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Exploring the wisdom and spiritual insight of the Native American experience, the author delves into the world of an old man on a plains reservation, recording his eloquent reflections on the history of his people. Original. 25,000 first printing. IP.
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Kent Nerburn was born and raised near Minneapolis, he studied American Studies at the University of Minnesota, then went on to Stanford University to study Religious Studies and Humanities, then to the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. in conjunction with the University of California at Berkeley. After several years living in Europe he returned to Minnesota and worked on the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation helping students collect the memories of the tribal elders. He has been writing about Native American history and culture for over twenty years.From Booklist:
Readers looking for another red-man-departs-wise-words-to-white-man-to-lessen-white- man's-guilt will be disappointed by the tone and content of this work. Realists wanting a truthful, fiery, and, ultimately, cleansing dialogue between Indian and white will definitely want it. Nerburn reluctantly agrees to a meeting with Dan, a Lakota elder who asks him to construct a book from a motley collection of notes, diatribes, and political and social commentaries written over seven decades and kept in an old shoe box. Void of the hypocrisy rampant in many books that have whites adopting the ways of "the great spirit," Nerburn exposes the real truth, which whites are unwilling to face: that in "the hunger to own a piece of the earth, we had destroyed the dreams and families of an entire race." Joined by a dog named Fatback, Dan gives Nerburn the ride of his life as they cross the vast Midwest in Dan's Buick. Along the way, Dan alternates between rage and melancholy, and Nerburn between shame and confusion. Nerburn unintentionally touches nerve after nerve and elicits an almost unbearable flood of anguish and despair. The truth revealed in this book will be difficult for most whites to face, but it is painfully necessary if healing is ever to begin. Kevin Roddy
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