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At the age of eight, Gertrude left her home to attend a boarding school in Indiana; if she did not, her mother's food rations would be cut. As an adult, Gertrude wrote articles for the Atlantic Monthly describing her humiliation at how the US government tried to destroy tribal unity and traditional life and culture, signing her articles "Zitkala-Sa," or Red Bird. Her letters, journals, poetry, and memoirs track the "pain of her assimilation and her difficult journey back." In order to help unite Indians into a political force, Zitkala-Sa became active in the National Council of American Indians. An introduction explains how Rappaport assembled the material for her "autobiographical biography," and the changes she made, based on her research. No matter how the book is categorized, readers will relish Zitkala-Sa's upholding of the warrior tradition with the "new weapons learned from her enemy—her pen, the English language, and her organizational persistence."