The Earth is All That Lasts: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the Last Stand of the Great Sioux Nation; Mark Lee Gardner

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Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull: Their names are iconic, their significance in American history undeniable. Together, these two Lakota chiefs, one a fabled warrior and the other a revered holy man, crushed George Armstrong Custer's vaunted Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. Yet Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, arguably the most famous American Indians to ever live, have never had their full stories told in one book.

Both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were born and grew to manhood on the high plains of the American West, in an era when vast herds of buffalo covered the earth, and when their nomadic people could move freely, following the buffalo and lording their fighting prowess over rival tribes. But as idyllic as this life seemed to be, neither man had known a time without whites, whether it was the early fur traders or government explorers. As time went on, the number of white intruders onto Sioux land began to grow dramatically: Oregon-California Trail travelers, gold seekers, railroad men, settlers, town builders--and Bluecoats. The buffalo population crashed, disease spread by the white man decimated villages, and conflicts with the white interlopers increased.

On June 25, 1876, in the valley of the Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the warriors who were inspired to follow them, fought the last stand of the Sioux, a fierce and proud nation that had ruled the Great Plains for decades. It was their greatest victory, but it was also the beginning of the end for their treasured and sacred way of life. And in the years to come, both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, defiant to the end, would meet tragic--and eerily similar--fates.

An essential new addition to the canon of Indigenous American history and literature of the West, The Earth Is All That Lasts is a grand saga, both triumphant and tragic, of two fascinating and heroic leaders struggling to maintain the freedom of their people against impossible odds.
June 21, 2022
About the Author
Mark Lee Gardner grew up in rural Missouri in the small town of Breckenridge (pop. 500), in the heart of historic Jesse James country. He's written extensively about the American West, on subjects such as the Santa Fe Trail, George Armstrong Custer, Bent's Old Fort, Geronimo, and Billy the Kid. His book on the 1876 Northfield raid by the notorious James-Younger gang, Shot All To Hell, received the Western Writers of America Spur Award for best western nonfiction historical book, the Best Book Award from the Wild West History Association, and the Milton F. Perry Award for Best Nonfiction Book. His Rough Riders, published in 2016, received the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award, the Father Thomas J. Steele Award for History, and the Colorado Book Award for Biography.

Mark's most recent book is The Earth Is All That Lasts: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the Last Stand of the Great Sioux Nation, released by Mariner Books in 2022. Mark spent five years researching and writing this dual biography, examining rare documents and artifacts in archives and museums across the country, from Chicago's Newberry Library to Cody's Buffalo Bill Center of the West. And he visited numerous historic sites all over the northern plains, even crossing the "holy line" into Canada, where Sitting Bull and his followers spent four years in exile.

True West magazine proclaimed The Earth Is All That Lasts the "Best Historical Nonfiction Book" of 2022.

In addition to his historical research and writing, Mark is also a performer of the historic music of the American West. His most recent CD is Outlaws: Songs of Robbers, Rustlers, and Rogues.

Mark's passions include rare books and ephemera; historic photography; old-time, bluegrass, and classic country music; and hunting, mainly calling up gobblers in the spring.

Mark holds a master's degree in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and a bachelor's degree in history and journalism (double major) from Northwest Missouri State University. He's married with two children and lives with his family at the foot of majestic Pikes Peak.

Follow Mark on Instagram: mark_lee_gardner

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