Native America and the Question of Genocide by Alex Alvarez
Publication Date: 2014-03-14
Did Native Americans suffer genocide? This controversial question lies at the heart of Native America and the Question of Genocide. After reviewing the various meanings of the word "genocide," author Alex Alvarez examines a range of well-known examples, such as the Sand Creek Massacre and the Long Walk of the Navajo, to determine where genocide occurred and where it did not. The book explores the destructive beliefs of the European settlers and then looks at topics including disease, war, and education through the lens of genocide. Native America and the Question of Genocide shows the diversity of Native American experiences postcontact and illustrates how tribes relied on ever-evolving and changing strategies of confrontation and accommodation, depending on their location, the time period, and individuals involved, and how these often resulted in very different experiences. Alvarez treats this difficult subject with sensitivity and uncovers the complex realities of this troubling period in American history.
Murder State by Brendan C. Lindsay
Publication Date: 2012-06-01
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Euro-American citizenry of California carried out mass genocide against the Native population of their state, using the processes and mechanisms of democracy to secure land and resources for themselves and their private interests. The murder, rape, and enslavement of thousands of Native people were legitimized by notions of democracy--in this case mob rule--through a discreetly organized and brutally effective series of petitions, referenda, town hall meetings, and votes at every level of California government. Murder State is a comprehensive examination of these events and their early legacy. Preconceptions about Native Americans as shaped by the popular press and by immigrants' experiences on the Overland Trail to California were used to further justify the elimination of Native people in the newcomers' quest for land. The allegedly "violent nature" of Native people was often merely their reaction to the atrocities committed against them as they were driven from their ancestral lands and alienated from their traditional resources. In this narrative history employing numerous primary sources and the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on genocide, Brendan C. Lindsay examines the darker side of California history, one rarely studied in detail, and the motives of both Native Americans and Euro-Americans at the time. Murder State calls attention to the misuse of democracy to justify and commit genocide. Purchase the audio edition.
An American Genocide by Benjamin Madley
Publication Date: 2016-05-24
Winner of the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Award for History New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice "Gruesomely thorough. . . . Others have described some of these campaigns, but never in such strong terms and with so much blame placed directly on the United States government."--Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide. Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide before explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence against California Indians. He narrates the rise of a state-sanctioned killing machine and the broad societal, judicial, and political support for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer state militiamen, U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The state and federal governments spent at least $1,700,000 on campaigns against California Indians. Besides evaluating government officials' culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and how other possible genocides within and beyond the Americas might be investigated using the methods presented in this groundbreaking book.