Kanakagiri Siddhartha

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

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The first thing I did when I finished the last page of this book was to lookup the origin of the words Genocide and Holocaust. Somehow I felt they were not invented in the late 19th century. Sure enough, my hunch proved right. (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=holocaust&allowed_in_frame=0). I know what that little etymological fact means to me, it may not matter much to others.

If you read some of the reviews on goodreads, you would know how this book details the ethnic cleansing that was carried out on the native population of the land that is now called USA by the hordes of European immigrants and the then government in Washington that had barely any authority over the settlers. While the book appears repetitive at times, it is worthwhile remembering that it is an account of events as they transpired and that is all the more frustrating how, during the time when the great charade that was manifest destiny was dismantled by according equal rights to the colored men and abolishing slavery, arguments like the Indians were "not persons within the meaning of the law" could be advanced just so the settlers could grab another huge swath of land from the natives. 
A less well known aspect of the reservation system was how it generated lots of revenue for the suppliers of food and other assorted stuff as well as military contractors, which was responsible for precipitating many a conflict that could have ended less devastatingly for the natives.  
Over all it's a depressing book and quite difficult to read, but well worth the effort.
Perhaps all that is left  the great native cultures after all the destruction was their respect for the Earth and their propensity for peace, which bursts through at us from almost every page in this book. Such clarity if thought and purpose stand diametrically opposite to their portrayal as savages in popular fiction. Yet another proof that winners write history.
I will update some of the quotes in this book I found insightful, which should give you some perspective if you find this book too long for you. Anyway, it is a must read.

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August 18, 2019

2017 Reading Challenge

Siddhartha has read 0 books toward his goal of 29 books.
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