The true history of the atrocities committed against the Indigeneous nations is too often overlooked but thanks to this poignant telling from the perspective of said nations, it’s impossible to ignore any longer. This is real, oftentimes shocking history and it traces hundreds of years into the modern day, showing the lingering effect it has on the millions of Indigenous peoples still in this land. It’s always a good idea to read the truth, and this is it.
New York Times Bestseller
Now part of the HBO docuseries "Exterminate All the Brutes," written and directed by Raoul Peck
Recipient of the American Book Award
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizoffers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
With growing support for movements such as the campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the Dakota Access Pipeline protest led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States is an essential resource providing historical threads that are crucial for understanding the present. In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.”
Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is a 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and is the author or editor of many books, including Not “A Nation of Immigrants.”Winner of the American Book Award (2015). She lives in San Francisco. Connect with her at reddirtsite.com or on Twitter @rdunbaro.
From a book on our Discover Prize Shortlist to another on the Longlist for the National Book Awards year’s favorite mysteries and so many in between, this has been a great year for Indigenous voices. While we are focusing on the current books by native authors, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include other fantastic […]