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About the Author

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz mostrar mais is the author or editor of seven other books and lives in San Francisco. mostrar menos

Includes the name: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

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Obras por Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Associated Works

Don't Mourn, Balkanize! Essays After Yugoslavia (2010) — Introdução — 26 exemplares
Monthly Review 72.3 (2020) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
rural Oklahoma, USA
San Francisco, California, USA



I started this book several years ago and misplaced it until I moved some bookshelves and found it behind. I had to reread what I had read before in order to fully grasp the whole book, which tells the story of the United States as a "colonialist-settler state", which, much like the European colonial states, subjected the original civilizations that were already on the North American continent and that it now rules. It challenges the standard tale we are taught in our American schools that European settlers "discovered" America and provides different indigenous peoples' perspectives on key historical events. Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz notes that the indigenous peoples who were and still are in a colonial relationship with the United States inhabitant this land and thrived for millennia before they were "displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated," and therefore requires restitution of over a hundred million acres of land and reparations. There is a lot of rich and useful information here, but I think Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz overstates the case glosses over some other facts in order to present a purportedly idyllic world before the Europeans arrived, e.g., that some tribes were predatory and violent, and this continent was hardly the Garden of Eden before European settlers arrived. I also found her descriptions of the Indigenous Peoples' lives to be simplistic and inaccurate. She described the nations as agricultural, but that is not entirely the case. Many nations were hunter-gatherer societies that involved the killing of animals for food. Nevertheless, Mr. Dunbar-Ortiz adds new voices to our collective history.… (mais)
bschweiger | 49 outras críticas | Feb 4, 2024 |
I feel sick. I want to drink….a lot, but that won’t help. I want a soul hug and to hug others. I want to cry and scream. I am thankful for even more information, no matter how painful. So much makes more sense.
cmpeters | 49 outras críticas | Feb 2, 2024 |
There were times when the prose in this book read like a conservative's parody of liberal academic writing. And yet if you focus solely on the facts presented, it is hard to escape the conviction that colonialism, racism, genocide, and total war are the only appropriate terms to apply. In the current climate in which so many people want to invalidate any historical perspective that would make them feel uncomfortable, guilty, or complicit, it is perhaps all the more important to challenge ourselves and our received cultural perspective with a different narrative.… (mais)
Treebeard_404 | 49 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
4.5 stars rounded up to 5 (minor issue in the library copy, where footnotes in chapter 4 got misnumbered by 10 and it took me a second to square up sources). Dunbar-Ortiz makes a persuasive argument that "nation of immigrants" is a misnomer that overlooks the genocide of indigenous populations and how in actuality, the United States is a settler-colonial state, with various populations either adhering to the settler state in the name of assimilation (Irish and Italian Catholics) and self-indigenizing (New Mexican Hispanos, Appalachian Scots Irish) or being considered a Perpetual Foreigner and not permitted to settle (Asian laborers and refugees).

There's also a strong lambasting of how Hamilton: The Musical falsely portrays some founding fathers as abolitionists when above all else they were capitalists (Alexander Hamilton himself in particular), creating a fiscal-military state to perpetuate war on indigenous populations and then copy those war efforts to imperialist efforts both on the continent with the annexation of Mexican territory and meddling in overseas governments.

Unfortunately, the people whom I think need this most aren't partial to reading academically focused books (and I'd consider this an approachable, popular audience survey on settler colonialism)- thinking in particular of an Irish American work colleague in Knights of Columbus who very much wraps himself up in Catholicism & patriotism even though he has far more in common with the "illegals" he rails against with facebook memes. Very much worth a read, though, to challenge the framework in which you view the United States. For me, it's recognizing the discomfort from belatedly realizing the depth of indigenous erasure when discussing "Americanness" (for I can speak from experience about Perpetual Foreigner, but how am I perpetuating systemic genocidal frameworks in doing so?)

From the conclusion:
“This book is a call for all those who have gone through the immigrant or refugee experience or are descendants of immigrants to acknowledge settler colonialism and the Americanization process that sucks them into complicity with white supremacy and erasure of the Indigenous peoples. It’s a call too for descendants of original settlers to understand and reject settler colonialism and the romanticizing of original white settlers who were instrumentalized to reproduce white supremacy and white nationalism.”
… (mais)
Daumari | 2 outras críticas | Dec 28, 2023 |



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