An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
This class-savvy peoples’ history explores the silences haunting our national narrative. Like her friend historian Howard Zinn, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a great rememberer and researcher.
This brilliant bottom-up people’s history places settler-colonialism and genocide exactly where they belong: as foundational to the existence of the U.S. Told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and how they actively resisted the attacks upon them. Dunbar-Ortiz writes, “Survival is dynamic, not passive. Surviving genocide, by whatever means, is resistance: non-Indians must know this in order to more accurately understand the history of the U.S.”
Robin D. G. Kelley says, “This may well be the most important U.S. history book you will read in your lifetime.”
Winner of the American Book Award.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the U.S. was a key part of Raoul Peck’s landmark documentary Exterminate All the Brutes. The New York Times says, “Many of the film’s most powerful scenes derive from Dunbar-Ortiz’s text.”
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. A distinguished scholar, she has been active in the international Indigenous movement for many years and is known for her commitment to social justice issues. She is the recipient of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first UN conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas. She is the author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, winner of the 2015 American Book Award, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, All the Real Indians Died Off and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans and Not a Nation of Immigrants.
“Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a one-woman wrecking ball against the tower of lies erected by ‘official’ historians.”- Ishmael Reed