In this award-winning collective biography, acclaimed author and historian Russell Freedman profiles six Western chiefs who led their people in a time of crisis: Red Cloud of the Oglala Sioux, Santanta of the Kiowas, Quanah Parker of the Comanches, Washakie of the Shoshonis, Joseph of the Nez Perces, and Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Sioux. Each man had to decide whether his people should fight or cooperate with the white pioneers encroaching on their lands, and each faced the decision in his own way.
As told by Newbery Medalist Freedman, each of the six accounts is fascinating in content and unsentimental in tone. The chiefs come to life in all their human complexity — they are family men as well as visionaries, poets as well as fierce warriors. Freedman does not romanticize the Native American viewpoint, nor does he judge the white: he presents a factual account of cultures in conflict and trusts young readers to draw their own conclusions. Striking period prints and black-and-white photographs add to the immediacy of the text, and an approachable bibliography is included, making Indian Chiefs an excellent first stop for research projects.