You will be hard pressed to read a broader documentation of the genocide of native Americans and other indigenous peoples across the Americas than in Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Every ugly aspect of Colonialism, Manifest Destiny, Slavery, and the Doctrine of Discovery is explored in depth.
Ortiz makes a strong case that America’s Manifest Destiny, disguised as moral wars in the 20th Century (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) remains as a dangerous undercurrent in American foreign policy and in the 21st Century treatment of native American. Every member of Congress should read this work before even considering to vote on such issues as reparations. This is not a rehash of the same old story. The book has plenty of attitude and that is a very good thing.
David Truer is a Ojibwe Native American from the Leech Reservation in northern Minnesota. Truer has a PhD in anthropology and is a prolific author and professor at the University of Southern California. His latest book, THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE, NATIVE AMERICA FROM 1890 TO THE PRESENT is a combination of memoir and a work of historical non-fiction.
The books prologue is a sweeping history of the Native American story from the arrival of the first North American explorers, the colonists, westward expansion and the decimation of the Native American way of life through to the 1890 massacre of over 150 Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek.
Truer’s focus turns to the ensuing Indian reservations, forced “civilization,” Indian boarding schools, the allotment system of Indian land, broken treaties and false promises. Truer, through his personal experience, details what Native Americans have been overcoming since Wounded Knee. Even from all of the heartbreak come rays of hope as evidenced in Truer’s own uncommon story of survival and success.
Within the pages of Gordon’s Good Reads, followers will find many volumes written of the Native American story and THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE earns an important place among those narratives. Another non-fiction work by David Truer is, Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life. His latest work is titled Prudence, a novel of WWII.
Throughout the pages within Wounded Knee the word heartbreak can be easily substituted for heartbeat. Words not easily separated in the telling and re-telling of the Native American story.