How did 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' shape America?

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'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'
Book cover courtesy of publisher

We continue our look at titles from the Library of Congress' 88 Books that Shaped America list with Dee Brown's 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.'

Brenda Child, associate professor in the University of Minnesota's Department of American Studies, will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday.

"You have to remember that the subtitle is 'An Indian History' and the narrative at that time didn't include American Indians and their interpretations of that history," she said. "In anything the general public read Indians were portrayed as being backward, uncivilized. There hadn't been a critical look at how this population was treated and what this book did was examine a number of different tribal histories and tell some of those stories from the documents of the tribes themselves. It was truly a voice of native people."

Child said the book's problem is its portrayal of native people as tragic figures.

"What we now know is that tragic things happened, but they weren't tragic figures," she said. "Native people made their own history and were agents of change as much as anyone else in this country even though they were disadvantaged."

David Treuer, professor of English at University of Southern California and the author of a number of books including 'Rez Life: An Indian's Journey through Reservation Life,' will also join the discussion.

How were you affected by 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee?' Comment on the blog.