Books by Joseph Marshall III

The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage

•Transformation–how we can preserve what is fundamental even as our external circumstances change.

•Simplicity–the story of grandmother Grass Braid, who understood that “the more you know, the less you need to carry.”

•Strength and Resiliency–what the history and lore of the Lakota can teach us about growing through adversity.

•Purpose–how the world unveils our purpose to us, as revealed in story of the Keeper of the Winter Count.

Once, the Lakota people relied on the ash bow and the willow arrow to provide food and sustenance. Today, these simple tools can offer us something even more precious: a way to nourish our souls with spiritual wisdom. Joseph M. Marshall offers a book that is at once profound, honest, and rich with meaning as he reveals The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage.

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To You We Shall Return: Lessons About Our Planet from the Lakota
Hardcover 192 pages
Publisher Sterling Ethos 2010
Language: English
Author: Marshall, III, Joseph M.

“Grandmother, you who listen and hear all, you from whom all good things come…It is your embrace we feel when we return to you…” This traditional Lakota prayer to Grandmother Earth opens Joseph Marshall III's newest work, a meditation on our connection to the land and an exhortation to respect it. Using a combination of personal anecdote, detailed history, and Lakota tales, Marshall takes us back to his childhood and shows us how we, too, can learn to love our planet. Although he was educated in Euro-American schools, Marshall had the benefit of growing up with wise grandparents who taught him never to walk a path without knowing the trail from which he'd come: that the bow does not make the hunter, and above all, that the earth can be boundlessly generous-if we can learn to accept its gifts.

About the Author
Joseph M. Marshall III was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and raised by his maternal grandparents. He is an historian, educator, motivational speaker and Lakota craftsman; he has worked as both technical advisor and actor in television movies, including Return to Lonesome Dove. A recipient of the Wyoming Humanities Award, he is author of numerous collections of essays and short stories.

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The Power of Four: Leadership Lessons of Crazy Horse
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Sterling 2009
Language: English
Author: Marshall, III, Joseph M.

Those wishing to understand Crazy Horse as the Lakota know him won’t find a better account than Marshall’s.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The legendary Lakota leader receives due honor in this searching biography…a fine and necessary work.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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The Long Knives are Crying
A Novel
Author: Marshall, III, Joseph M.
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Pages: 364

The second novel in Joseph M. Marshall III's acclaimed Lakota Western series begins ten years later, in 1875, as Sitting Bull begins gathering thousands of Lakota to face the growing problem of white incursion. What follows is a sweeping tale of the Battle of the Little Bighorn (the Greasy Grass), including the days and weeks leading up to the conflict and the remarkable defeat of General George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry. Told for the first time from the Native perspective through the eyes of Cloud, the story also weaves in the lesser-known but strategically important Battle of the Rosebud and the uncertain future that faced the Lakota following victory. Once again, Marshall infuses the story with his unique voice and eye for detail, creating a page-turning Western with a style of its own.

From the Western Writers of America:
It is my great pleasure to inform you that your book, The Long Knives are Crying, has been named a finalist in the Western Writers of America 2009 Spur Awards competition for the Western Long Novel category.

Since 1952 the Western Writers of America have honored the best Western fiction, nonfiction, and film scripting.  We are honored to add you to the list of the most distinguished Western writers of the last half-century.

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Hundred in the Hand: A Novel
Author: Marshall, III, Joseph M.
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Pages: 300

Seeking to complete the compelling story of the American West, best-selling Lakota author Joseph Marshall brings a new slant to the traditional Western: historical fiction written from the Native American viewpoint.  The first novel in this new series, Hundred in the Hand, takes place during the Battle of the Hundred in the Hand, otherwise known as the Fetterman Massacre of 1866, which was an important victory for the Lakota and a turning point for both sides.  The story is told through the eyes of Cloud, a dedicated and able warrior who fought alongside a young Crazy Horse.  Beautifully written and reminiscent of the oral tradition, Hundred in the Hand brings a new depth to the story of the battle and the history of the Lakota people.

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A Lakota History
Author: Marshall, III, Joseph M.
Pages: 246
Custer's Last Stand from the Lakota point of view.

Marshall (The Lakota Way, 2001, etc.) has examined all the research on the Battle of the Little Bighorn undertaken by traditional historians and Custer "groupies."   In addition, he has studied the versions told by Lakota storytellers since that June day in 1876 when flamboyant Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer unwisely divided his force and died with all of his men on the hills above the Little Bighorn River in southern Montana.

In an eloquent introduction, the author argues for the significance and dignity of the oral tradition.  Marshall alludes appropriately to academic scholarship, but he focuses sharply on how the Lakota saw events and the impact of their last major victory on their lives thereafter.  He begins with the deaths of respected Lakota battle leader Gall's two wives and daughter—the first to fall, he avers, when a column of Custer's Seventh Cavalry fired directly into the tipis as it rode toward the enormous Lakota village in which some 10,000 Indians from various tribes had assembled.

Marshall, himself raised on a Sioux reservation, occasionally leaves the battle to instruct us in his people's history and culture, as well as their conflicts with the seemingly endless torrent of (mostly) white Americans propelled across the plains by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny.  He tells us about the great Lakota warriors and leaders: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Gall, whose value at Little Bighorn the author believes has been greatly underestimated.  

Marshall also explains the history of the bow and arrow, commends the Lakota for their discipline, martial prowess and horsemanship, explores their spiritual life and, most disturbingly, outlines the government's egregious post-battle policies, which seemed intent on destroying the Lakota way.

A profoundly loving and proudly tendentious view of a bloody battle and the fierce cultural warfare that ensued.

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Keep Going
The Art of Perseverance

Published in 2006 by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

From Staff Review
From bestselling Native American writer Joseph M. Marshall III (The Lakota Way, The Journey of Crazy Horse) comes an inspirational guide deeply rooted in Lakota spirituality.

Grandfather says this: “In life there is sadness as well as joy, losing as well as winning, falling as well as standing, hunger as well as plenty, bad as well as good. I do not say this to make you despair, but to teach you…that life is a journey sometimes walked in light and sometimes in shadow.”

Grandfather says this: “Keep going.”

When a young man’s father dies, he turns to his sagacious grandfather for comfort. Together they sit underneath the family’s cottonwood tree, and the grandfather shares his perspective on life, the perseverance it requires, and the pleasure and pain of the journey. Filled with dialogue, stories, and recollections, each section focuses on a portion of the prose poem “Keep Going” and provides commentary on the text.

Readers will draw comfort, knowledge, and strength from the Grandfather’s wise words—just as Marshall himself did.

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Walking with Grandfather
The Wisdom of Lakota Elders

First Published in 2005 by Sounds True Inc.

From Staff Review
Since the tide of interest created by Black Elk Speaks over 70 years ago, Native American lineage holders have been cautious about sharing their spiritual truths to the reading public because the essence of this wisdom has been so often misunderstood. In Walking with Grandfather, authentic Lakota lineage holder and award-winning storyteller Joseph M. Marshall breaks this silence with the very best from a lifetime of lessons passed on to him by his grandfather. With him, readers gain access to the timeless teachings that until now remained largely unheard outside the culture of the Lakota people.

"We believe that life’s gift to us is wisdom," explains Joseph M. Marshall, "and that it is the one gift that must be given back." Join this master of traditional storytelling as he takes us through the rich oral history of the Lakota—and shows us how we can rediscover the invaluable wisdom of our elders.

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The Journey of Crazy Horse
A Lakota History

First Published in 2004 by Viking

From Kirkus, Starred Review
"The Legendary Lakota leader receives due honor in this searching biography.  Those seeking a circumstantial, from-the-native's-viewpoint account of Crazy Horse's life and death will be intrigued by Marshall's respectful use of oral history, drawn from relatives who were very old when he was very young, and filled his imagination with stories about the great warrior.  A fine and necessary work."

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The Lakota Way: Stories & Lessons for Living
First Published in 2002 by Viking Compass

From Publishers Weekly,
Humility, perseverance, bravery, sacrifice and love are among the 12 values of the Lakota tribe that are presented through traditional stories and personal commentary in Joseph M. Marshall III's The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living.  The legend of White Lance and Red Willow Woman teaches the importance of love and duty, for instance, while Marshall's account of his father's battle with cancer stresses the merits of bravery.  

The lessons for life, which stress the proverbial attributes of common sense and moral vigor, may not be surprising, but the stories that frame them will be new and forceful to most.

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The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud
First Published in 1998 by Red Crane Books


Be prepared for some terrific storytelling.  A member of the Sicunga Lakota Sioux, Joseph Marshall lends his poetic voice to stories and essays of courage and survival on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  His characterizations and his depiction of the natural world go far beyond stereotypes and popular movie concepts of Native American life.
For example, the love story of Oliver Snow Bear and Phidell First Charger rivals any in history.  Separated from Oliver by a semantic misunderstanding that lands him in a government-run mental hospital, Phidell waits 30 years for the man she chose to marry.  Finally, someone realizes the error in translation and Oliver is released.  Phidell tells Oliver that--for her--there has been no other path than the one that joins his.

In "Cozy by the Fire," Jeremy Blue returns to thank the elderly couple who saved him from freezing by giving him hot stew and shelter.  He finds that every trace of their house has disappeared.  The boundary between reality and faith is blurred when he discovers that they died decades earlier!   Yet Jeremy's faith reinforces a tradition of respect, when he visits their graves each year afterward with bowls of hot stew.

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On Behalf of the Wolf and the First Peoples
First Published in 1995 by Red Crane Books

From Joseph Marshall III, from the title essay
We -- the wolf and the first peoples -- have within us a key to the future of this country and, indeed, the world.  A truth instilled by adversity.  A truth both ancient and new.
Milenniums ago we both roamed freely.  We did not destroy the land or contaminate the water or foul the air.  Our populations did not exceed the physical world's ability to support us.  We each had a place in the natural order, the Great Circle of Life, and we kept our places.  Nor did we unduly or self-righteously interfere with any other species.

The new, more recent truth comes from having stood on the brink of extinction.  It is simple and frightening.  The actions, attitudes, and policies by which Indians and wolves are "controlled" are the same that are applied to the land, air, water -- attitudes and policies that have deep roots in arrogance, ignorance, and apathy when they should be based on truth, understanding, and compassion.

For the sake of the world, we pray that non-Indians and non-wolves will see these truths.  And if these truths are seen and accepted, then we will all know that there is a natural order still, no matter how much we may have allowed technology and anthropocentrism to hide it from us.

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Winter of the Holy Iron
First Published in 1994 by Red Crane Books

From Red Crane Books
In the winter of 1750, a holy iron (flintlock rifle) and two Frenchmen are thrust into the lives of the Wolf Tail band of the Sciangu Lakota. Few white men have previously ventured onto the plains west of the Great Muddy (Missouri) River. Whirlwind, a war chief, finds his people divided in their feelings about the intrusion of the holy iron into their lives and what it could mean to their future. To Whirlwind, the thunderous noise of the white man's holy iron is the voice of death. Death not only for a person, but for what it means to be a true warrior.

By Jim Northrup
The questions raised in the story are ones that we are still struggling with today.
Does owning a gun give the right to kill?

Winter of the Holy Iron is a story that is as old as the oral tradition but as modern as the Brady Bill.

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Soldiers Falling into Camp: The Battles at the Rosebud and the Little Big Horn
First Published in 1992 by Affiliated Writers of America

From Betty Marshall
Greasy Grass better known as The Battle of Little Big Horn in this version excels in bitter truth and, in triumphant victory for the Native Americans.  Everyone would walk away with much food for thought.


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