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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

From the Heart edited by Lee Miller

"Some of you think an Indian is like a wild animal. This is a great mistake. I will tell you all about our people and I will speak with a straight tongue." Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

"You certainly must discover that the United States do not wish to hurt you, but, on the contrary they wish to make you a people like themselves." United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

"Why should we want a few goods in exchange for our country?" Cayuse Indian

Subtitled, voiced of the American Indian this is a great resource of American history.

For four hundred years the world has failed to understand Indian people, writes Lee Miller is his introduction to this exhaustive work. He tells of how an aggressive campaign was waged to assimilate them into American life, of how they were herded onto reservations and their children taken to state boarding schools whose sole purpose was the total obliteration of Indian languages and culture.

"I have done nothing to be ashamed of,  it is for them who enslaved me to feel shame." Osceola, Seminole.

The author splits the books into chapter, each looking at a different geographical area of the United States and the Native Americans who first called the land their home. He then tells the story of the respective tribes via their own words, as well as contemporary newspaper editorials and political speeches,  collected during research for the TV series, 500 Nations: The History of the North American Indians.

"The only correct way of quieting Indians is killing them as fast as you can lay hands on them."  Editorial, Humboldt Register.

The book contains the testimony of more than 250 Indian civilisations, from the Aztec King Moctezuma to Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Cheif Joseph. And given the current trend to whitewash history documents like this are especially valuable. It speaks of the courage and the nobility of the Indian Tribes in the face of physical and spiritual genocide.

"I never yet knew an Indian to break his words." General William S. Harney, United States Army.

Pimlico Publishing
£10.00 trade paperback
£7.99 regular paperback

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