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A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with some of the Indian Tribes

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  15 reviews
First published in 1881 and reprinted in numerous editions since, Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor is a classic account of the U.S. government’s flawed Indian policy and the unfair and cruel treatment afforded North American Indians by expansionist Americans. Jackson wrote the book as a polemic to "appeal to the hearts and conscience of the American people," who ...more
Paperback, 552 pages
Published April 15th 1995 by University of Oklahoma Press (first published 1881)
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Gina
This book is really the "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" of the 19th century, except that the book, and the author's death, came before the Wounded Knee massacre. Therefore, even though many horrible things had happened to the Indians and their situation was dire, she was still writing with hope that something could be done, and that things could get better.

Jackson is very much an elderly lady of that time, so her focus is often on the piety of the converted Indians, and there are many references
...more
Nathan
Both a product of its time and a transcendence of its time. Jackson's prose is a little difficult to read, but her message is boldly humane. She portrays the First Peoples neither as bloody savages nor as pitiable victims, but human beings struggling to adapt to a rapidly-changing world. Unlike much commentary on the subject of its day, "A Century of Dishonor" pulls no punches and uses no euphemisms in condemning the double-dealing and violence of those who wrested away the Native Americans' lan ...more
Mary
This is an important book, a watershed moment in terms of consciousness-raising among white Americans in the battle for Native rights at the end of the nineteenth century. Jackson is a product of her time, and her descriptions of indigenous peoples as "poor creatures," etc. etc. certainly reveal that. Additionally, one of her main arguments for better treatment of Natives lies in her belief in chivalry, and the necessity of the government protecting those she considers weak. But while she dabble ...more
Pomaflah
It was VERY deeply Christian. Sorry, Helen Hunt Jackson, but not everyone thinks that "Christian" is the same as "moral". Especially not us Jews - oh, you know, that other people Christians have historically slaughtered and robbed.
Brian Sollors
Very good! Amazing how much Jackson cared about the well being of the Native Americans and their rights as human beings during a time most could care less. For me the best part about this book was the fact that it was written back in the 1880's. Her attitude and values were ahead of her time. She was in the minority during a time when Native American's were thought of as less than human. If you like history this book is probably on of the best I have read in a long time.
Carol C
A detailed account of the shameful treatment of our native people by the U.S. government and military. The worst of it is that it happened over and over to tribes across the nation. Those who look at reservations and decry the lack of initiative or rampant alcoholism can find the source of those problems in this book - relocated tribes were contractually promised payment for land that was never paid and training and tools promised so that natives could earn a living and farm on the reservation w ...more
Amron Gravett /  Wild Clover Book Services
"One must have a callous heart who can read it unmoved."

Although the author wrote this line in reference to Cheyenne prisoners’ testimony to Congress, it is illustrative of the entire book. Describing government injustices committed upon various tribes, the author considered this her most important book. The subject informed and inspired the rest of her life’s work, including her most popular book titled 'Ramona'.
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Nicole Tanner
I read this about 10 years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. It's incredibly dense and detailed (some times ad nauseam) but an excellent work portraying early US-Native American relations. It will open your eyes to the power struggle and greed between "civilized" and indigenous peoples around the world.
Robert Hays
The fact that this book still is in print is a strong testament to its value. When it was published in 1881, Helen Hunt Jackson offered America a contemporary version of Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," which by comparison is a retrospective published nearly a century later.
Albert
This book is old. Its relevance has suffered because of its age. Yet it is still an important read. Supplementing this with a more modern book is essential, but ignoring this book because of its age is foolish as long as this sensitive issue remains an issue.
Francine Fontana
Think you know something about history? Not until you read this. Bone chilling truth about what our government allowed to happen to the American Indian Tribes.
Fredrick Danysh
The US government has never honored a treaty that it made with Native Americans. This is the story of that dishonor.
Jen
I am amazed at the generalities in which we so often speak of people groups.
Cherie
B An interesting portrayal of how our country treats and treated Am. Ind.
Michael
Significant because it was written early. Otherwise, not that good.
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Helen Maria Hunt Jackson was an American writer best known as the author of Ramona, a novel about the ill treatment of Native Americans in Southern California, and as an activist for Native American rights
More about Helen Hunt Jackson...
Ramona Letters from a Cat Nelly's Silver Mine: A Story of Colorado Life Westward to a High Mountain: The Colorado Writings of Helen Hunt Jackson Bits about Home Matters

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