tv Deanne Stillman Blood Brothers CSPAN March 30, 2018 7:07pm-8:03pm EDT
>> good afternoon and welcome to the historic trinity united methodist church. we feel so or chant to be in this beautifulee space by the generosity of jack and mary romanos. i'm honored to serve as a volunteer for the 11th annual savannah book festival and i'm so glad you also are parsed as a dating this year's festival periods presented by georgia power david and nancy citroen machine family foundation and mark and pat stillman. would also like to thank our wonderful literati members as well as individual sponsors and donors who have made and continue to make saturday at the book festival a free event. 90% of that revenue for the savannah book festival in fact comes from donors like you so thank you very much. we are excited to have a savannah book festival app available this year so please look in your program if you would like information on downloading that app to your telephone.
before we get started a couple of housekeeping notes. immediately following this presentation our authors deanne stillman will be signing festival purchased copies of her book in the square. if you intend to stay in this venue for the presentation that will follow this presentation please move forward in away make room for people who are coming into the big front doors but a couple of technology announcementss could we ask you to take just a minute right now to doublecheck your cell phone is turned off or at least in silent mode so we won't have electronic interruptions during the talk and the other is if you have cell phones for which you want to take photographs please make sure that you don't use a flash. finally for the question-and-answer portion i'm going to ask that you raise your hand. i will make eye contact with one of the t ushers who will bring a microphone to you. please don't begin your question until you have a microphone in your hand and in the interest of
fairness to the other attendees and their efforts to make as much as possible happen please make sure you limit yourself to just one question and that your question is actually a question rather than a comment or a story. deanne stillman is with us today courtesy of dave and bob irwin and christina and jim colin sure. deanne stillman is a widely published critically acclaimed writer. her latest book is "blood brothers". it's a story aboutwr the strange friendship between sitting bull and buffalo bill. it also tells the story of annie oakley who was a friend of both of these men. the book received a starred review from kirkus and was named by true west magazine as the best book of 2017. deanne stillman is also the author of desert reckoning which is the winner of the spur award in the los angeles press club
award for best nonfiction. her book mustang was an "l.a. times" the best book of the year and was released an audio with angelica houston francis fisher andre others. she is also the author of twentynine palms the los angeles times best book of the year witch hunter compton called quote is strange and brilliant story by an important american writer. we have that important american writer with us today so please give the burial warm savannah welcome to deanne stillman. [applause] >> thank you so much savannah and the savannah book festival. c-span, trinity united methodist church and my sponsors. it's really great to be here. as you know i am here to talk about my latest book is "blood
brothers" which is about the strange friendship between mysitting bull and buffalo bill with kind of a corollary appearance from annie oakley. i'm going to read a few excerpts and talk about my journey through the story and then take some questions from you all afterwards. first i want to talk to you a bit about how i came to write this. this very strange story about a strange friendship. some time ago while working on my luck mustang the saga of the wild horse in the american west, i learned about the strange and heartbreaking moment that had transpired outside of sitting bull's cabin while he was
assassinated during an ambush. the horse was tethered to a railing and at the sound of gunfire he started to dance. trained to do such a thing while he was in the wild west buffalo bills famous spectacle of which sitting bull was a part during 1885. i couldn't shake the image and as i began to look into it i learned that the horse was a gift to sitting bull from buffalo bill per sitting-- presented sitting bull when he was to go home and his home at that time was standing rock or the fact that sitting bull had given sitting bull the horse upon his departure was significant that this isos the animal would transform the west and was stripped from the tribe in order to vanquish them. it was a gift that's sitting bull treasure go along with the
hat as well. after sitting bull was killed buffalo bill brought the horse back from sitting bull's widow and according to some accounts was in a parade and then the horse disappears from the record it was the legend of the dancing horse that led me into the story of sitting bull and buffalo bill for it symbolize so much. as i thought about outside of sitting bull's dwelling as is killing was underway a portal into something else opened up. a strange voices coming through the portal. [laughter] where was i? portal, right. the portal opened up and exactly
what i was not sure of at the time other than the fact that he was my next story and it was calling in at some point i was on the trail. later as i was well along the path i came across another image it's now on the cover of this book and it captured my attention. it was taken for purposes while sitting bull and buffalo bill were on shore in montréal and its caption was friends in 85. i began to imagine these two men on the road, sitting bull on the horse crisscrossing the nation and the land thatsi once belongd to the dakota appearing as himself on crowded thorough fairs built on top of ancient paths made by animals and the people who follow them with william f. cody another mythical figure of the great plains reenacting the wartime scenarios that had one outcome.
the red moon and the victory of the white leading in the celebration of the wild west that became the national scripture. what were the forces that are out these two men together i wondered and what was the nature of their alliance? were they each trapped in the persona? and behind the myth projected ideas in which they were first served and whond were they in day-to-day life. there was certainly an unlikely partnership but one thing was obvious on its space both have names that were forever linked with the buffalo. one man was credited with wiping out the species so that was partly the case and the other was to stand by its life. they were in effect the sides of the same coin and just as the photo caption on the poster.
this image entered my consciousness. here were two american superstars, icons not just of their era and country but for all kind and around the world. what story was as pictured telling and how was it connected to the dancing horse outside of sitting bull's cabin? now a little bit about all of these questions. i can't answer all of them but there are a few spots. first of all something i do in my book as i recount the stories of each man from the cradle to the grave literally and i kind of track their paralleled histories. both men grew up on the frontier both came from very rough circumstances.
both were quite revered in their own tribes. both became superstars. they were husbands, fathers, sons, warriors. they shared a bloody history. they were enemies for quite some time until they hooked up and buffalo bills wild west show. so here is a little bit about cody. in europe he was known as nature's nobleman. the sophistication of western civilization. in america he was king of the old west a title he deserves. he was a hunter scout shooter writer warrior and man of adventure. his experience rendered him a kind of wise men and presidents and generals sought his advice. his friends include mark twain
block busters who could drink him under the table and might have even been better writers. art students from foreign lands. he was open to all. he had no heirs. what you saw was what you got even if what you saw was sometimes a mirage. he was the simplest of men and annie oakley would say is comfortable with cowboys as with kings. before the term was linked to his name william f. cody grew up in the wild wild west. just a boy who played with the indiansus on the rate planes and perhaps even members of sitting bull's tribe. he would pass the territory in
kansas as they, follow the buffalo. so2 by his own account did he kill an indian in his youth and when he was employed as a wagon train man. but of course he was not aware of the curtain would soon fall underway of life and he with her dissipate in that last act as well as try t to preserve what came before. once he was just a boy who helps a struggling family eke out a living on the frontier. so how he came to hook up with sitting bull is ann amazing part of this story. after the battle of the little bighorn during which custer was killed as i hope all of you know , sitting bull was blamed for killing custer which was not true. he did not pull the trigger but he was nearby and he certainly was a fat during the battle.
in fact his men were all over the battlefield as i recounted my book but because of this very humiliating defeat for the u.s. calvary and great victory for the lakota and the cheyenne, the native americans who were involved in the battle fled northward into the arms of the grandmother in canada because they were branded as hostile and had to leave their homeland or be arrested. so sitting bull took his people to canada and they lived there in exile for a number of years. at some point they were forced toy leave by the canadian government after being pressured buy american authorities and the buffalo are vanishing as well. there was-- sitting bull was caught in the
squeeze play and he returned to the dakota territory, his homeland. he was quite well-known, it implements at that point i should say. they didn't have the term public enemy number one then but i use it in my book. he had become public enemy number one. he was the guy who killed custer a great civil war hero and pretty notorious for his role in the indian war. so when he turned himself in with his people and his children including his young son and his son surrendered his rifle andnda very poignant ceremony which i describe in my book, he makes a point of saying the reason he came back was he wanted to make sure his children could see how the white man was living and learn to endure and assimilate into this new culture.
he was so famous then that people come the soldiers would surround him and want his autograph and just kind of soak up some of his mojo. he was a celebrity. a lot of people were courting him for their wild west shows so there were a number of circus is traveling the country including which featured cowboys and indians and animals too.ke he hooked up with a couple of troops and traveled around. wthe reason native americans joined some of the shows was because it was this is great i get to appear in the shows. it was a way off the reservation and a way for them to leave the reservation. he wasn't really treated very well in many shows. this was one of the great
americans of all time and he was known and still is revered around the world. he was not treated with respect in the shows until cody came along b and cody came after him for a long time putting new sitting bull was a big score. he knew having him in his show would bring in a lot of money and by then cody himself was a huge superstar as well. after the little bighorn he had avenged coasters death by scalping in indiana and then returning to the stage in new york and elsewhere on the east coast and reenacting the scalping of yellow hand and then brandishing the scalp. but cody was a showman and he
had been h acting for some time and he just really cranked it up at this point. so he was able to convince sitting bull to join his show because of his stature. he promised him, i think he was paid more than anybody else in the show. sitting bull was in baseball terms a free agent. he kind of wrote his own ticket at that time to be able to sell his own autograph. as other people in the show were doing. cody of course agreed to all of this and really wanted sitting bull in the show but another reason is sitting bull agreed to travel with cody was the fact that annie oakley was already and the show. he had met her while traveling to st. paul, minnesota with an
army official a couple of years before hooking up with cody and he was impressed with their shooting skills and sent her a note backstage. he became a fan and they struck up an immediate friendship and he gave her the nickname middle -- little miss sure shot which actually translated and do something else. you will have to read my book to find that out. like a lot of things at that time a lot of native american language it was a missed translation but it doesn't really matter in terms of heree career because when you i think about it who would annie oakley become with that nick name, little sure shot. he really branded her so having found out she had been hired by cody, thatn was one other thing that made him join up and there
were a couple of other things the most important of which was the fact that he wanted to get to washington, d.c. to meet the grandfather and the president. he wanted to ask him why the american government had betrayed his people. that was really the overriding reason for him to join cody. they did get to washington d.c. as well as a number of other places and he and some of the other native americans and cody did have a meeting with state department officials. ie describe this as another strange scene in my book where they are inside a building, an office on capitol hill and there is all this western art on the wall with indians and paintings of buffalo and so on. apparently some of the indians--
sitting bull remained silent. he apparently did not get to the president to his disappointment. that part of his desire to join up with cody wast not fulfilled. he did get to see what was going on with the white man and he wanted to understand how this new civilization work. he admired all the great new technology, the telephone, the fire truck and acknowledged the white man's superior firepower but b wondered how calm as he traveled he was meeting all these homeless children around the country. there were all of these orphans and he would often give them money. they both were very generous. he couldn't understand how this
technologically advanced culture was failing people and i think that was quite interesting in terms of what is going on today. so at any rate, after-- sitting bull traveled with cody for four monthsn in 1985 and i just want to redo the short paragraph about what that might have been like for him. imagine being born into a world where your tribe was the most powerful in all the land and within that being at the climax of his power. imagine in your lifetime you witnessed a thing that consumed nearly everything you loved and were nursed by and nearly everyone you cherished were destroyed, altered, killed or
locked up. imagine being a person who lives there such a thing. it was celebrated and hated for doing so and yet because of an alliance with the natural world in it with you saw the whole thing coming even your own end. and then finally imagine embracing life your generosity and enjoy trying to contain the wellspring of sorrow and blood that was flooding your world and drowningat it knowing that a rir stopped and that there are many different ways to ride it. .. was in, of all places, buffalo. [laughter] and i wonderedded, i mean, when i found that out, i was completely stunned. another, like, breathtaking
moment as i was working on my book. i wondered, like, what sitting bull thought when he was told he was going to buffalo. i mean, i'm sure it was translated, and he had to, you know, have known irony of that, if that's what you could call it. and he certainly knew that cody's name was buffalo bill, cody's nickname. and then i started to think about jokes that he sometimes -- reporters followed him a he had an entourage of friends and recorders and i started to wonder if reporters were making jokes about, hey, chief, here we are in buff home. what would you think about that? seemed like he was in a very -- again, strange and uhumiliating position, and i want to rid rid, leaving the reservation for
native americans and joining up with buffalo bills was not like this fantastic thing they could do. they were essentially prisoners of war and this was way off the ross reservation that was stanksed and they could continue living a life that was banned within a limited frame. they were allowed to ride horses and they were re-enacting moments in our history, and theirs, although not from their point of view, certainly. but the cowboys, too, were engaged in these re-enactments which, weirdly enough, were almost -- had pretty much ended as cody's show was touring, the frontier was vanishing, so here were all that's cast members, all these americans -- by that i'm included white and red men -- and some women -- here were all these people lock out of time but re-encanning a what has become the national
scripture, and the way i see it, that's where america lives. we live inside the wild west and all comes at of buffalo bill. annie oakley would not have a nick name and thing about the showers we'll tell ourselves about you we are at americans without buffalo bill and his wild west show. what the dreams the country would have and there's a dark side, and i talk about and write about all of this in my book. here's a little bit about the two men together. some friendships form quickly and fade just as fast. others last for a short period of time, and hour, say, or a derrick but even they may be at deep as the kind at that time lasts for a lifetime. and then there are those in and mysterious forces, the hand of the creator perhaps, necessity,
desire, brings two people together, even former enemies, in an alliance that seems unlikely, and in the end, not at all. such was the joinup of sitting bull and buffalo bill, fauxes in '76, friends in '8 5. as the photo caption said, each an icon to himself, together a powerhouse of mythologist in might some and spark. both the men had much in common. both were fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, both were celebrated, surrounded by admirers and those who embody the eside of admiration, jealousy, both known to everyone and no one, in the end., trapped in a persona, worn down by their gifts. both were men of action, fearing not a rumble nor a personal assault. they were warriors in service of
thunder people and their time. not unlike montezuma and cortez. mont assume who canadaed -- carved out hearts and ate them and cortez who performed the assigned dance, lusting for sparkles in the ground, and sending greyhounds to devourer -- devourer those in the way. unlike montezuma and cortez, there was something that took them beyond the sew business alliance and that that the buffalo to which they owed their lives and paid tribute with their names. they first came together in buffalo, of all places, and i recount the sunshine which they first met -- the scene in which they first met. sitting bull was with his entourage and they were all very
gailly bedecked in war regular -- regaly a and there was a report around sitting bull was on the way to the field where cody's show was underway, and when he got there, apparently his -- he had to wait for some time , for cody to acknowledge him and invite him on to the field. and then when it finally happened, buffalo bill's advance man, arizona john burke, very flamboyant character who looked a lot like cody but was nowhere nearly as cares charismatic but did a lot of the advance work. he took -- he bided sitting bull
on to the field where cody was waiting for him, and announced, chief, i think we have got him. and according to the reporter, cody was a little bit humbled by the moment. he was a big guy, very handsome, very powerful, and by that i mean he had a lot of -- if you have ever been in the circle of somebody oh has nothing but charisma and then some, it's very mesmerizing, and it can stop you in your tracks. but apparently cody was stopped in his track biz sitting bull, who had an equal -- had that kind of impact on people, too, and cody even was over 6'0", even appeared to shrink down a little bit in stature when sitting bull approached.
accomplish the two men kind of waited -- hesitated for a moment or two, and then cody extended his hand, and they shook hands, and then cody made this incredible speech to everybody, describing sitting bull as the napoleon of his people and this great native american figure and he was urging all of these spectators to give sitting bull his due. it was an important speech, and it's not that everybody followed cody's commands because as the traveled around the country, sitting bull would sometimes -- was often booed, actually, in his appearances and sometimes spat on, other times he was warmly welcomed, but he was still regarded by a lot of people as public enemy number one, the guy who killed custer and it was a big deal for these two men to come together. people have excoriated cody for
having his show and exploit native americans and you could make the case but he was providing a way off the reservation and acknowledging their humanity, and their achievements in battle, which he respected. so the end of this fouring month period, sitting bull was homesick for standing rock and have north met the grandfather, although gotten very close, and having seen enough of the white man's world, he wanted to go home. and cody gave him the horse that he rode, apparently in she shot signature bull did not participate in any of the re-enactments in the show. he only rode around the arena once at the beginning of each
production, and then left the ring. he was not hired to, like, perform pow-wows or other things. cody treated him with respect. so, tend of this four-month period, he gave him the horse that he rode in the show, and sitting bull went home from the -- from his last performance that year in st. louis. sometimes during his tenure with codey, he he had given buffalo bill a bear claw necklace, which is would as warrior to warrior symbol of respect power. so i want to get back to this dancing horse. sitting bull went home, as i said. he knew that his time was near.
he had many dreams which were appreciatant. he had animal guides guides andd attention to them and at some point a meadow lashing told him he would be killed by his own people and knew this was coming. five years later in 1890 texas hoot of the ghost dance frenzy, the religious apocalypse -- apocalyptic move back to the old ways and if you danced hard enough, the buffalo would return in and harmony would be restored, and all would be well in the world. so there was this ghost dance frenzy outside of sitting bull's cabin and reservation and
fryingenned a lot of reservation authorities and there was a hyped up fear, and the call went out to assassinate sitting bull, and one more thing he was blamed for, the ghost dancing, and it got crazier and crazier, and tribal police were hired to do the bidding of the government, and he was -- they were sent to arrest sitting bull at dawn, and december of 1890, shortly before christmas, and as they -- as this arrestas underway, an altercation broke out and signature bull was killed. as this killing was happening, the horse danced, as i mentioned. so i want to get back to that. a while ago i called chief looking horse to seek his insight into the matter.
he is a 19th generation keeper of the sacred white buffalo pipe for the lakota anyones, given to his people by the woman in black els division him has a ceremony regarding environmental and other sacred concerns at standing rock, the united nations and elsewhere. i had met him several years earlier at a wild horse preservation event in las vegas. at the conclusion everyone in attendance join him in a prayer circle in a ballroom, at the south point hotel, hotels and their ballrooms with garish chandeliers seeing the location of many such events because they month the central gathering places of our time. what what's symbolism of the dancing horse outside sitting bull's cabin, i asked him in our phone conversation. he was responding to the sound of the gunfire as the story goes? there was a long silence and i
hesitated to break it. after a few moments this what he said. it was the horse taking the bullets, to told me. that's what they did. not everyone believes that the horse danced but i do. and that's how i dime -- i came to write this book, and perhaps after reading it you'll have your own thoughts on what happened on a winter night in 1890 and all of the heart and force that preceded it. thank you very much for coming. [applause] >> i'll take questions now. >> please, if you tomorrow raise your hand and let an usher come to you with a microphone before asking your question. right here in the blue shirt there we go. there's usher right beside you.
>> you did a great job on sitting bull. you also had a vignette in there about another great indian chief, tecumseh, did you have any intention of getting out a new become on tecumseh. >> i appreciate that suggestion. a few people have asked me about that. i grew up -- i'm somewhat familiar with his story. certainly deserves a contemporary telling, and i'll keep it in mind. thank you very much. >> there's a form and a song by somebody that it admire, called
sitting bull in venice. did sitting bull ever cross the atlantic ocean with cody's wild west show. >> no. he left in -- i guess it was september or october in 1885 before cody went to england and then beyond. so, no, he wasn't part of the wild west show in europe on the uk at all but it was because of his time with cody that the show took off, and then it really went into the stratosphere after it began touring overseas. so, i think that the song is -- comes out of myth, although there was another native american named sitting bull who toured later with cody and that could be the sores of the mix -- the source of the mixup, too. >> i'm just wondering how difficult it must be to write a
history that is authentic about native american one all of the history has been written by white men. how do you get through the racism, the slant, all of that to the authentic story? >> yeah. it's really good question. a lot of the accepted histories and some of them quite well written, have been written by white men. i relied on those but i also relied very much on a book by ernest point's -- i mean signature bull's grandson named ernest lapoint, whose book is called -- i'm blanking on the title. may just be called sitting bull dish have it in my bib lee agoography -- bibliography but i talk about the discrepancies
between his book and ones by white writers writers and theree major differences. talk about this in my book, and it's a really good question. an important one. you heard me read from the introduction, i called chief looking horse to talk about the dancing horse, and he is a very respected spiritual leader internationally, and among the native americans. what he said really opened up the story for me in a big way. >> well, i have a question. i don't know if i have to stand by the microphone. i think but this era, the 1880s and 1890s this era of the lecture circuit. so, how would you characterize
the traveling show which was more entertainment oriented perhaps with the likes of oscar wilde and other people who were visiting and on the lecture circuit. >> that's a really good question. well, you know, in a way, cody was such a huge factor in american theater. he was acting on stage in new york, and in fact it was in bar in brooklyn, after a show, he and a partner cooked up the idea for the wild west show. so he came out of this acting tradition of the frontier, and there were traveling shakespeare troupes and theater was huge then. i think people were starved for culture and myth, and we as
americans were just kind of coming -- cook up our own identity, and that moved it along. there was still -- we were still very much involved with british civilization, so that when actors from england came here it was big deal. there will even some of you might be ware that there were the shakespeare riots in new york, and in 1920s involving -- there was some sort of feud over who performed hamlet better, an american actor for a famous british actor, both well-known, and there was rioting in streets which led to death and actually an associate of codys was part of the whole thing. so, there was like tremendous fervor around theater then and
spectacle. i don't know if that exactly answers your question. >> it does. >> there was just the real hunger for it. >> i look forward to reading your book. i think a question to follow on earlier is the question of cultural cleansing. the issue of never said or documented but an administration who set out to exterminate the opening of the west by whites. wonder if you could address that from your vantage point of knowing the native american. >> yeah. get into that in great detail in my book. i think something important to keep in mind is that first of all, buffalo bill and sitting
bull forged this strange commercially driven alliance but across a vast chasm to do so. they were super start but i'm not saying it was a lovefest but symbolically meant a lot and reverberates today. it's interesting that when you consider what happened at standing rock in 2016, not just talking about the protests or the pipeline. that's where sitting bull lived and died so his spirit is all over that region. in were descend sends of soldiers served at little big
horn who came to standing rock to apologize for the role of their ancestors in the neighbor -- indian wars. i discuss this any book. this most profound thing that came out of standing rock and one of the most profound things that's happened in terms of the ongoing conflict between the red and white man in this country, and i think it opens the door on reconciling our -- meaning america's original sin, betrayal of native americans. happened at standing rock. that means a lot. that's where this story starts and ends. >> while you're here in georgia, you might want to take a look at our -- the cherokee, their
capital in our state. they even won a supreme court decision that said they could keep their land, and we tic took -- we ticket away from them. >> yeah -- we took it all away from them. >> a sad story. the door is now open on healing this rift. we are all blood brothers in terms of this shared bloody history that we have. and sisters, too. >> i was kind of struck by the fact that once the native americans were put on the reservations, they were not allowed to really hunt and they had no food and they were given very limited portions. i don't understand how anyone could expect them to survive and thrive. do you have any idea of what the rationale was or were they just
trying to eliminate them. >> it was slow elimination. that was another reason native americans johns inwith cody and other shows because they were getting -- they were well fed during these shows. at least in cody's. can't speak for the other dish don't know what was going on in the others bud cody made it's point that his indian cast members were treat exactly the same as his white cast members, even though some people came after him, there were religious groups that -- and others who came after him and wanted to try to shut don the show. but that's not as simple as is sounds. some of the groups wanted to convert the indians to christianity and wipe out their own spiritual beliefs.
>> any pay legal with the immigration issue -- parallel with the immigration issue and also the way the indians are treated right now, anything more of the federal government can do to help the indian people out more than they're doing now. >> honor the treaties. mean, there are people who have been spent their lifetime trying to get the u.s. government to honor native american treaties. i would say it starts there. but again, back to the ceremony at standing rock, i think there needs to be an official apology from the american government to the tribes for what happened to them. >> tell us more about the ceremony. not everybody knows. >> i write about it in my book. it was really moving. there's some footage of it on
youtube. there were a number of veterans, many veterans, who came to standing rock to support the tribes and their effort to stop the pipeline. that was a big deal because in the old days, when the cavalry showed up theres was a lot of trouble nor native americans. now this was a 180. they were there to sport the tribes. so then there was a ceremony in which general wesley clark's son, clark jr. or the iii inside, have his name in hi book -- led this prayer circle, i guess, or led this ceremony of apology to some lakota elders, asking for forgiveness, in the role of his and other ancestors
in these wars. a very moving ceremony. the words are quite profound. i just want to follow up. one thing that the lakota elders whom they apologized to said at the end of the ceremony what's lan belongs to no one, no one owns the land so i think that's something really important, really important thing to keep in mind these days, as the assault on land, sea and air, cranks up, and to me that's kind of the end game of the indian wars, this total war on the environment is all connected to what happened in this country during the 19th century. >> i've got one, maybe two more questions. i don't mean to crowd you out.
>> go ahead. >> have you given your talks to any audiences that were entirely or predominantly native american and what was the response. >> i have not. >> have there been any official responses from the nations on the reservations. >> not that i know of -- all through there was a nice review in a native american publication. >> that was well-received? >> i can't say by everyone. >> right. can you tell about a book you have written before or what you have in mind next. >> okay. thanks for asking, roger. i'm very superstitious and never talk about works in progress but i'll talk about my previous books, and c-span has covered other talks of mine and you can see those online as well. my books are all related in a big way. they're all narrative nonfiction about the frontier and modern west and have to do with our wars against each other, against
other people, against the land, against animals, and i like to sort of take a look at how can we -- how can this all be resolved, and the land is a main character in a lot of my books, probably all of them. i see it as just being essential a player in these stories as the people. so one of my -- my last book was called "desert reckoning" based on a "rolling stone" piece of mine, about a hermit who lives in he desert outside of los angeles and killed a popular sheriff there in 2003, i think it was, and then he took off into the desert and kicked off this massive man hospital i -- manhunt involving thousands of cops cops and six or seven federal and state and local agencies. what get into in the story is here were two men, again, blood brothers two sides of the same
coin two men who loved the desert, but were really enemies and never resolved their differences at all. but something -- this theme of reconciliation and what can -- how can these wounds be healed. it's something i try to take a look at and n all of my work. >> thank you to deanne stillman. [applause] >> thank you for coming. >> we're so happy you joined us in savannah, come back again. all of you please enjoy the rest of the day there are vessels, bucks into which you can put your dollars if you believe that saturday should stay free at the satisfy van practice book savannah festival should remain free on saturdays. thank you. >> thank you.
[inaudible conversations] and now the final author from the satisfy van practice book festival, it's ben blum, on a robber commit by his cousin and other army rangers. >> good afternoon. and welcome to the final author presentation of what i hope has been a very eventful and wonderful day for you so far. at the savannah book festival.