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KIRKUS REVIEW: BLOOD BROTHERS The Story of the Strange Friendship Between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill

DeanneStillman

Sep 04, 2018

KIRKUS REVIEW

Blood is thicker than water, but friendship is perhaps thickest of all, particularly when it acts as a poultice for seemingly unhealable wounds.

Relating large events in the guise of paired persons, friends or enemies, is an old storytelling strategy, not much used these days. Stillman (Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History, 2012, etc.) neatly revives it in this portrait of the uncomplicated, mutually admiring friendship of the Lakota leader Sitting Bull and William Cody, aka Buffalo Bill. Adding a third to them in the form of the sharpshooter and all-around interesting person Annie Oakley, the author looks at the clash of cultures and how each character resolved or sometimes ignored differences to form bonds of respect.

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