brinkley, writing for The New York Times Book Review, this book is "a detailed recounting of random carnage, bodies burned, treaties broken, and treachery let loose across the land.... Cozzens admirably succeeds in framing the Indian Wars with acute historical accuracy.... [He] demonstrates vast knowledge of American military history." And further, as was noted at Amazon.com, which named this title a Best Book of November 2016: "Why write a book about the Indian Wars when we already have Dee Brown's seminal 1970 account, 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'? It turns out there's a very good reason. While Dee Brown's book greatly informed our modern view of the conflict between Native Americans and the United States government, it didn’t get everything right. Put very simply, the Indians weren't all good and the white people weren't all bad. In fact, especially with the Native Americans, it was much more complicated than that. As an example, inter-tribe rivalries led to strategic decisions -- like siding with the U.S. government -- that made sense given the landscape of power. This is a story of survival, one that unfolds under the shadow of a predetermined tragedy. If you're at all interested in the Indian Wars, this scrupulous and even-handed account is essential reading."