Surviving Wounded Knee: The Lakotas and the Politics of Memory

Hardcover | January 4, 2016

byDavid W. Grua

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On December 29, 1890, the US Seventh Cavalry killed more than two hundred Lakota Ghost Dancers - including men, women, and children - at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. After the work of death ceased at Wounded Knee Creek, the work of memory commenced. For the US Army and some whites,Wounded Knee represented the site where the struggle between civilization and savagery for North America came to an end. For other whites, it was a stain on the national conscience, a leading example of America's dishonorable dealings with Native peoples. For Lakota people it was the site of the"biggest murders," where the United States violated its treaty promises and slaughtered innocents.Historian David Grua argues that Wounded Knee serves as a window into larger debates over how the US's conquest of the indigenous peoples should be remembered. Opposing efforts to memorialize the event ultimately proved a contest over language and assumptions rooted in the concept of "race war" orthe struggle between "civilization" and "savagery." Was Wounded Knee a heroic "battle" - the final victory of the American empire in the trans-Mississippi West? Or was it a "massacre" that epitomized the nation's failure to deal honorably with Native peoples? Even today, over a century later, thetransmission of memory to survivors' descendants remains potent, and December 29, 2015, the 125th anniversary of Wounded Knee, will be marked by commemorations and lingering questions about the United States' willingness to address the liabilities of Indian conquest.

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On December 29, 1890, the US Seventh Cavalry killed more than two hundred Lakota Ghost Dancers - including men, women, and children - at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. After the work of death ceased at Wounded Knee Creek, the work of memory commenced. For the US Army and some whites,Wounded Knee represented the site where the strugg...

David Grua is a historian and curator at the LDS Church History Museum.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 4, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019024903X

ISBN - 13:9780190249038

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Road to Wounded Knee2. Exonerating the Seventh Cavalry3. The Last Battle4. In Memory of the Big Foot Massacre5. No Thought of Hostility6. Irreconcilable Memories7. Liquidating the Liability of the United States for Wounded Knee8. The Survivors' LegaciesAppendix: Survivor ListsNotesBibliographyIndex