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A Face in the Rock: The Tale of a Grand Island Chippewa / Edition 1

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Overview

Eight miles long and four miles wide, Grand Island lies off the south shore of Lake Superior. It was once home to a sizable community of Chippewa
Indians who lived in harmony with the land and with each other. Their tragic demise began early in the nineteenth century when their fellow tribesmen from the mainland goaded them into waging war against rival Sioux. The war party was decimated; only one young brave, Powers of the Air, lived to tell the story that celebrated the heroism of his band and formed the basis of the legend that survives today. Distinguished historian Loren R. Graham has spent more than forty years researching and reconstructing the poignant tale of Powers of the Air and his people. A Face in the Rock is an artful melding of human history and natural history; it is a fascinating narrative of the intimate relation between place and people.

Powers of the Air lived to witness the desecration of Grand Island by the fur and logging industries, the Christianization of the tribe, and the near total loss of the Chippewa language, history, and culture. Graham charts the plight of the Chippewa as white culture steadily encroaches, forcing the native people off the island and dispersing their community on the mainland. The story ends with happier events of the past two decades, including the protection of Grand Island within the National Forest system, and the resurgence of Chippewa culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Eight miles long, four miles wide, Grand Island lies off the south shore of Lake Superior, near Munising, Mich. One of its scenic features is the Pictured Rocks, and it is the locale of Hiawatha. Grand Island was once home to a small band of peaceful Chippewa whose decline began during the 1830s when their mainland brethren goaded them to join in fighting the Sioux. Only one islander survived the battle-Little Duck, who became Powers of the Air. Shortly thereafter, the Chippewa abandoned the Island. Graham (The Ghost of the Executed Engineer) offers a fine piece of local history and a vivid account of white encroachment, desecration of natural resources and degradation of the Chippewa-all within the lifetime of Powers of the Air. Graham concludes his story on a positive note: since the mid-1970s, the Chippewa have undergone a resurgence, and Grand Island is now part of the National Forest system. Illustrated. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520215672
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/10/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 830,540
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Loren R. Graham is a historian of science who holds a joint appointment in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University and the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books including The Ghost of the Executed Engineer (1993).

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!

    My neighbor lent me this book, which I originally bought because I loved this book so much. The story was very touching! If you're Native American or not this story really makes one think about the original people from America. I will always remember this story, and I actually have heard that they are going to be making a movie of this soon... YIPPY!!!

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