The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

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

Dee Brown's 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was the first truly popular book of Indian history ever published. But it promulgated the impression that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee--that not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry but 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 uncovered a different narrative. Instead of disappearing, and despite--or perhaps because of--intense struggles to preserve their language, their culture, their very families, the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented growth and rebirth.

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Beginning with the tribes' devastating loss of land and the forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools, he shows how the period of greatest adversity also helped to incubate a unifying Native identity. He traces how 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 their self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. In addition, Treuer explores how advances in technology allowed burgeoning Indian populations across the continent to come together as never before, fostering a political force. Photographs, maps, and other visuals, from period advertisements to little-known historical photos, amplify the sense of accessing a fascinating and untold story. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is an essential, intimate history--and counter-narrative--of a resilient people in a transformative era.

Title:The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

About David Treuer

David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the NEH, Bush Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He divides his time between his home on the Leech Lake Reservation and Minneapolis. He is the author of three novels and a book of criticism. His essays and stories have appeared in Esquire, TriQua


    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present Reviews

  • Angie

    Treuer characterizes this book as 3 journeys in his introduction: a journey into history, a journey across America, and a journey into himself and his identity. He describes all three of theses journe...

  • Emily Goenner

    How can I not know the things written here? As Anglo-Americans, we've been taught such lies and shaded stories. This book gives a different side, another heart-breaking view of all the evil done by Eu...

  • Randall Wallace

    Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum wrote of Native Americans, “Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect civilization, follow it up with one more wrong and wipe these untam...

  • Peter Beck

    "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee" is a path-breaking work on the Native American experience. It is actually much more than the title suggests because the first 100 pages explore Indian life before 1890....

  • Bookworm

    Had read 'Rez Life' and 'Prudence' by the same author and was very excited to read this book. I did not care for 'Prudence' but was totally absorbed by 'Rez'. I was curious to see what this was about,...

  • Joe Kessler

    As the title suggests, this is a book that's very much in conversation with Dee Brown's classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which I regret to say I haven't yet read. Like that earlier volume, this ...

  • Theresa Connors

    This book is a well-researched and important counternarrative chronicling the atrocities suffered by tribes across the United States at various points in history, from 1492 to Standing Rock. Extremel...

  • Alison Labbate

    Good NYT book review...

  • Kate Schwarz

    Decades ago when I was an undergraduate student at Seattle University, I took a class called "Native American Politics and Protest," taught by Professor Richard Young. Dr. Young had wanted to call the...

  • Dirk

    With the exception of the title, which strikes me as a mismatched metaphor, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, is a very impressive work. Among the many points that Treuer makes is that although Indians (...