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

David Treuer (Author)
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Product Details

Thorndike Press Large Print
Publish Date
June 12, 2019
5.8 X 1.6 X 8.7 inches | 2.15 pounds
Library Binding

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About the Author

David Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. The author of four previous novels, most recently Prudence, and two books of nonfiction, he has also written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Slate, and The Washington Post, among others. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.


"An informed, moving and kaleidoscopic portrait of 'Indian survival, resilience, adaptability, pride and place in modern life.' Rarely has a single volume in Native American history attempted such comprehensiveness . . . Ultimately, Treuer's powerful book suggests the need for soul-searching about the meanings of American history and the stories we tell ourselves about this nation's past." --New York Times Book Review

"In a marvel of research and storytelling, an Ojibwe writer traces the dawning of a new resistance movement born of deep pride and a reverence for tradition. Treuer's chronicle of rebellion and resilience is a manifesto and rallying cry." --O, The Oprah Magazine

"Chapter after chapter, it's like one shattered myth after another." - NPR

"Sweeping, essential history...Treuer's storytelling skills shine...[an] elegant handling of [a] complex narrative." --The Economist

"Treuer ... presents a more nuanced and hopeful vision of the past and future of Native Americans." --Vanity Fair

"Highly readable...a welcome compendium of Indian voices and insights that will be fresh for many readers...[An] urgent story." --Newsday

"Vivid...Treuer evokes, with simmering rage, the annihilation of Indian lives and worlds, but he also unearths a secret history of Indians flourishing in art, government, literature, science and technology...Beautifully written." -The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[Treuer's]...counternarrative blends memoir -- a retelling of his own family and tribe's experiences -- and in-depth, detailed reporting on 125 years of native history." -Washington Post

"Treuer ... is a wonderful novelist, and if anybody can tell this story in the way it needs to be told and retold, until the end of time, he can." - LitHub

"Treuer provides a sweeping account of how the trope of the vanishing Indian has distorted our current understanding of Native peoples. Instead of seeing Wounded Knee as the final chapter, he recovers the importance of World War II, urban migration, casinos, and the computer age in reshaping the modern Native American experience. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is written with conviction and illuminates the past in a deeply compelling way." - Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

"An ambitious, gripping, and elegantly written synthesis that is much more than the sum of its excellent parts--which include a rich array of Native lives, Treuer's own family and tribe among them--The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee brings a recognition of indigenous vitality and futurity to a century of modern Indian history." -- Philip J. Deloria, Professor of History, Harvard University

"In clear and vivid prose, David Treuer positions unforgettable portraits of contemporary Indian people within a compelling narrative of the experiences of indigenous peoples in the big sweep of time. His book offers a powerful challenge to the persistent and pernicious idea of the 'vanishing Indian, ' replacing it with a far more accurate story of Indian people's repossession and restoration of sovereignty and dignity." -- Patricia Limerick, author of The Legacy of Conquest and co-founder, Center of the American West

"Sweeping, consistently illuminating and personal...This engrossing volume should interest anyone who wants to better understand how Native Americans have struggled to preserve their tribes and cultures, using resourcefulness and reinvention in the face of overwhelming opposition." --BookPage (starred)

"[Treuer's] scholarly reportage of these 125 years of Native history...comes to vivid life for every reader." --Booklist (starred)

"Treuer chronicles the long histories of Native North America, showing the transformation and endurance of many nations. All American history collections will benefit from this important work by an important native scholar." --Library Journal (starred)

Praise for Prudence

"What does it say about our troubled times -- and David Treuer's considerable talents -- that his World War II-era novel speaks to the present moment in American history with more eloquence and complexity than the nightly newscast?...Tender and devastating ...[A] master class on suspense, shifting perspective and conflicting desire." --Anthony Marra, The Washington Post

"Masterful... one of the most honest, moving novels about America in quite a while." --Los Angeles Times

"Treuer doesn't just unravel the plot we might expect; he prompts us to interrogate the assumptions -- racial, sexual and otherwise -- that build up those expectations in the first place." --NPR