Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Black Elk

Black Elk

The Life of an American Visionary

Joe Jackson




Trade Paperback

Winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography • Winner of the Society of American Historians Francis Parkman Prize • Winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Biography • A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by True West (Best Biography) and The Boston Globe

Black Elk is the definitive biographical account of a figure whose dramatic life converged with some of the most momentous events in the history of the American West. Born in an era of rising violence between the Sioux, white settlers, and U.S. government troops, Black Elk killed his first man at the Little Bighorn, witnessed the death of his second cousin Crazy Horse, and traveled to Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Upon his return, he was swept up in the traditionalist Ghost Dance movement and shaken by the Massacre at Wounded Knee. But Black Elk was not a warrior, instead accepting the path of a healer and holy man, motivated by a powerful prophetic vision that he struggled to understand.

In Black Elk, Joe Jackson has crafted a true American epic, restoring to its subject the richness of his times and gorgeously portraying a life of heroism and tragedy, adaptation and endurance, in an era of permanent crisis on the Great Plains.

PEN Literary Award - Finalist, Minneapolis Star Tribune Holiday Book Recommendations, Boston Globe Best Books of the Year, National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, Spur Awards - Winner





Extinction loomed in his life from the day he was born. It waited over the horizon like the thunderclouds rolling across the Plains. He feared those storms and the gods perched in their...


Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Joe Jackson

JOE JACKSON is the author of several books. The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire, was named one of Time magazine’s Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2008.

Joe Jackson

photo by Casey Scalf

From the Publisher


Latest on Facebook