Harvey Markowitz’s Converting the Rosebud: Catholic Mission and the Lakotas, 1886–1916 provides a refreshing and enjoyable read and a much-needed addition and update to the Christian-mission literature in Native North America. For me, this is the most usable and accessible work of its kind since Sister Mary Claudia Duratschek’s important work Crusading along Sioux Trails: A History of the Catholic Indian Missions of South Dakota (1947). Markowitz’s project is more ambitious and comprehensive, and it is definitely a valuable contribution, suited to scholars, students, and a wider general audience alike.

More than just a strict history of the Catholic mission among the Lakotas, Converting the Rosebud is a sweeping and enthralling epic exploring Lakota relations with the US federal government and its missionizing, “civilizing,” and educating branches. It is a marvelously researched and nuanced history of Lakota-white relations through the lens of...

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