Marshall, Joseph M., III 1945–
Marshall, Joseph M., III 1945–
Born 1945; married; wife's name Connie; children: six daughters, three sons.
Writer. Has worked as a teacher and craftsman. Administrator of educational and health programs for Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Founder and charter board member, Sinte Gleska University. Fellow, Sundance Institute States, 2000—. Public speaker, lecturing across the United States and in France, Sweden, and Siberia. Guest on television program The Real West, and in miniseries Return to Lonesome Dove.
Creative Nonfiction Award finalist, PEN Center USA, Books for a Better Life Award (spiritual category), Multiple Sclerosis Society of New York City, both 2002, both for The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living; Best Spoken World, Native American Music (Nammy) Awards, 2003, and Audio Publishers (Audie) Award (spiritual/inspirational category), 2004, both for audiobook version of The Lakota Way; also received Wyoming Humanities Award.
(With Robert Kammen and others) Soldiers Falling into Camp: The Battles at the Rosebud and the Little Big Horn (nonfiction), Affiliated Writers of America (Encampment, WY), 1992.
Winter of the Holy Iron (novel), Red Crane Books (Santa Fe, NM), 1994.
On Behalf of the Wolf and the First Peoples, Red Crane Books (Santa Fe, NM), 1995.
The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud, Red Crane Books (Santa Fe, NM), 1998.
The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living, Viking Compass (New York, NY), 2001.
The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History (nonfiction), Viking (New York, NY), 2004.
The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn, Viking (New York, NY), 2006.
Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance, Sterling Publishing Co. (New York, NY), 2006.
Hundred in the Hand (novel), Fulcrum Publishing (Golden, CO), 2007.
Also author of screenplays; author of "Quiet Thunder" (audio learning program based on the life and lessons of Crazy Horse).
Joseph M. Marshall III is a writer and historian who draws upon his Native American culture, that of the Lakota Sioux tribe. Marshall has worked as an administrator and educator for his tribe, as well as practicing traditional crafts and working to preserve Lakota oral traditions. In his book The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud Marshall presents nine pieces, fiction and nonfiction, that speak of life on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that it is proof of Marshall's storytelling skills that the fiction here is "nearly indistinguishable from the factual essays." According to the reviewer, Marshall paints Rosebud as a place where, despite great pressure from the Western world, the Lakota Sioux try to hold on to their identity.
In The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living Marshall offers an "elegant blend" of family anecdotes and memories along with tribal lore and legend, in the words of a Kirkus Reviews writer. The author attempts to illustrate the best qualities and habits of the Lakota way of life, and he provides guidelines for living that are beneficial for anyone. Humility, respect, and bravery are all held in high esteem, and Marshall's statements are rooted by a "sensibility that refreshingly shuns airy metaphysical rhetoric," continued the Kirkus Reviews writer. Booklist reviewer Patricia Monaghan called The Lakota Way "charming" and "wise" and concluded that the "grace and love" in its pages should be "widely shared."
Marshall recalls hearing stories of the Battle of Little Big Horn from his grandfather, and the legendary figure of Lakota warrior Crazy Horse figures prominently in those stories. A passionate man who longed to save his tribe's way of life from destruction by white settlers, Crazy Horse has often been vilified in popular fiction. In The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History Marshall reconstructs the Lakota leader's biography in the way a traditional storyteller might. The "vivid, haunting biography," commented a Publishers Weekly writer, honors Marshall's "boyhood hero worship but avoids hagiography." The book also goes beyond a simple examination of one individual to give insight into Lakota life and culture at that time. B.A. Brittingham commented in Reviewer's Bookwatch: "By sketching a picture derived from Lakota oral tradition of Crazy Horse's childhood and growth into a warrior, the author shows us something of the vanished Plains Indian way of life." In an interview with Sounds True, Marshall commented of Crazy Horse: "A large part of his legacy, for me, is that he fought to protect and preserve his community, his nation, and its way of life…. We must believe in the goodness and worthiness of who and what we are, not so much because we are the ultimate in the community of nations, but because we can contribute to the goodness of the whole world by setting the right example."
In The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn, Marshall revisits the climactic battle that marked the pinnacle of success for Native Americans in the Plains Wars of the late 19th century. Many scholars have composed studies of this battle, in which George Armstrong Custer and the U.S. 7th Cavalry suffered one of the greatest defeats ever visited on an American army by Native Americans. At the end of the day, on June 26, 1876, Lieutenant Colonel Custer, his brothers Thomas and Boston, and around 300 soldiers, civilians, and scouts were dead.
Because Custer had been a Civil War hero—he had an important role in the battle of Gettysburg—his reputation was cultivated and preserved by his admirers, notably his widow Elizabeth. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, many different versions of his story were published, and he became an icon of the American Indian wars. These versions, however, neglect or ignore the Native American version of events. Lakota history, based on oral accounts of the battle and other Native American sources, depict the fight in quite different terms. The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn puts the story of the battle in the context of Lakota history. Marshall's account, declared a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "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" traveling across the continent in a search for economic stability and freedom. The author also looks at the consequences of the Native American victory, which included "forced settlement, assimilation and dependency," stated a contributor to Publishers Weekly, after "Crazy Horse surrendered his rifle to a U.S. Army officer less than a year later." In addition, Marshall argues, Native American forces had cultural advantages that the U.S. soldiers lacked: a culture that valued and promoted leadership qualities, and a lifetime's worth of training in battle as warriors. In The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn, concluded Deborah Donovan in Booklist, "Marshall offers a thoughtful and enlightening alternative look at this iconic chapter in American history."
Marshall visits the world of Lakota spirituality in Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance. The book, which is set up as a dialog between a Native American elder named Old Hawk and a younger man, addresses a universal question: how to behave in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving. "The old man answers with a mix of stories, advice, and wisdom that give flesh and bones to the art of perseverance," explained Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spirituality & Practice. The model for perseverance, Old Hawk states, is the wolf; despite its reputation as an efficient killer, it is in fact only through repeated attempts that it achieves success. "The stories that Old Hawk shares with this young man are wonderful and heart-affecting," the Brussats concluded. "Joseph Marshall III has fashioned a Native American classic about the art of perseverance that reveals the treasures hidden within obstacles and tragedies."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, summer, 1996, Debbie Burdick, review of Winter of the Holy Iron.
Booklist, November 15, 2001, Patricia Monaghan, review of The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living, p. 528; October 15, 2004, Rebecca Maksel, review of The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History, p. 384; April 1, 2007, Deborah Donovan, review of The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn, p. 21.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2001, review of The Lakota Way, p. 1195; August 15, 2004, review of The Journey of Crazy Horse, p. 793; April 1, 2007, review of The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn.
Library Journal, September 15, 2001, Lisa Wise, review of The Lakota Way, p. 98; September 15, 2007, Ken St. Andre, review of Hundred in the Hand, p. 51.
Publishers Weekly, July 11, 1994, review of Winter of the Holy Iron, p. 65; June 29, 1998, review of The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud, p. 38; September 13, 2004, review of The Journey of Crazy Horse, p. 68; March 19, 2007, review of The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn, p. 55.
Reviewer's Bookwatch, April, 2005, B.A. Brittingham, review of The Journey of Crazy Horse.
Joseph Marshall III Home Page,http://www.thunderdreamers.com (December 29, 2007).
Sounds True,http://store.soundstrue.com/ (December 29, 2007), interview with Joseph Marshall III.
Spirituality & Practice,http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ (December 29, 2007), Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, review of Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance.