The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee By David Treuer

  • Narrated by: Tanis Parenteau
  • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
  • Release date: 01-22-19

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee AudioBook Summary

A sweeping history – and counter-narrative – of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present.

The received idea of Native American history – as promulgated by books like Dee Brown’s mega-best-selling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did 150 Sioux die at the hands of the US Cavalry, the sense was that Native civilization did as well. 

Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear – and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence – the story of American Indians since the end of the 19th century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention. 

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes’ distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don’t know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. 

File Size: 453.33 MB


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