The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

Category: Book
By (author): Treuer, David
Subject:  HISTORY / Native American
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies
Publisher: Riverhead
Published: January 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 496
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.25in
Our Price:
$ 38.25
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*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.
Review Quote*Praise for Prudence:

"What does it say about our troubled times -- and David Treuer's considerable talents -- that his World War II-era novel speaks to the present moment in American history with more eloquence and complexity than the nightly newscast?...Tender and devastating ...[A] master class on suspense, shifting perspective and conflicting desire." -Anthony Marra, The Washington Post

"Masterful... one of the most honest, moving novels about America in quite a while." -Los Angeles Times

"Treuer doesn't just unravel the plot we might expect; he prompts us to interrogate the assumptions -- racial, sexual and otherwise -- that build up those expectations in the first place." -NPR

"Compelling...[and] arresting...Treuer writes as an insider...his Ojibwe characters are multifaceted individuals, not mere decorate ciphers. They are, moreover, engaged like everyone else in their country's broader history." -Financial Times

"Prudence is a wondrous and mesmerizing narrative--intricate, seductive and wholly gratifying." -Toni Morrison

Praise for Rez Life:

"[A] blistering, illuminating, ultimately hopeful book." -Boston Globe

"[Treuer's] upbringing on an Ojibwe reservation in Minnesota makes him adept at delving behind stereotypes of Indian life and infuses his account with passion and meticulousness." -The New Yorker
Biographical NoteDavid Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. The author of four previous novels and two books of nonfiction, he has also written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Slate, and The Washington Post, among others. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.