Weekly Geeks #4: The Native American ”issue”


This week’s theme: Choose a political or social issue that matters to you. Find several books addressing that issue; they don’t have to books you’ve read, just books you might like to read. Using images (of the book covers or whatever you feel illustrates your topic) present these books in your blog.

I scoured my bookshelves for books that I’ve read that address a political or social issue, and can’t really say that I have many on my shelf that qualify. My wife has several on her shelf on dieting and the evil of McDonald’s a la Fast Food Nation by Eric SchlosserFast Food Nation cover and Diet For A New America coverDiet For A New America by John Robbins. Myself? Or should I say “My Shelf” (hardy har har, as my wife would say)? Well, I really couldn’t find many. However, I did come up with some around a political issue, although it’s kind of broad in its scope and isn’t as narrow as what others have been considering. For example, I think I’ve seen some posters for this week’s theme talking about sex trafficking.

So what did I come up with?

Well, looking on my shelf, I realized I have a few books on Native American topics, from Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt,Black Elk Speaks cover who speaks, among other things, about the “battles” of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee and the last days of Crazy Horse. On the “battle” of Wounded Knee, I have the acclaimed Dee Brown history, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of The American West, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee coverwhich explores much more than just the massacre that occurred on December 29, 1890, but the destruction of a people’s bodies, minds and souls across the U.S. I also own a copy of Vine Deloria Jr.’s Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, Custer Died For Your Sins coverbut I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I ever read. Maybe it’s time to add it to my ever-expanding TBR list.

And last but not least, I’ll mention one that I don’t know, but that always stays in my mind as one of the great books about Native Americans is In The Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen. In The Spirit of Crazy Horse cover I remember reading this history of Native American struggles into the present day shortly after college and being struck by the plight of Leonard Peltier, an American Indian Movement activist, who still is in prison for the killings of two FBI agents on June 26, 1975 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It still is one of those books which I will never forget. For more on Peltier’s continuing fight from prison, see The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee website.

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