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FINALIST FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Named a best book of 2019 by The New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post, NPR, Hudson Booksellers, The New York Public Library, The Dallas Morning News, and Library Journal. "Chapter after chapter, it's like one shattered myth after another." - NPR "An informed, moving and kaleidoscopic portrait... Treuer's powerful book suggests the need for soul-searching about the meanings of American history and the stories we tell ourselves about this nation's past.." - New York Times Book Review, front page A sweeping history—and counter-narrative—of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present. The received idea of Native American history—as promulgated by books like Dee Brown's mega-bestselling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee—has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry, the sense was, 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 from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to 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. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.Learn More
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Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction
Shortlisted for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
New York Times bestseller
A #1 Amazon.com bestseller in Civil Rights and Liberties
A Barack Obama Reading List Pick of Favorite Books of 2019
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
A Midwest Indie Bestseller in Nonfiction
A Bustle Pick of 10 Best Nonfiction Books of January
A Literary Hub Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
Tribal College Journal Review Excerpt
- This past January, decorated Ojibwe writer David Treuer published the best comprehensive text about the continuing history of Native American resilience, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. Treuer vehemently opposes the practice of discussing Indian people and their culture as relics of the past, the mourning of which is what guides many texts, including Dee Brown’s 1970 bestseller Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Treuer does relay the trials and struggles of America’s first citizens in every region of the United States, but in all instances the accounts of injustice are coupled with evidence of individual and tribal persistence. The text is as candid about the sins of famed colonizers like Christopher Columbus and Andrew Jackson as it is about the failings of some tribal leaders, both within and beyond the Red Power movement. Yet in every instance this is a book that demands our attention. In the audiobook edition, reader Tanis Parenteau’s performance lends depth to Treuer’s interwoven interviews with contemporary Native ranchers, woodland gatherers, and ambassadors for healthy well-being in tribal communities. What’s made clear in this magnum opus is that despite numerous false narratives and perpetuated misconceptions, the pulsing heartbeat of Indian people endures throughout the American landscape.
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