BEWARE THE INTRODUCTION
I'm very torn on this review, as the criminal tragedy at Wounded Knee does indeed require national awareness and attonement. Photographer LeQuerrec has compiled an exceedingly moving testimony to the tragedy, with images that speak more eloquently than any words. Since I was 13 and began my own journey learning of the shameful acts against the native peoples during this county's rapid expansion - I've felt obligated to know and do whatever part I could take in attonement.
That said - the introduction to the book by Jim Harrison took me aback. While emotionally trying to make the point that most of mainstream America is relatively ignorant of the negative aspects of its past (true), and by the nature of our capitalist society there is an often obscene gap between wealth and poverty in this country (true), Harrison somehow shifts from a call to responsibility to a screed against the US in general. We have our faults, and have done evil things as a people -- but artifically transfering this to modern US foreign policy (as Harrison does - lamenting US treatment of China and Cuba) in my opinion denegrates the message of Wounded Knee. Mao-ist China and Castro Cuba are not the same thing as 19th century continental expansion and colonialism, and to draw China and Cuba into the discussion (as Harrison does in the introduction) merely shows some sense of warped idealistic views of Marxist societies. My family suffered 40 years under marxist rule in the DDR - so I have an obvious differing view from the author on the "idyllic" nature of communist countries. Also, the five letter description Harrison uses in the introduction to describe the Statue of Liberty (shock value?) is over the top and beneath what this book and its message should be about.
In fairness, Harrison's quote from Bertold Brecht "whom you would destroy, you first portray as savage" is an excellent point in introducing Wounded Knee and its place in our history. Maybe I wasn't expecting to be hit quite so hard. I'm torn with wanting to rip the intro out of the book -- or keep reading it as a needed "kick."