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Paperback Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance Book

ISBN: 0312263805

ISBN13: 9780312263805

Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance

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Book Overview

In September of 2022, twenty-five years after Leonard Peltier received a life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents, the DNC unanimously passed a resolution urging President Joe Biden to release him. Peltier has affirmed his innocence ever since his sentencing in 1977--his case was made fully and famously in Peter Matthiessen's bestselling In the Spirit of Crazy Horse--and many remain convinced he was wrongly convicted.


Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Spirits Cry Through His Writings

"Prison Writings", by Leonard Peltier, is quite an eye-opener. This political prisoner maintains his innocence and demonstrates it through his heart and compassion. At times, each chapter appears to be a stream of consciousness dependent on his mood (he wrote it in prison where he still remains), but he always evaluated his mood and came back full circle and has come to terms that he may never leave but that his hope in humanity might help lift him and thousands of others wrongfully imprisoned.His words have compelled me to do further research and there are many related books, articles and even a documentary film by Robert Redford titled "Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story". I encourage everyone to read it and watch the film available through rental or purchase. Whether you believe in his innocence or not is not the point. The point is that our current system remains flawed despite the cold hearts that are too scared to take a serious look into their conscience.Leonard Peltier has definitely changed my once hardened heart. I am still a cynic and angry often, but thinking about his struggles through unfair justice keeps me focused. It is an easy read if you don't mind the harsh realities of our justice system, or lack thereof!"Mitakuye Oyasin!" Learn this meaning from his book - it will serve you well in your life.

Whether or not you believe . . .

.Whether or not you believe that Leonard Peltier really murdered two FBI agents in cold blood, you must read this book. The United States imprisons more people, *and* more people per capita, than any other nation in the world! Leonard's poignant book gives the reader a feel for *one* story of life behind bars. Not a journal or a story, per se, but a series of reflections, of meditations, of poems about life as a prisoner, life as a *political* prisoner in the Land of the Free.You, who read this, with access to a personal computer, cannot begin to wrap your life around the experience of being caged. Of having every aspect of your life regulated. You, who grew up white, privileged, cannot wrap your mind around the experience of being beaten up simply because you spoke your native language. You, who grew up on land you "owned," have insulated yourself from imagining the pain of having your people destroyed, your culture outlawed, and your identity trampled into the mud.So don't buy this book. Your will be able to continue your life comfortably. You'll be able to proceed with that warm fuzzy feeling that things are OK with the world, and that even if agent Fox Mulder has died, the FBI is really on *your* side. Don't buy this book. You don't want to begin to feel what Leonard feels, caged in Leavenworth. Don't buy this book, it's easier to pretend that *those* people deserve to be locked up, that *those* people are animals, that the *justice* system really works most of the time. Don't buy this book, you don't want to have any inkling about what it feels like when justice miscarries.Leonard Peltier wasn't (Mark) Rich enough for a Clinton pardon. He has exhausted his legal appeals. Prison Writings tells you what he will probably experience until he dies in Leavenworth. Since he's been sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus seven years, he wonders, will they keep his body in jail after he dies to get that second term?Enough polemics. The book briefly recounts Leonard's history, the story of the shooting at Pine Ridge, and his trial. It intersperses his poetry with stories. His anger comes across loud and clear. There's a chapter about the massacre at Wounded Knee. I can't read that chapter without the tears rolling down my face. 300 women and children, surrounded by U. S. Cavalry, mowed down with cannon fire & gatling guns. 20 Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded for this atrocity. Leonard doesn't pull any punches. He conveys, quite effectively, that we live in a land where systematic genocide and ethnic cleansing have nearly destroyed the indigenous people and enabled *us* to benefit greatly. While we look down our noses at the Nazi holocaust, we ignore the American holocaust. I wonder, is it any more *wrong* to lather your body with Jew soap, or to build your home on land soaked with the blood of the people who came before you?Much easier to point our fingers at the Nazis and to smugly feel that we'd never participate in anything so horr

Inspiring- I Simply Could Not Put this Book Down

One summer day I found myself to be extremely bored, so I ventured to my local bookstore hoping to find something worth reading. Suddenly, a book caught my eye, that being "Prison Writings" The grey cover blended in with the shelves, yet the book stood out on its own. I immediately picked it up. It took me about 4 hours to read. I began to think long and hard, it only took four hours to give me a completely different perspective on life, thanks to the inspiring accounts of Leonard Peltier.Peltier has experienced horror, disappointment, racism, and stripped of his rights, yet this book has an uncanny sensitivity to it, he is not bitter. Rather, he accounts his shortcomings extensively with a tone of hope throughout the book.Peltier goes into great detail about the fateful June 26 1975 on his Pine Ridge reservation. He was led to escape by following an eagle, showing the spirtuality of the Natives that is often supressed. He also discusses the coercion of the FBI which eventually led to his arrest, and instead of being bitter, he shares his pain with the families of the killed FBI agents. This token of character demonstrates how courageous Peltier is, and why he is a hero to many.Unfortunately former President Clinton refused to pardon Peltier, which is yet another disappointment. Yet he still has hope and shows great appreciation to his fellow supporters.Simply put: "Prison Writings" is a detailed and enlightening account of the life of Leonard Peltier. Furthermore, it reveals his indestructible character and love for his people. Instead of writing a book to complain (which too many people do) he stays bold, strong, courageous, and hopeful of the future of himself and his people, therby making him a hero and his book an inspiring and unique read.

Stirring...a must read if you have any compassion

This well written book not only makes you have more compassion for Leonard Peltier, it also boils the blood to know he is still incarcerated for a wrong he has not committed.I could not put this book down once I started reading it. In one day it was finished. It also reminded me of a saying of my generation, "Question Authority."Leonard has in these writings opened his soul and presented the reader with a look into his life as U.S.P. #89637-132. The reading saddened me, but at the same time it stirred emotions of anger.The documented lies that led to his arrest and conviction have done nothing to speed his release. Mr. President, you have the power with the touch of your pen to right this terrible wrong.In the Spirit of Leonard, ho!

Anguished, yet Optimistic; Angry, yet Forgiving; PROFOUND

Having myself been at one time a skeptic of Peltier's fantastic claims, I became convinced of his innocence after poring over the considerable & incontrovertible evidence that clearly proves this man is a victim of political repression. But this book is only secondarily about how Peltier was purposely made a scapegoat by an out-of-control, Gestapo-esque FBI, and by a few unscrupulous scoundrels within Department of Justice [sic]. (That astonshing, disturbing history has been recounted elsewhere, e.g., "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" or "Agents of Repression".)Instead, in "Prison Writings" Peltier focuses more on the continuing historical struggle of his people to be treated with dignity and equality; offers insights into the realities of contemporary Indian existence beyond the sham portrayals in popular culture; and shows how his perceptions and opinions have been molded by his own experiences, from childhood to the starkness of prison life.To be honest, I had not expected Peltier's book to be so well written, profound, and powerful; after all, Peltier's involvement with the American Indian Movement was not that of a fiery public speaker, decision-maker, or clever stager of outrageous stunts for the media (like some of AIM's leaders). Instead, Peltier's work with AIM was characterized by his preference to quietly perform the unglamorous yet neccessary tasks to serve his people (e.g., hauling water to homes with no plumbing, making home repairs, babysitting, fixing cars, chastising teenagers to be abstinent from alcohol and drugs, chopping firewood, etc).Yet despite his humble background and his avoid-the-limelight personality, Peltier's eloquence, wit/humor, irony, and heart-wrenching passion displayed in this book, betrays a depth of clear-thinking, maturity, and courage that is seldom seen in our world. After reading his book, it is no wonder that among all the infighting and divisions within AIM, it was Peltier who was universally trusted and respected by all those in the movement, and admired by the common people for whom he has now sacrificed most of his life to serve and protect.From one of justice's greatest tragedies comes this powerful offering of wisdom, and an indictment of the fallacy of "The Great American Dream".
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