Epub Jim Fergus Ý Ý One Thousand White Women The Journals of May Dodd PDF

One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who under the auspices of the US government travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians The covert and controversial Brides for Indians program launched by the administration of Ulysses S Grant is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time


10 thoughts on “One Thousand White Women The Journals of May Dodd

  1. says:

    Dear May DoddI received your letter of 20 January 1876 accompanied by portions of your journal and in short I'm not falling for it They sound like they were written sometime in the 1990s and probably by a man While I found many reasons to come to this conclusion the biggest giveaways were your obsession with penis size and the fact that your signature was followed by an AOL e mail addressSincerelyDisgruntled ReaderOK that was a bit harsh and if for some reason Mr Fergus is reading this review I want to say to him I didn't completely dislike One Thousand White Women The Journals of May Dodd and I give you credit for trying to adopt the viewpoint of not just a woman but a woman from than a century ago That took balls Unfortunately for your readers those balls weren't backed up by brainsWhile Fergus obviously did a lot of research to learn about the culture of the Cheyenne nation and other Indian tribes he even shows his work by giving us a bibliography he completely fails to transport his readers back to an earlier time That's the most basic reuirement of any historical novel Few pages go by in which Fergus doesn't attribute to May Dodd words and ideas that would be completely foreign to any woman living in the 1870s even a woman as progressive as May is supposed to be For most of the novel May sounds less like a 19th century woman of any background or educational level and like a Volvo driving Web designer from San Francisco who's on her way to pick up her daughter at soccer practice has to drop her off at the ex husband's for his weekend visitation and then before going to her newly purchased fixer upper in the Mission District plans to stop by the polling place to vote for Dianne FeinsteinSmall examples May repeatedly refers to another character as an amateur ethnographer describes herself as being agnostic when it comes to religion characterizes herself as being as big as a house when pregnant and says that a woman who ends her pregnancy aborted the baby These are simply not words or ideas that any woman living in the 1870s would use and especially not as casually as she does This may sound like nitpicking but there's never a point in the whole book in which even the most forgiving reader could honestly say to herself This can't possibly be a novel He must have actually found May Dodd's lost journals from the 1870s And yet that's what we the readers are apparently expected to do at least according to Fergus's Reading Group Gold notes in the back of the edition I readThere are other annoyances too Many of the characters are given cutesy names that reflect their personalities and interests The woman who studies and paints birds is named unsurprisingly Helen Flight while a self important and prudish character is naturally Narcissa White and a dainty Southern belle is wait for it Daisy Lovelace And aside from giving characters lines and viewpoints that feel anachronistic Fergus also makes passing reference to things that simply didn't exist in the 1870s Hey Jim there was no Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in 1875 Even the city's earliest such orchestra the Chicago Symphony Orchestra wasn't formed until 16 years later Thanks Wikipedia If you're trying to really make us believe we're reading a recovered journal this is not the way to do it Why not just give the Indian chief a BlackBerry and President Ulysses S Grant a subscription to Us Weekly?All right I've been nasty enough There is a reason I gave One Thousand White Women two stars instead of one Aside from the anachronisms the book is reasonably well written and the story is compelling and relatively fast paced That makes up for some of the novel's faults But you know what would have made the novel ten times better? Given that we're supposed to be reading the journals of a woman who's first diagnosed as insane and then becomes a bride to an Indian chief under a secret government program why come right out and reveal to your readers that she wasn't actually crazy and really did join a Cheyenne tribe? Why not leave it an open uestion and let your readers decide for themselves whether the program was real or May Dodd was just nuts? That perhaps would make for a better novelOn a side note it was interesting to read Fergus's novel right after finishing Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders and less than a year after reading Larry McMurtry's Telegraph Days What do the three have in common? Each novel is told from a woman's point was written by a man and focuses on a woman who are far liberated and self directed than her female contemporaries While McMurtry's book was not a lot better than Fergus's though it was a lot fun neither of them should even be mentioned in the same sentence as Moll Flanders Oops It's impossible to imagine either one being widely read almost three centuries from now as Defoe's 1722 novel is today


  2. says:

    Author I have this book I want to publishPublisher Okay let me make sure it has what we are looking for in a book After all the bulk of your previous writing experience appears to be for an outdoors magazine Correct?Author Yes that is correctPublisher Okay is your book an attempt to write from a woman’s point of view?Author YesPublisher Fantastic do you have the slightest clue or insight into women’s thoughts or emotions?Author NopePublisher Great Is your book riddled with women being raped?Author As a matter of fact yesPublisher This is great Do you have these rape victims getting all sad depressed and shutting down emotionally and physically?Author Why no The protagonist gets raped for several years in a mental institution then decides to participate in the Brides for Indians program and is excited and not at all concerned about sleeping with other men along the way She even gets raped in the Brides for Indians programs In fact all the rape victims in my book bounce back with nary an emotional scratch None of that “oh poor rape victim me” mentality in this bookPublisher Wonderful wonderful We need stories that tell women to suck up rapeAuthor I couldn’t agree Publisher Do you use the word “perforce” at least 10 times throughout the book?Author Oh Don’t you know it I just learned that word and I think it makes me sound smartPublisher Alright so far so good one uestionAuthor Hit mePublisher Do you assign a bunch of the main female characters flimsy ethinicities so you can write their dialogue in tired dialect and accents?Author Oh hell yea I have a southern belle a German two Irish chicks and a frenchy All coveredPublisher WE NEED TO GET THIS BOOK TO THE MASSESDear author have you ever met a woman? Do you really think that we rebound from rape as uickly and easily as the women in your book? You are what is wrong with society Stick to writing about kayaks and extreme snowboarding or whatever the heck it is you write about in your insulated little sportsman worldOh and one thing nobody used the word pregnant back then You're an idiot


  3. says:

    Mary Dodd's crime was falling in love with a common man After being committed to an insane asylumshe was given the opportunity to escape by enlisting in the BFI program Brides for Indians a secret government program This program NEVER REALLY HAPPENED IN OUR HISTORYthe idea was tossed around and tossed out FOR DAMN GOOD REASONSSo the MAJORITY of this book is FICTION I read 98 pages then skipped around reading then jumped ahead and read the last 50 pages which included the Epilogue and an interview with the author I've decided to call it uits I read enough I was forcing myself too much to invest my time and heart I had enough when our FICTIONAL Mary turned very red in the face Oh Captain Mary asked in a whisper How could I refuse you? GIFT OFFER If anyone here on Goodreads in the United States wants to read this book I'm happy to mail you my copy It's still NEW It was sent to me by St Martin's Pressbut since I just wasn't really connecting with the writing storytelling of this book somebody else might I'm happy to cover the postage and send it to another reader who wants to give this book a better chance than I did Many Thanks to StMartin I'm sorry I couldn't get into this book but I appreciate your sending it to me Thanks for all that you do to support authors and readers


  4. says:

    I like historical fiction I appreciate writers who take the time to research their stories well I like to think that I'm catching up on some of the history I missed as the same time as enjoying a good read I like journals and memoirs And I jump at the chance to see history from the perspective of those who are usually written out of the history books So I was uite enthusiastic when I heard about this novel which is written in the form of the journal of a nineteenth century Yankee woman living among the CheyenneBut it's not well written Fergus may be a good journalist and I can imagine him in his study surrounded by charts showing the timeline of significant events of the period trying to incorporate them into his story But he's not much of a novelist and he doesn't even begin to inhabit the voice of his protagonist May Dodd is never convincing; not as a woman not as a gently reared member of the upper class not as the survivor of abduction and incarceration in a brutal insane asylum not as a rape survivor There's no depth to her emotions her actions are incongrous and even her language seems stilted and worse anachronisticThe other characters are no better a range of stereotypes from the alcoholic faded Southern belle to the ian former slave Jeez I guess you can tell that I'm somewhat disappointed by this I don't usually bother to say much about books I didn't like but this one annoys me because it could have been so much better I bet it was a best seller too Ah well


  5. says:

    First let me say it seems among GR readers that this book stinks And I get the criticism I do However I have to say that I found this an enjoyable read Yes the voice of Ms Dodd our heroine protagonist would be feminist well sort of pseudo feminist does sound 20th Century and less like a believable 19th Century even 'modern' woman but honestly it kind of made the book readable to me I have no interest in hearing a modern writer trying to trifle through old English in a book written in a journal format The way it's constructed this book would have been excruciating if our heroine pondered in her diary speaking like a languid Victorian boreIn addition since the plot centers around an outlandish concept One Thousand 19th Century White Women would 'volunteer' ie live such miserable suffering yet comparatively privileged lives that they would run to live amongst Native Americans is kind of preposterous Soooo given that liberty Jim Fergus took I just decided to sit back and enjoy the ride And I found it a fun ride It's a pretty fast read he tries to make her a strong independent character and tries to tell a story that demonstrates the complex clashing of cultures I appreciated the effort and although it's not the best historical fiction I've read it was one of the most original concepts I have seen tackled


  6. says:

    This is somewhat erroneously in my read shelf I did not finish reading it so keep that in mind as far as this review goes I applaud the author's project historical fiction disguised as history proper I tend to love things like that it is a well researched story told via the faux journals of a 19th century white woman who went to live among the Cheyenne My problem with this book is essentially that I did not ever buy the voice in which it is told this problem has two tiers First it is supposedly a 19th century journal and the author tries to convey the 19th century ness by freuent use of vocabulary like perforce however what marks an actual primary source from a specific time period is not merely vocabulary but the nature of observation That is you know you're dealing with an historical document often not merely by how the author tells the story what words heshe uses but what heshe chooses to include in the story in the first place I simply could never forget that I was reading a 21st century person's somewhat inexpert attempt at what a 19th century person would sound like in a personal journal and what they'd choose to include Associated with this is tier two of my general dislike of this book I could also not forget that I was not reading a woman's journal but a man's idea of what a woman would write in her journal Now I applaud the author for attempting such a thing I wish men would try to crawl into the heads of women I just don't think this author uite was up to the task A for effort but I could not make myself finish this book


  7. says:

    Once upon a time there was an Cheyenne chief called Little Wolf and a drunken US President named Ulysses S Grant After Grant made a horrible fool of himself by being a white guy Little Wolf was like Look we're matrilineal so why not just let us have some white ladies to marry and procreate with? We don't even need cool white ladies You can give us the nice ugly ones And the pretty crazy ones But not the crazy ugly ones because that seems like a bit much And thus the Brides for Indians project or BFI was born Except not really It was apparently proposed but seeing as the US government was A not really inclined to marrying its women not even the crazies and the uglies off to a nation fighting a losing battle and B largely made up of bigots who wanted to exterminate the Indians vs procreating with them the BFI project didn't exactly pan out The uestion Fergus asks is you know What if it did? And what if we found the journals of a super sassy lady who happened to marry a Cheyenne chief? Thus One Thousand White Women is born The Good Look you gotta admit this is a pretty sweet premise To me at least I may be biased though as the adoption of Caucasians by Indian tribes particularly Caucasian females is one of my pet interests at the moment Same goes for the lives of Indian women Also much of One Thousand White Women takes place in a stretch of America that I used to call home ish so yes I'm biasedLong story short good premise decent writing And by decent I mean the actual prose uality isn't bad Doesn't mean it's especially good The BadAnd that decent prose? It works structurally but logistically speaking So much of this book doesn't read like a journal There's a lot of word for word dialogue which normally I would be able to let go but May also seems to insist on giving each foreign or Southern character an accent That doesn't ring true especially in cases of Southern Belle Daisy Lovelace yes that is her name and Swiss immigrant Gretchen Fathauer yes that is her nameLet me try to think of things that are less ugly and just bad Oh yeah That ending Not to spoil anything but One Thousand White Women has the sort of ending that makes you think the author had a Dances with Wolves type of movie in mind Or something It was totally unearned and leaves the reader feeling like Fergus thought he had the next Great American Novel on the horizonHere's a spoiler alert he didn'tThe UglyOkay So we have a dude writing the tales of women in a pre feminist settingAudience Ooooh wincesThe odds are already not in his favor Might I add that this is a WHITE dude writing the tales of women AND Indians in a pre feminist Manifest Destiny era setting?Audience OH SNAP eye twitchYeah It turns out about as well as you'd expectLemme talk about what I know best first lady business Fergus's mid nineteenth century women particularly our narrator are about as real as Pamela Anderson's tits But while I have nothing against Pamela Anderson's tits and wish them on their merry way Fergus executes something actively offensiveIt feels like he thinks he's writing women well But these ladies barely fit a twenty first century setting let alone a story that takes place right after the end of the Civil War Fergus is a rape happy kind of author which is problematic in itself particularly when that rape is so repeatedly written by a male To make matters worse his ladies barely react May Dodd is raped repeatedly during her year and a half stint in an asylum; yet she sort of mentions it goes on her merry way And that's less than fifty pages into the bookBut oh there's I just don't want to spoil it for you Because I know that if there's one thing I and my fellow ladies love in our fiction it's some good old fashioned sexual assault Especially the kind that's repeated Over and over Luckily our heroines bounce back with next to no issues Phew The one woman who does act traumatized after being raped is an antagonist and treated as a sort of pathetic wimpAll that aside there's just so much that doesn't seem authentic I can buy that women like May would be willing to marry Indians to get out of a bad situation I can't buy that May before the novel's events was willing as a fairly aristocratic young woman to live in sin She says that she has no inclination towards marriage She's also agnostic Um what? All of this happens with little soul searching And that would be okay If she'd been raised in a culture where this was at all acceptableThere's also the problem of sexuality of the consensual kind One young lady loses her virginity doggy style a style she'd never heard of to a man she didn't know didn't speak the language of and acts like this is the best thing ever Again in the nineteenth century Also she's white was raised in the typical white society of the day Um???Oh but of course These ladies were written by men and are thus somewhat wish fulfillment y Don't ya love that?I feel as if I've written enough about Fergus's inability to write women What about his inability to write other ethnicities and cultures?Okay okay Fellow white people first Because you'd at least think that Fergus could get his white people somewhat right Right? NopeSwiss Gretchen says a lot of I yam and de and she's basically an ugly milkmaid who talks about her big titties a lot The Irish twins Meggie and Susie are former prostitutes and general betters and their last name is Kelly and OH Southern belle Daisy Lovelace remember that name? says racial slurs all the time and boozes it up and Poor man's Blanche DuBois is that you?But as usual the non white people get the short end of the stick The token black lady the novel's title and Little Wolf's specifications of white women notwithstanding is the daughter of an African princess who runs around naked and chuckles a lot She will be a slave to no man Never again So she somehow convinces the Indians who valued the separate but eual system of gender roles greatly to let her do a man's work Never mind that woman's work was not considered slavery by the Indians but whatever As if that wasn't stereotypical enough for you we're given the Cheyenne Little Wolf is the strong silent type whose relationship with May gets basically zero development He's basically a noble savage except for when he drinks whiskey The whiskey swilling main villain of the novel is half white half Indian Was that supposed to make a point or does it totally defeat it? I'm not sure Maybe Fergus isn't either Wow That's originalNoble savagery abounds The Indians don't know how to have non doggy style sex or kiss or anything But wow they sure do make nice buckskin dresses And greasepaint I'm just waiting for them to tell May to paint with all the colors of the windAnd hey They're letting Helen Flight the bird obsessed artist whose name is totally not significant paint shit Wow Indians You sure are coolTowards the end of the novel May manages to pull the wool over their eyes Little Wolf's in particular as all the white people nod knowingly Because remember Indians are naive creatures They don't know what's best for themselves They only know magic And dancing And doggy style White people know the important stuffThis seems like a minor thing to mention but May who is totally gorgeous and has the pretty Indian name of Swallow while her friend gets Falling Down Woman or whatever has this brief fling with a white dude that is supposed to be a passionate romance? But he's a total douche who barely gets any age time and it's not? I don't know if that had a point eitherThe VerdictHell I'm not sure if the book did


  8. says:

    If this book was not assigned to me for my book club I wouldn't have wasted my time to read it Not only is Fergus' novel overly sentimental historically inaccurate misogynistic it is racist towards Native Americans AND it's all told in my least favorite method of narration the journal entry Chapters will often begin with So much has happened since my last entry I don't know where to begin This is an easy tool to push time forward and overdone in poorly written novels Fergus' novel was chosen for the Doubleday Book Club which means that publishers have no idea what women read It's true that women are the main demographic in Book Clubs but that doesn't mean that we only want to read women survival stories let alone one poorly written by a man


  9. says:

    At a peace conference at Fort Laramie in 1854 a prominent northern Cheyenne Chief reuested of the US army the gift of one thousand white women as brides for his young warriorsAlthough this was an actual historical event the story of May Dodd and her journals is entirely a work of fiction by the authorThe Cheyenne's reuest was not well received by the white authorities and the peace conference collapsed and the Cheyenne's were actually sent homeThe white women did not go But in this novel they doand what if? What would have happened? The story begins with a remarkable woman named May Dodd who travels west into the unknown and marries the Chief of the Cheyenne NationMay Dodd tells her story through fictional diaries of the fate she left behind being committed to an insane asylum having her babies taken away from her by her blueblood family for the crime of loving a man without marriage and beneath her station May's only hope for freedom is to sign up to a secret government program where women from the civilized world become brides to the Cheyenne warriors What follows is a breathtaking adventure of May Dodd her brief but passionate romance with the gallant Army Captain John Bourke her marriage to the great Chief Little Wolf and her conflict of being caught between not only two worlds but loving two men and living two livesWhat I liked about this story was May Dodd was an incredible woman living in her time and the author did a splendid job writing from the perspective of a woman with such credibility told through her journalsThere was enough historical backdropdetails without it becoming over detailed so that it took away from the storycharacters The secondary characters the women May travelled with was also well done and balanced so that they too weren't distracting from May's story and the bond that grew with these women was also neatly woven within the tellingWhen I picked up this bookI thought it would be a dry as the prairie that they travelled on and on kinda book Not so A fantastic tale of the Old West and the Native American Indians a superb tale of sorrow loss sacrifice suspense and most of all love and triumph And it's not often when a book leaves this reader eagerly waiting to turn the next page to find out what will happen nextHighly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to this authors seuel Edit to review Due to the historical time period this story was set inand although not in graphic detailthere are scenes of violencerape and other subject matter that may not appeal to some readers


  10. says:

    If I were a member of the Cheyenne tribe featured in this book my Indian name would be Couldn't Finish The Book If Jim Fergus were a member of the tribe his Indian name would be Has Never Spoken To A Woman For Any Amount Of Time because really Oh and the Indian name of this book would be Fail Order BridesI will start off by saying that I've never been a fan of historical fiction or books written as journals but the premise of this book piued my interest I wasn't even slightly put off by the idea of a man writing as a woman until I started reading clearly the author has never had a conversation with a woman It also seems like he didn't spend much time researching the social s of that time I'm thinking he spent most of his time coming up with stereotypes and trying to see how many times he could use the N wordIf I were a betting woman I would say that Jim Fergus is a comic book andor fan fic fan because the narrator May Dodd is the biggest Mary Sue EVER she's the prettiest I know this not because there was any description of her but because from her descriptions all of the other women were gargoyles she stands up to authority mouths off to everyone all the men love and respect her and she ends up with the only good Indian name My iPod says I'm 40% in and I tried tried tried but I really couldn't finish As interesting as the premise was there wasn't a single character I didn't dislike