Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Summer Challenge: Book Review One

As some of you might remember, I decided to participate in the summer challenge to read five non-fiction books. Well, I've already finished reading the first book. (What can I say? I'm a fast reader.) I'm not sure if I'm supposed to post these reviews as I finish reading them, or if I'm supposed to wait until the end of the challenge. I guess I'll just make another post when I'm finished that links all of the five reviews together.

The first book I chose to read was Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations by Charles Wilkinson (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005). The book is 383 pages long, excluding the end notes, index and bibliography, and probably falls into the category of Native American Studies or recent U. S. History. (The back of the cover lists it as a cultural studies/Native American studies.) Anyhow, the book deals with the experiences of Native American tribes over the past fifty years or so, and how the Native Americans were able to strengthen their tribes and culture over this time period. In addition to explaining events that occurred in the last half-century, the author gives background history on the struggles that Native Americans have had over the past several centuries. The book as covers the different policies that the Department of Interior and U. S. government had implemented to deal with Native Americans, especially to get Native Americans to assimilate into American society.

Overall, I thought the book was quite interesting. I did learn quite a bit about the past several decades about the history of the movement for Indian rights, and I also learned more about the policies that the U. S. government had enacted to deal with the Indians. I chose to read this book as I did not know very much about Native American history nor very much about the policies that the U. S. government created. Since Native Americans are only briefly mentioned in most U. S. history textbooks, I wanted to learn more about the role that Native Americans played in U. S. history and about how the Native Americans were treated. In all, I think this is a good book for someone to read if he or she is interested in learning more about Native American history.

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