An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

  • by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Narrated by Laural Merlington
  • 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Today in the United States, there are more than 500 federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the 15 million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up peoples' history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.


What the Critics Say

"Meticulously documented, this thought-provoking treatise is sure to generate discussion." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Useful information, not quite listenable

I know some about settler colonialism and the genocidal practices of the U.S. against Native Americans, but I don't know enough. This book would have made an excellent textbook in an introductory Indigenous Studies course - lots of specific information, an authoritative tone, good discussions of methodology. As an audiobook, though, there wasn't enough story to really gain traction. Without characters or even units on specific groups or regions to hang all this new information on, I was left floundering in a sea of genocide and horrors. Probably much like early indigenous communities...
The narrator did not help this much. Every sentence is read with the same urgency and earnestness. All facts are equally weighted. There's no vocal signaling that we have reached the middle or end of any story. I understand that the topic is very serious and important, but I can't really hang onto the topic when there's no variation in the tone.
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- endlessemma

A screed on the evils of "colonialism" - too bad

What disappointed you about An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States?

After two chapters of monotonis, politically correct screed on the evils of colonialism - i quit. Just couldn't take it. Never got to the story I hoped to hear. Monnotone, flat naration. Looked interesting, but you can't judge an (audible) book by its cover.

Would you ever listen to anything by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz again?


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Laural Merlington?

Ward Churchill

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Primarily disappointment. I was hoping for much more.

Any additional comments?

Dear Roxanne: The Romans did it to the Jews; the English did it to the Irish; the Turks did it to the Armenians; the Germans did it to the Jews (again!). We are not a nice species! Get some perspective and get over yourself!! In the end, as I understand, the Indians were not really all that nice to each other. Your moralizing screed was boring, repetative and myopic. I'm very aware of the injustice done to the American Indian. And, yes, its a tragedy and a national disgrace. But I hoped to hear some objective history, not a parochial rant.

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- Patrick J. Sheehan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-18-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio