Friday, March 28, 2008

Counting Coup

Crow, Joseph Medicine. 2003. Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. ISBN 0792253914

Plot Summary
This book is a recounting of Joseph Medicine Crow's life story infused with stories of his Indian heritage. Joe is working with the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian to help preserve his family stories.

Critical Analysis
This book begins by explaining what it means to "count coup" in the Crow culture. The narrator then goes on to show how during his lifetime, which was after the tribal days, he was successful in counting coup for himself during World War II, even though he didn't think of what he did in those terms. There are a few pictures of "his people" in the center of the book.

When I sat down to read this book, I read half of it at one time. It is easily read and well written. The reader gets a slice of reality of the narrator's life. It is not sensationalized or crying out for sympathy, nor is it a comprehensive history of the Crow people. It is biography.

I found the story about General Custer very interesting because I've been to the battlefield grounds. I enjoyed reading about the Crow, as I know little about that specific tribe.

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