Rumors of War: A review of Birthed from Scorched Hearts

and The Day the World Ended at Little Big Horn

Review By Dawn Karima Pettigrew

News From Indian Country 9-09

Amidst a swirl of interest in war and its aftermath, two recent releases focus on the emotional, ecological, historical, political and social impact that combat creates. Cherokee poet and writer Marijo Moore has compiled and edited an anthology, Birthed from Scorched Hearts, that views the complex effects of warfare through a variety of ethnic eyes. Joseph M. Marshall III’s outstanding chronicle of Lakota history, looks at an important conflict through Indian viewpoints. Each of these books represents a fascinating way or examining wars and their lasting influence on individuals and cultures.

Essays, poems, stories, personal accounts and dramatic plays fill the pages of Moore’s anthology. Birthed from Scorched Hearts contains the accounts of women who respond to the acts of war through creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, autobiography and biography. Moore is a sensitive and skillful editor, which contributes to the worth and value of this book. The authors in this text range from victims to combatants, prisoners to scholars, artists to involved personnel. As a result, this book features the perspectives of women from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Native America, Asia and beyond. A moving collection of ideas and insights, Birthed from Scorched Hearts, is a timely companion for the stories of war and cultural clashes that fill the nightly news.

The Day the World Ended at Little Big Horn offers insights into the historical, social and political contexts that changed the world of the Great Plains drastically.  Oustanding Lakota historian, Joseph M. Marshall III combines gender issues, tribal identity, culture and traditions and the threat of outsiders and interlopers into a balanced account of the Lakota people’s warfare with the United States and its allies. This book reads smoothly and teaches history with ease and grace.

While the participants in wars change regularly, many of the emotions and results remain similar. Each of these well-written books demonstrates the role of warfare in human history, without glorifying or trivializing the impact of such contests. Therefore, Birthed from Scorched Hearts and The Day the World Ended at Little Big Horn represent significant contributions to the study of war and its effects.


Moore, Marijo. Birthed from Scorched Hearts. Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 2008, 357 pages, ISBN:978-1-55591-665-7.


Marshall, Joseph M. III.  The Day the World Ended at Little Big Horn.  NY: Penguin, 2007, 262 pages, ISBN:978-0-14-311369-0.