October 01 , 2008

Bad Indians

A Tribal Memoir


“If we allow the pieces of our culture to lie scattered in the dust of history, trampled on by racism and grief, then yes, we are irreparably damaged. But if we pick up the pieces and use them in new ways that honor their integrity, their colors, textures, stories—then we do those pieces justice, no matter how sharp they are, no matter how much handling them slices our fingers and makes us bleed.” This beautiful and devastating book—part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir—should be required reading for anyone seeking to learn about California Indian history, past and present. Deborah A. Miranda tells stories of her Ohlone Costanoan Esselen family as well as the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, a compilation that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew.

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Foreword by Richard Dillon. Between 1842 and 1853, John C. Fremont led five expeditions across the trans-Mississippi West. While the success of his early journeys gained him acclaim as a national hero, his later missions ended in tragedy and ultimately a court-martial. Historian Ferol Egan focuses on Fremont’s explorations, providing a vivid…

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