An Indigenous People's History of the United States.
An Indigenous People's History of the United States
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
9780807000403 $27.95 www.beacon.org
When US Army general Thomas S. Jesup said of the Seminole people "The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them" in 1836, he was not being facetious. Historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz presents An Indigenous People's History of the United States, which shines a light on one of the darker aspects of American history--the systematic, generational efforts to commit genocide on indigenous peoples. Chapters explore how colonial policies were designed to displace or eliminate native peoples in order to lay claim to their land, and that these ruthless efforts were widely praised in popular culture (even by classic writers such as James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman), governmental offices, and the military. Other policies embraced the concept of "kill the Indian but save the man", separating Native parents from their children and deliberately making every effort to destroy Native languages and cultures. Chapters also address the rise of the Ghost Dance, and what the America's bloodstained past has to say about its future, especially with the disturbing return of legalized torture and ramped-up militarization in the twenty-first century. Notes and an index round out this disturbing yet absolutely vital history--a nation that remains blind to the horrors of its past is doomed to repeat them.