In 1890, on Indian reservations across the West, followers of a new religion danced in circles until they collapsed into trances. In an attempt to suppress this new faith, the US Army killed over two hundred Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. In God's Red Son, historian Louis Warren offers a startling new view of the religion known as the Ghost Dance, from its origins in the visions of a Northern Paiute, named Wovoka, to the tragedy in South Dakota. To this day, the Ghost Dance remains widely mischaracterized as a primitive and failed effort by Indian militants to resist American conquest and return to traditional ways. In fact, followers of the Ghost Dance sought to thrive in modern America by working for wages, farming the land, and educating their children, tenets that helped the religion endure for decades after Wounded Knee. God's Red Son powerfully reveals how Ghost Dance teachings helped Indians retain their identity and reshape the modern world.
“God’s Red Son is riveting and transcendent—a magnificent new interpretation that reveals the Ghost Dance as a beacon to modernity, lighting the way to the future. Like Wovoka himself, Louis Warren speaks to all of us navigating the difficult terrain between past realities and present prospects.”
—Elizabeth Fenn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, University of Colorado Boulder
“Louis Warren is one of the most original historians writing today. He has an uncanny ability to see what others have missed and to convey it in a clear compelling narrative.”
—Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University