In a Barren Land: The American Indian Quest for Cultural Survival, 1607 to the Present

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9780688166335: In a Barren Land: The American Indian Quest for Cultural Survival, 1607 to the Present

Award-winning historian Paula Mitchell Marks reconfirms her status as one of the foremost contemporary chroniclers of the American West with this often appalling, yet always engrossing, account of American Indian cultures under siege from 1607 to the present. In a dazzling synthesis of the latest research with masterful storytelling, Marks portrays the systematic dispossession of America's original inhabitants over centuries of broken promises and bloody persecutions. Well-known events and personalities -- the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Trail of Tears, Geronimo, to name a few -- are juxtaposed with lesser-known but equally pivotal episodes such as the Navajos' Long Walk, the Snake Indian resistance, and more.

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Review:

The unfair and often brutal treatment of American Indians is a well-documented saga. Personalities and events such as Chief Joseph, Geronimo, the Trail of Tears, and the massacre at Wounded Knee are now familiar history, even if representative of a radically different era. But conflict still rages, as demonstrated in the legal challenges to Indian claims of limited sovereignty and the controversies caused by the existence of casinos on some reservations. This is complex and detailed history indeed, and Paula Mitchell Marks ambitiously grasps at nearly four centuries of conflict in In a Barren Land, beginning with the first European settlements in America and extending to the courtroom showdowns of the 1990s. As she deftly demonstrates, there has been plenty of heartbreak along the way: devastating diseases; massacres; lies; broken treaties; loss of ancient hunting, fishing, and burial grounds to private development and federal control; and rampant poverty on many reservations. Though Marks writes from the Indian's perspective, she works to avoid a good-versus-evil treatment of relations, explaining, for instance, how Indians were often aggressive and brutal in their attempts to check white migration onto their lands, and how tribes continue to receive large subsidies from the federal government even as they assert greater independence. In retracing their steps as a people, Marks illustrates how contemporary Indians occupy a gray area in U.S. society, wedged somewhere between assimilation and a collective desire for detachment that clearly indicates that there are many chapters yet to be written.

From the Back Cover:

With In a Barren Land, award-winning historian Paula Mitchell Marks reconfirms her status as one of the foremost contemporary chronicles of America and the American West. Following her And Die in the West: The Story of the O.K. Corral Gunfight ("should come to be regarded as definitive" -- Booklist) and Precious Dust ("far and away our best social history of the gold rush experience" -- The Washington Post Book World), she now tells the often appalling yet always engrossing story of American Indian cultures under siege from 1607 to the present.

Marks dramatically illustrates how, across the nation over the course of nearly four centuries, America's original inhabitants were stripped of both their land and their way of life by a series of broken promises and bloody persecutions. Here are such well-known events as the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Trail of Tears, and the massacre at Wounded Knee. And here, too, are such equally well-known personalities as Chief Joseph, Geronimo, Cochise, and Andrew Jackson, a president whose perfidies to the Indians still retain the power to shock and dismay.

In a Barren Land is an enduring contribution to the endlessly fascinating and controversial story of the settling of America.

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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Marks dramatically illustrates how, across the nation and over the course of nearly four centuries, America s original inhabitants were stripped of both their land and their way of life by a series of broken promises and bloody persecutions. Here, of course, are such well-known events as the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Trail of Tears, and the massacre at Wounded Knee. And here, too, are such equally well-known personalities as Chief Joseph, Geronimo, Cochise, and Andrew Jackson, a president whose perfidies to the Indians still retain the power to shock and dismay. But also recounted are such comparable but less famous episodes as the Navajos Long Walk of removal from their homelands in the last half of the nineteenth century, the fervent Snake Indian resistance to the allotting of Indian lands early in this century, and the disastrous effects of government dam projects on Indian communities in the 1950s, as well as a discussion of the benefits and draw-backs of legalized gambling on Indian reservations in the past decade. Among the forgotten figures the book brings to life are William McIntosh, who sold the land out from under his fellow Creeks and was subsequently executed by them; John Ross, who led the Cherokee nation throughout its removal and reconstruction, only to see it split apart by the Civil War; and the Oglala Sioux warrior Red Cloud, who forced the U.S. government to abandon its Bozeman Trail forts within his tribe s territory. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780688166335

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Book Description William Morrow Company, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Marks dramatically illustrates how, across the nation and over the course of nearly four centuries, America s original inhabitants were stripped of both their land and their way of life by a series of broken promises and bloody persecutions. Here, of course, are such well-known events as the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Trail of Tears, and the massacre at Wounded Knee. And here, too, are such equally well-known personalities as Chief Joseph, Geronimo, Cochise, and Andrew Jackson, a president whose perfidies to the Indians still retain the power to shock and dismay. But also recounted are such comparable but less famous episodes as the Navajos Long Walk of removal from their homelands in the last half of the nineteenth century, the fervent Snake Indian resistance to the allotting of Indian lands early in this century, and the disastrous effects of government dam projects on Indian communities in the 1950s, as well as a discussion of the benefits and draw-backs of legalized gambling on Indian reservations in the past decade. Among the forgotten figures the book brings to life are William McIntosh, who sold the land out from under his fellow Creeks and was subsequently executed by them; John Ross, who led the Cherokee nation throughout its removal and reconstruction, only to see it split apart by the Civil War; and the Oglala Sioux warrior Red Cloud, who forced the U.S. government to abandon its Bozeman Trail forts within his tribe s territory. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780688166335

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Award-winning historian Paula Mitchell Marks reconfirms her status as one of the foremost contemporary chroniclers of the American West with this often appalling, yet always engrossing, ac.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 496 pages. 0.562. Bookseller Inventory # 9780688166335

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