An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United StatesBook - 2014
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
With growing support for movements such as the campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day and the Dakota Access Pipeline protest led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is an essential resource providing historical threads that are crucial for understanding the present. In An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States , Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: "The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them."
Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples' history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is a 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.
From the critics
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The defect of the reservation system was apparent. It is socialist Henry George's system and under that there is no enterprise to make your home any better than your neighbors. There is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of civilization. Till this people consent to give up their lands, and divide among their citizen's so each can own the land he cultivates they will not make much progress. "Friend of the Indians" Senator Henry Dawes on the General Allotment Act of 1887 pg 158
Certainly they are a heartless nation. They have made some of their people servants- yes slaves... The greatest object of their lives seems to be to acquire possessions- to be rich. They desire to possess the whole world. For thirty years they were trying to entice us to sell them our land. Finally they outbreak gave them all and we have been driven away from out beautiful country. pg 136
The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp hunts: redskins. pg 65
We will further guide the inhabitants in the proper way of living. We will offer them our religon, our education, our ways of life in order to help them to achieve our level of civiization and thus raise them and all their white brothers up from their savage and unhappy state. pg 183 from the Proclamation of the Indians of all tribes
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