The Indian Agent


The Indian Agent

A Novel

Dan O'Brien

304 pages
5 maps, 1 chronology


March 2011


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Dan O’Brien’s earlier award-winning novel The Contract Surgeon introduced readers to Valentine McGillycuddy, a friend of the great war chief Crazy Horse. Through McGillycuddy’s eyes, the novel recounts the friendship that so deeply impacted history. It also chronicles the great Sioux Wars, one of the most violent periods in this nation’s history.
The Indian Agent is the riveting sequel to The Contract Surgeon. After Crazy Horse’s death, McGillycuddy went on to become the youngest agent in history for the Red Cloud Agency, renamed the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, of the Oglala Lakota band of the Sioux. Although Red Cloud and McGillycuddy have diametrically opposing views, they have more in common than either suspects. They both love the land, and they both love the past. The politics and the enormous tensions of the early days on the reservation come to life here in fascinating detail, as McGillycuddy (known as “the most investigated man” in the government) urges the Sioux to adopt a life of farming. Because he had lived on the vast plains with them, no white man knew better what the Sioux had given up—or understood more fully the impossibility of returning to the old life.
Full of the dynamic history of the plains, The Indian Agent is the true story of the conversion of this land from one of free nomadic people to one of settled commerce—achieved, however, at an unfathomable cost.  

Author Bio

Dan O’Brien is the author of numerous novels and memoirs, including Buffalo for the Broken Heart: Restoring Life to a Black Hills Ranch, winner of the Western Heritage Award and selected as the 2009 One Book South Dakota winner. His novels Stolen Horses, Equinox, and The Contract Surgeon are available from the University of Nebraska Press.


“Well suited to those who like their historical fiction more historical than fictitious.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will clamor for a further installment of this well-written, absorbing and deeply affecting story.”—Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents

[no TOC; 23 numbered chapters in 7 parts]
Part One: The Capital - Winter 1878-1879
Part Two: Pine Ridge - Spring 1879
Part Three: The Yeoman Sioux - Summer, Fall 1879
Part Four: Eastern Politics - 1880-1882
Part Five: Outbreak - Fall 1882
Part Six: Ghost Dance - 1884-1889
Part Seven: Wounded Knee - Winter 1890-1891

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