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The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present | David Treuer
6 posts | 5 read | 24 to read
A sweeping history--and counter-narrative--of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present. Dee Brown's 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was the first truly popular book of Indian history ever published. But it promulgated the impression that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee--that not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry but Native civilization did as well. Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear--and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence--the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention. In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures to first contact, he traces how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating siezures of land gave rise to an increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don't know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. Photographs, maps, and other visuals, from period advertisements to little-known historical photos, amplify the sense of discovering a fascinating and heretofore untold story. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is an essential, intimate history--and counter-narrative--of a resilient people in a transformative era.
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JSW
Pickpick

Thorough history, with a little memoir mixed in. It's so important to understand the ways nations have resisted, adapted, and continue to hold onto identity despite the oppression of colonialism and white supremacy. Informative and necessary reading.

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

A thoughtful, sensitive, well-researched look at the lives and plight of Native Americans both before and after Wounded Knee. It gives a broad breadth and focuses on the reality of the untold current stories of Native peoples. I thought it was terrific—5 stars all the way.

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Floresj
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Pickpick

Interesting history and perspective of the many Indian Nations from BCE to today. The comparison of the European treatment of Natives and the American Indian‘s strategy of how to fight back was well done. Although shockingly violent and sad, the author makes a very good argument of the strength of the American Indian to survive instead of the common history many of us learned in school about that time period.

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Christine
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Excellent. ❤️ A remarkable amount of rich history, but super accessible and never dry. I was really moved by his argument that Native American culture and identity have been able to advance through adversity toward progress and unity - and that maybe American society overall could learn, from their example, to do the same. Loved his writing and was thrilled whenever the book took an autobiographical turn, so I must go back and read his memoir!

Joyfulmimi Wow! I just returned this to library, having not read it. Thanks! I will certainly get it again. 9mo
Christine @Joyfulmimi I hope you enjoy it when you do! It can be an emotionally hard read at times, yet a hopeful one. ❤️ 9mo
Joyfulmimi I am pretty sure I will enjoy it. Seems like we like the same kinda books. 9mo
Christine @Joyfulmimi Yes, it does - so happy to meet you on here! :) 9mo
Joyfulmimi I feel the same. 🥰 9mo
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Jocelyn73c
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Aaannnddd I did it. Bought myself new books from my local bookstore 💖📚❄️📖☕ Got some delicious pastries at the bakery next to the bookstore as well 🤗

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Ericalambbrown
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Very interesting interview with author of the tagged book on Weekend Edition this morning. Release date is 1/22. I have “indigenous author” on my reading challenge this year. After listening to this interview about the book, this may be my selection. Sharing link in case anyone is interested:

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/19/686830482/heartbeat-of-wounded-knee-demystifies-t...

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