Staff Pick

Truer’s revelatory history tells much more than the story of “Native America from 1890 to the present.”  To understand 1890—the date of the massacre of 150 Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee, which seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of America’s indigenous peoples—we have to know the innumerable ways the U.S. had already tried to deal with its “Indian problem,” how Europeans had treated the Natives from first contact, and what life was like on the continent during the centuries before it was “discovered” by whites. Treuer covers this complicated history in detail; if the number of treaties, acts, and battles is dizzying, what comes through clearly is that there is no single “Indian” story. Each tribe—and often each clan within the tribe—occupies distinct cultural and geographical landscapes, and each has been impacted differently by the various means whites have used to try to control them. These stories are fascinating and long overdue—without them, the story of America, and especially of the West, has been both partial and seriously impoverished. Treuer’s central thesis, however, is that despite whites’ relentless battle to exterminate Natives—a mission often explicitly stated as that—they failed. Wounded Knee was not the end of the story, just one chapter in an ongoing saga that gradually led from allotment, U.S. citizenship, the Indian Reorganization Act, and the Termination Act, to the American Indian Movement, casinos, and more enterprises initiated by Natives themselves. Growing up on Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, Treuer, a member of the Ojibwe, did not see “ruined lives,” but people who could “choose to be Indian.” Since 1890, Native populations have grown—and grown stronger.

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633157
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - January 22nd, 2019

Staff Pick

This beguiling story of a flood, a plague, a mysterious beast, and a pilgrimage could be a video game, a half-repressed memory, or a version of Revelation. Davis keeps all possibilities open as we follow a group of siblings trekking across the Savage Domain, each, as in Chaucer, telling his or her tale. The plot has the spare richness of a fable charting the fall from innocence through a dark time when “spite and harshness blazed up everywhere.” But it’s Davis’s uncanny and beautiful language that gives the real shivers, making you look twice with statements such as “like most humans she had a single heart” and ”when you arrive at the edge of the world you stop remembering things like how you got there.”

The Silk Road: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978297
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Graywolf Press - March 5th, 2019

Staff Pick

To jolt people out of their complacency about climate change, Wallace-Wells gathered the data on twelve key elements of today’s ever-more unstable world. Delivered in one concentrated punch, the statistics on the global rise in heat, ferocity and frequency of storms, droughts, famines, ocean acidification, and political unrest are truly shocking. Add to these the cascade effect of their unpredictable interactions—more carbon in the soil fosters larger plants with fewer nutrients, which sharpens competition for dwindling protein sources, leading to more social unrest, climate refugees, and so on—and Wallace-Wells presents a truly horrifying picture of a world that is hurtling toward apocalypse.  Yet despite his title, Wallace-Wells believes that even by the end of the century—about as far as we can bear to look at this point—only one third of Earth will actually be uninhabitable. We still have time to change. But will we?  Human behavior is the greatest of the many unknowns that lie ahead, and, without laying out particular policies, Wallace-Wells offers a profound reflection on what it will mean for us to live—for the first time ever—outside “the narrow window of environmental conditions that allowed the human to evolve” and, most crucially, that enabled us to create a civilization based on fossil-fuels.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525576709
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Tim Duggan Books - February 19th, 2019