God’s Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America

Louis S. Warren. Basic, $32 (496p) ISBN 978-0-465-01502-3
Warren, a professor of U.S. history at the University of California, Davis, provides an engrossing, readable, and carefully researched history plotting the rise, spread, and continued life of the Ghost Dance among Native Americans. Since its rise in 1890 and sudden, violent suppression at Wounded Knee, the history of the Ghost Dance has focused on its return to past practices, the promise of a land free from whites, and protection in battle. Warren does not dismiss the influence of forced resettlement and broken treaties made with Native American communities, but he persuasively argues that Native American adherents focused more on integrating with Euro-American economy and used the Ghost Dance to maintain their native culture and “Indianness.” Key figures shape his narrative, including the prophet Wokova in Nevada, whose visions sparked the movement; Short Bull, the Lakota who brought it to the Plains; and James Mooney, the white anthropologist who recorded it and shaped all subsequent scholarship. Warren ties together seemingly unrelated strands to give a clear sense of the convulsing changes and challenges of the last decade of the 19th century. The work will delight fans of well-written history and appeal to historians of the West, Native Americans, and religion. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 04/04/2017
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-465-09868-2
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